There are huge benefits to being quoted in the press. Coverage builds instant credibility, can lead to new enquiries and gives you something different to promote to existing clients, prospects and professional connections.
However, only a handful of advisers and planners are regularly quoted in the press. There are many reasons why. Journalists want a safe pair of hands and quick wins, while many advisers/planners are nervous of the press.
Dom Hiatt financial PR expert and founder of Newspage joined us on last month’s webinar to explain how advisers and planners can get more press coverage. The session was hugely valuable (if you want a copy of the recording click here to request it) so we thought we’d bring you some of his best tips in this week’s blog, while adding a few of our own.
Make sure you get to #10 too. At the end, we’ve got a special Yardstick code that will give you three months access to Newspage membership for free.
1. Build a database of journalists
To get coverage you need to build relationships with journalists. That starts by knowing who the key players are and finding their contact details.
It’ll only take a few hours on Google to develop the list. It’s time well spent though if it saves you scratching around for an email address or telephone number when you’re on a deadline in the future.
2. Use Twitter to follow and create a list of journalists
The fast-paced nature of Twitter means it’s ideal for journalists to use when they’re requesting help.
Once you’ve followed the journalists identified in tip #1, use Twitter’s ‘List’ function to build a directory of journalists. You can then quickly and easily scroll down their tweets without getting distracted by other messages.
3. Make it easy for journalists to get in touch
You should build a dedicated press page on your website which makes it easy for journalists (who are probably on a tight deadline) to contact you.
4. Don’t just focus on the personal finance press
Coverage in the personal finance sections of newspapers such as The Telegraph, The Times, FT and Daily Mail is the holy grail. It’s tough though. Competition is fierce and it’s tough to become a trusted source for an established journalist.
Instead, Dom suggested turning to journalists who write for the news pages. There’s less competition and the journalists probably aren’t personal finance experts. So they’ll welcome your input.
5. Develop case studies
There’s no shortage of stories, but journalists often struggle to get supporting case studies to show the human angle.
That’s where advisers and planners can come in. If you can develop a reputation for providing great case studies, supported by imagery, you will soon become a trusted source. In no time the journalist will be asking for comments on a whole range of topics.
Starting with clients who have previously appeared in videos or given testimonials ask if they’re prepared to be featured in case studies. Then write a bank of case studies, along with images, that can be given to a journalist at short notice. Remember too, a journalist might want to speak directly to your client, so it’s always good to prepare your client for that eventuality.
Case studies don’t need to be long either. On the webinar (click here to request a recording) Dom suggested two or three paragraphs including an overview of the client’s situation, what happened and the outcome. If the journalist needs more they will always ask you or approach the client directly. Videos are great here too. If you’ve used our Client Stories Starter package, why not send those to journalists to open some doors?
Finally on this point. It’s unlikely a journalist will want a client to reveal sensitive information. Even so, only a handful of clients will agree. That’s fine. You don’t need many but they’re worth their weight in gold!
6. Approach journalists with case studies
If you’re hanging around waiting for a journalist to approach you for a case study, you could have a long wait.
Far better to get on the front foot. Write a bank of case studies, then use the list you created in tip #1 to approach journalists directly. Ask them what they’re working on right now and show them the list of case studies you’ve created. The chances are that you will have one that matches something they’re working on.
7. Don’t be pushy
Sending an email or press release, then immediately following up on the phone is guaranteed to annoy a journalist. Don’t do it. If they’re interested, they’ll reply.
8. Don’t ask journalists to include backlinks
A link from the BBC, Times or Telegraph to your website is hugely valuable. However, a broken relationship with a journalist could be the price you pay for asking.
If a journalist chooses to include a link, that’s great and a massive win. But don’t put your relationship and credibility at risk by asking for one.
9. Don’t forget the trade press
It’s only natural to want coverage in the consumer press, but don’t overlook our excellent trades.
Being included in New Model Adviser, FT Adviser, Money Marketing, Professional Adviser and so on:
- Still builds credibility
- Puts you on the radar of personal finance journalists
- Builds links with trade journalists who then might move on to write for consumer-focused titles.
10. Take inspiration from your day-to-day work
You will see things every day that could make great stories for journalists. If you can develop an antenna for a good story, then pass it to a journalist, you’ll immediately get in their good books. Once you’ve become a trusted source they’ll come back to you when they need a comment for other pieces.
I recall my days working in an adviser’s office. An adviser’s client sent the annuity pack they’d received from their pension provider over. The pack was about an inch thick and the first 10 or so quotes were for With Profit annuities. The one the client actually wanted was hidden away at the bottom. The message from the provider was not subtle!
I contacted a journalist, told them about the problem and they covered it the following weekend.
Get 3 months free access to Newspage
Newspage is a great way for advisers and planners to write comments and get them picked up by journalists. It’s also used by journalists so search for relevant experts.
We’ve already seen advisers, planners and mortgage brokers get great coverage from using it. So, we’re delighted that if you use the discount code ‘NEWSPAGETYA21’ when you click here to sign up, you’ll get three months for free.
Finally, if you have any questions, queries or comments about this week’s blog, we’d love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300