The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Local Media Exposure Part I: Becoming a Newsmaker

by HighTower Advisors on October 16, 2019

When it comes to leveraging the media, many advisors want to go big or go home. While it is true that a positive mention or quote in the Wall Street Journal can offer significant exposure, it’s certainly not the only caliber of press that advisors should pursue.

Local media coverage, be it on the news, in the paper or even in a popular blog, can play an important role in a financial advisor’s overall success in marketing or business development. After all, it’s essential that potential clients in your area are aware of the services you provide and come to respect you as a thought leader in your field.

Over the next month, we will lay out a four-step process for advisors to build their brands by leveraging local media. The first step in this process? Becoming a regional “newsmaker.”

What is a newsmaker?

A newsmaker is a person or business who actively produces interesting and newsworthy events, ideas and announcements. Advisors can become newsmakers by publicizing notable company developments such as awards, new hires, charity event sponsorships, high-profile volunteer work, internship/mentorship programs for students interested in finance careers, or new office openings.

Prior to publicizing news, however, advisors should familiarize themselves with the various local publications that have a voice in their communities to understand how and what they typically report on. This will help to strategically position announcements to most effectively generate coverage amongst your target audience.

Three effective tactics for communicating company developments:

  • Write and distribute a press release using a media-friendly structure, covering the who-what-where-when-why that culminates with a company boilerplate (a concise, formal business description).
  • Write a compelling email pitch letter to generate interest in your announcement, increasing the likelihood of your content reaching your media distribution; this letter can also serve as an outline for talking points as you conduct follow-up outreach to journalists via phone.
  • Write a social post that links to your press release and/or media coverage or that simply announces your news to your followers.

Awards & Rankings

Receiving awards and earning positions on high-profile rankings is a cornerstone of building brand awareness within this industry. Such designations not only serve to enhance your reputation amongst existing and potential clients, but can also attract new talent to your advisory group.

Many highly-regarded industry publications recognize top advisors on annual lists and rankings. The application process for each recognition, however, can greatly vary. Begin by developing a target list of national and regional awards. For some guidance, conduct an informal competitive research exercise, identifying accolades earned by industry peers and those you aspire to emulate. Once you become familiar with the requirements of that list, narrow down to a selection of awards/rankings that seem applicable to your business and begin the application process.

Quality vs. Quantity

When conducting media outreach, it is important to be mindful of how many daily emails and calls they receive. Use your discretion in determining whether your company news warrants a pitch for a feature story or simply an FYI/company update. If you’re pitching a specific outlet or journalist too often with news that’s neither on their beat or newsworthy, your emails will lose their intended impact and may find themselves sent straight to the trash folder.

To avoid bombarding the media, consider packaging similar initiatives in one announcement. For example, use one communication to announce both a new hire as well as the launch of a business offering. Highlighting multiple news in one communication can provide a more impactful platform to showcase the momentum that your business is experiencing.

To learn more about how HighTower can help advisors leverage the local media, download our guidebook, email and tune in next week for the second installment of this series!

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