Financial corporate communications & media relations is probably the most vital division within a bank, hedge fund or financial institution. Over the past 20 years, VPs of Communications and/or similar job titles have risen to become VIPs within the companies as they are responsible for the national or global reputation and thereby, control the consumer confidence and opinion.
Massive operates as an intermediary between financial corporate communications and the public at large. From dozens of case studies in supporting banks and other institutions to make their message permeate through media and reach the desired eyes and ears of consumers, here are a few guidelines:
The qualities of a strong communicator
To build confidence in consumers you must strive to think from the point of view of a customer of the bank and not as a “communicator”. The bulk of your time will be devoted to familiarize yourself with the ever-day customer and their expectations. To do this, it is important there is a synergy between the financial communications division and the servicing branches and complaints/support departments as these are are in direct communication with customers throughout the days.
- Collect daily reports
- Get feedback on upsets and policy concerns
- Find out what the bank employees are having most trouble resolving
- Get positive feedback on what people like.
- Survey, survey, survey. You can never have enough information.
…they are responsible for the national or global reputation [of the bank] and thereby, control the consumer confidence and opinion.
Having the right attitude
Years of working along side financial communicators has shown us that to survive you have to fast, proactive and a sprinkle of dog-eat-dog within you. Bite or be bitten, run or be dominated. Be the first to get the media story out, and be at the forefront of new offerings and consumer opinions.
Watch the latest trends in the financial industry
First, Financial Communications personnel must have a rich understanding of the luxury industry. The financial space attracts investors, high wealth customers and middle class customers to the degree they convey the idea that “wealth can be made here”.
Second, keeping track of the growth of new technologies which allow speed of communication. Consumer expectations are extremely high and if you don’t get back to people fast, then you are dead in their minds. Fast communication channels must be implemented across the board from wealth management to account management.
Third would be media positioning. A good communicator would be able to rapidly evaluate market trends and through data collection and analytics know what consumers want to hear and push internal policies and media campaigns towards this.
Be unique in your media relations
Realize that customers or the media do not want to hear clichés that the bank is “unique”, “be-spoke”, or “trusted”, etc. There is obviously not a single recipe for the right approach or messaging and each must be individually consulted on, but there are the usual eye-rolling statements so overused they have a negative effect.
Depending on the maturity level of a bank’s brand, it is possible to apply different communication techniques using a scale of higher or lower rational and gauging whether there should be more or less emotion. What is important is to be consistent in media communications.
How we can help
Massive has established ties to hundreds of financial media sources over the years in 9 countries. Our financial influencer-driven programs can shape the next media campaign, product launch or news shaping challenges you now face.