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Increase Your Visibility Through Public Relations

Issue 4 - February 2009

As an investment professional, you have valuable expertise in managing wealth, financial planning, investing, and interpreting financial markets. Sharing this expertise with the media can increase your visibility and build your reputation as a knowledgeable investment professional.*

Positive exposure in newspapers, magazines, radio and television programs, and the Internet—rather than paid advertisements—offers the following benefits:

  • Credibility — A third-party endorsement by a non-paid media outlet lends credibility to your marketing efforts. If prospects have heard or read about you and your firm, and perceive you to be a reputable source for investment advice, they will be more receptive to a sales call, or may contact you directly.
  • Sales support — Local media coverage is an invaluable sales tool. Reprints of articles you have written, or in which you are quoted, establish your reputation with prospective clients.
  • Cost efficiency — The best part about public relations exposure is—it’s free! However, because news coverage is not paid for, there is no guarantee that a reporter will use the information you provide, or use it in the context in which it was intended.

The goal of your public relations plan is to become a regular source of information for your local media. This requires creating and maintaining good relationships with reporters, knowing what constitutes a good news story, and being available to talk when needed. To get started, you will need to develop a media kit comprised of your biography, firm fact sheet, and other appropriate background materials such as product brochures, published articles, or research you have conducted. Once you have your kit ready, you can begin to compile a list of media contacts and introduce yourself to the media.

Below are tips you can use to pitch yourself to the media:

  • Provide story ideas that relate to current news. For example, you could offer to comment on the direction interest rates are heading, which may have received recent news coverage and which affects popular investment strategies.
  • Stress your own expertise. Inform the reporter of your experience, education, and special training that qualifies you as an expert. Give examples of your achievements.
  • Send reporters your media kit. A good media kit contains information introducing you and your firm to the reporter.
  • Illustrate your relevance to a recent story. Refer to a reporters recent work and then suggest a follow-up story or provide additional information.
  • Determine your contacts specific deadlines. There is no surer way to ruin a relationship with a reporter than to call repeatedly when he or she is working on a deadline. Ask the reporter for the best times to call, or whether e-mail is the preferred way to communicate.
  • Follow through and follow up. Return phone calls and e-mails and provide information promptly. Reporters need information quickly and may have contacted several sources. Often the person who responds first gets the coverage.
  • Build relationships. Once you have established a rapport with your contacts, call regularly with good story ideas.

    For additional tips and recommendations on how to develop an effective public relations strategy, please email marketing@pershing.com to order a copy of Pershing’s An Investment Professionals Guide to Public Relations.

    * Note: Please adhere to your firm’s public relations procedures and guidelines while proceeding with any of the suggestions contained in this guidebook.

For Professional Use Only.

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