Six ways to turbo-charge your PR strategy with video
A conversation with Jimmy Moock, Gregory FCA Senior Vice President on why professional and financial services brands, require digital communications strategies.
As an expert in strategic communications, how has the digital economy and landscape influenced communications strategy for professional and financial services brands?
Jimmy: The pace of disruption facing chief communicators and marketing officers has been intense. Just a few years ago, it was evident that many PR and
external communication campaigns had leaned on what was successful in the past. They relied on disseminating press releases and earning strategic media attention that helped them differentiate and cement a place in the financial and investment narratives shaping people’s financial lives. Those with more to spend would invest in some targeted or even national advertising to round out their campaign.
Fast forward to January of 2016 and the pace has accelerated. Smart firms are using this to their advantage by sharing their messages and interacting with clients via as many channels possible, including video and social media. Those falling behind realize that they’ve got to embrace and execute a better communication strategy now. Those with their heads in the sand risk losing relevance in terms of the services they provide. Or worse, they might lose clients to competitors that can better carry a conversation.
How valuable are live TV appearances for professional and financial services experts?
Jimmy: Live TV appearances are incredibly valuable. The ability to appear on television offers money managers, advisors and other service providers in the industry a chance to level the playing field. You’ll often see a Main Street USA financial advisor appear alongside a spokesperson from one of the largest financial institutions in the world. Showing your clients and prospects that leading media outlets covering the issues most important to investors, especially Boomers readying for retirement, have you on their program is powerful. You can also send the segment link to your clients, prospects and partners afterward for as long as the message is relevant. Media coverage itself is powerful, but knowing how to merchandise and leverage the coverage really unlocks and amplifies its value.
Marianne: That follow-up is critical to get the most of a live TV appearance. Many of our clients are leveraging their appearances by re-purposing them on their website, with permission of course. They are also creatively using video to promote their stories and thought leadership further with other media outlets via video media advisories.
Video is a proven storytelling medium. How can brands use video effectively in their communications strategy?
Jimmy: All communication strategies should follow a calendar that will time their external messaging campaigns and keep responsible marketing and PR departments on track. Specifically, the calendar offers a PR team regularly timed events that can serve as an opportunity to gain coverage or deliver your firm and clients a specific message about an issue that affects them. Think of New Year’s Financial Resolutions, getting your financial house in order for tax season or Mother’s Day, the need to plan for care as our parents age, etc. as examples. Each of these holidays offer a platform to produce proactive and appropriate video vignettes that help investing consumers understand what they need to be thinking about during that specific portion of the financial year.
Being agile and responsive enough to react and speak to the news of the day can add punch to your communications campaign. Whether it be the prospects of winning a $1.5 billion Powerball lottery (or what anyone facing an unexpected financial windfall should do), or dealing with the constant greed and fear that drives markets to their worst opening ever (Happy 2016!), financial services firms need to be able to communicate to their constituents what’s really happening and what they need to know. A 1,500 word missive posted to your company blog is great for this, but nothing beats the power of video when telling a story.
Also, video is a part of the SEO special sauce that all companies are trying are spread across their website. Google and other search algorithms grade video a bit better and differently than other text-based content. It’s also been proven that when someone is surfing, they’ll favor clicking on a video verses something that will bring them to text.
What makes a great PR pitch? Where and when would you use a video?
Jimmy: Simply put, a great pitch is one that is timely, addresses issues affecting many people and allows for your spokesperson to gain a standing as an authority on the issue and offer solutions people should consider around the topic. If your clients are facing a certain question as it relates to their financial picture, chances are others around the country are too. Become a part of the national discussion on investing, taxes, health care, insuring your livelihood and, more broadly, being prepared for retirement. It will help elevate you and your firm from competitors who don’t receive media attention.
Video should be used as needed. Whether it be a major social security benefit change or a suspension of trading in an economic powerhouse like China, video helps visually express your thoughts on the situation as well as any solutions or next steps. Ultimately, it helps you better communicate with your most important audience: the customers.
How can organizations get ‘really good’ at video content?
Jimmy: It sounds trite, but the simple answers are to “do it again and again” and not be scared of asking for help from experts. Plenty of PR firms like us here at Gregory FCA and video content providers like VideoLink offer superb media training seminars and simulations. Consider doing some training before throwing yourselves into prime time. It will teach you what to expect as a guest of national television.
Marianne: Thanks Jimmy, that’s great advice. Practice makes perfect. Write a video script as though you are speaking with someone to help you come across as relaxed and comfortable.
Can you offer a few tips on becoming a go-to live TV resource for producers?
Jimmy: More than anything, know your strengths and play to them. If you’re not an authoritative voice on commodities, don’t agree to talk about them on live TV. This will do nothing but diminish your appeal to producers and makes for bad TV. Also, be available and timely with your thoughts and notes. Financial TV has a full day of interviews to produce, five days a week. Sometimes they need even more if major forces are driving the financial markets up or down. Being able to explain the situation in real time verses offering generic, canned responses will put you on a producer’s short list.
Be available. Any show on financial television is building the majority of its content just hours beforehand. Be aware of the headlines and be ready with notes on your position. Think about what you’d say if asked questions on what the situation means to broader markets as well as to people’s wallets and portfolios.
Do you have any additional tips on how to amplify PR messages with video?
Jimmy: Think of creative ways you can utilize a camera and video to your advantage. Perhaps you can help facilitate and deliver a Town Hall. Also, consider creating a library of short, hard-hitting video segments that will appeal to your clients’ children. As Boomers pass money down to their heirs, it’s not going to be the easiest transition for you and your firm. You might have gained the trust of your client thanks to slick brochures and a handshake, but Gen X, Y and millennials will be choosing who manages their money in a totally different way. That’s if they choose a human to do it all as opposed to an automated offering.
Also, don’t forget the opportunity to deliver content to your own staff. Video allows for an effective medium to deliver changes company products, policies or direction to remote workers or different offices. Sharing the news via video can help in the delivery and allow staff to understand the nuances involved and what they mean to the company, their own job and the clients they serve.
Marianne: Thanks Jimmy for sharing some great ideas on how to create better digital communications strategies.
About Gregory FCA: A full-service, strategically integrated firm, Gregory FCA specializes in working with registered investment advisories (RIAs), mutual funds, hedge funds, accounting firms, HR and employee benefit firms and numerous others tied to the financial services industry. Creating contemporary and artful public relations and communications strategies for the new digital age is their specialty. For the past 25 years, the firm has counseled many financial and professional services firms on how to navigate the new media landscape.
Jimmy Moock is an SVP at Gregory FCA. He joined FCA in 2006 and helps both burgeoning start-ups and C-level executives of Fortune 500 companies create, refine and execute their business communication initiatives and objectives. His expertise is handling external communications for the financial and professional services industries. Follow Jimmy @jimmymoock.
Marianne Rocco is the marketing director for VideoLink. She’s passionate about finding ways to help clients create connections with their audience. When not helping clients, she’s enjoying a great book or the outdoors. Follow Marianne on twitter @MWRocco or linkedin.Back to All Blog Posts