Getting the Right Kind of Media Coverage for Your Firm

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Positive media coverage helps build your brand, a scenario we’ve seen time and time again in our nationwide network of RIAs.

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It works because it establishes credibility around your financial advisor business while providing a ready supply of talking points for engagement with clients, prospects and potential M&A partners. Media coverage also has real staying power. Thanks to social media outlets like LinkedIn and Twitter—in addition to your website, newsletters, and hard-copy brochures—its impact lasts long before initial publication.

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Meanwhile, we are seeing more national trade presses, trade publications and regional trade magazines telling more money management stories than ever before, reflecting a growing awareness among consumers of the need for sound investment strategies and dynamic financial planning. .

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Although it may take several attempts for a reporter to write a story about your practice, the return on investment is much better than a single advertising purchase. That said, there is risk involved in contacting the media. For example, a wealth management executive we know bragged to a reporter about how much money an investor paid for an equity position in his firm. When these quotes were included in an industry article after the investment firm got wind of its unfair win lap, the executive ended up doing damage control. We also know of a broken broker who defames his former firm in a media interview, changing the focus of the article from prospects for his new firm to complaints about his old one – a real missed opportunity. !

To prevent such blunders, some firms engage a public relations agency, which pitches stories to appropriate outlets and interviews consultants and executives about the dos and don’ts. For firms that don’t go this route, the following are tips for minimizing the challenges of gaining media attention while maximizing the friendly attention of editors and readers.

Provide a “news” angle. A consultant we know wanted to talk about financial planning for his firm’s business-owner clients. This angle, while valid, lacked the necessary appeal to engage the broad audience that the article was intended for. It was a comment he left while passing – about how his business-owning clients were neglecting succession planning during the coronavirus pandemic – that took center stage in the write-up and that made it special. Significantly enhanced the quality of coverage for RIAs. This allowed the reporter to inject a note of genuine topicality into the article while putting the advisor’s core topic in a more immediate light.

News hook. It is a specific peg on which to hang the interest of the readers of the publication. Suitable hooks include in-house or industry milestones, holidays, current news tie-ins and compelling trends that provide the “news you can use” reports that journalists love. A consultant told a reporter how he worked with his clients on charitable donations for local families who wrestled with remote learning to get access to WiFi for their children – a topic that has been in the local news. Was. It provided links to the respective charities in the form of news hooks. Sometimes, with news angles, the hook can end up being off-topic for the agreed-upon interview topic.

share your expertise. Give the reporter your thoughts on financial and economic trends. Provided you don’t betray confidentiality, discuss what your customers are interested in or concerned about. Journalists typically view high-net-worth investors—especially those advised by boutique RIAs—as smart-money players. A Heartland consultant in our network who works with frontline healthcare executives was asked how these clients are coping with the pandemic. The advisor replied that many wanted to explore downsizing strategies as they planned to secure less stressful positions after the pandemic ended. The resulting article outlined his expertise in positive ways.

Emphasize “color” in the interview. Make your story bright by sharing anecdotes, industry statistics, and telling details. A San Francisco consultant noted positive in an article after telling a reporter about working with vineyard owners in the Napa area of ​​California. A Northeast consultant told a reporter that he specializes in helping fast-food franchisees and can discuss P&L statements and inventory guidelines for individual stores.

Avoid flattery and coercive self-promotion. Most firms say they do “holistic wealth management” and the like, so it’s not really an issue of discrimination. Similarly, promotional or sales materials are of little interest to a reporter. Save this for the advertising section of the publication, not the news section. You can still tell your story, but sometimes it’s better to support it. For example, incidental to the agreed-upon subject of the interview, a consultant took a reporter through his painstaking efforts to ensure that his office was disinfected before his employees returned after the lockdown. This COVID news hook gave the resulting article a topical spin and cast the advisory in a favorable light.

Consultants with media experience know the importance of understanding what reporters want, better showing their strengths and (at least by implication) their differences from competitors. The result is mutual benefit – the reporter gets a good story, and the advisor gets a positive mention. Such conversations can also lead to coverage later as an increasingly respected advisor becomes the “go-to” source.

Sally Cates

photo illustration by staff; Courtesy of Dynasty Financial Partners

Sally Cates,


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