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Financial advisors, a media platform can boost your business

I heard good things about Qwoted, a platform that connects reporters with sources, from some writer friends. So, I asked the firm for a guest post on how advisors can benefit from such platforms, which also include HARO and ProfNet. The post below by Madelynne Kislovsky, Qwoted’s deputy editor and marketing manager, is the result.

Madelynne told me, “Over 400 financial advisors use Qwoted, thanks to dozens of weekly source requests from reporters looking for insights from wealth managers and financial planners.”

Financial advisors, a media platform can boost your business

By Madelynne Kislovsky

Securing earned media opportunities is a crucial element of any marketing strategy. A necessary first step to garnering free media coverage is building relationships with reporters, which boosts the chances of getting your quotes and ideas in front of the audiences of top publications. The coverage you gain as an expert in your field will play a valuable role in the perception of your business by establishing you as a trustworthy source in your industry. Hiring a PR company to manage this can be costly and attempting to secure media opportunities with no guidance often stretches small business owners too thin.

While doing it yourself can be intimidating, there are platforms that assist with obtaining media coverage fast. Qwoted helps professionals in any field cut through the noise and connect with reporters who are looking for specific information around a particular topic. Reporters can also search Qwoted’s media database directly to find vetted, relevant sources. As a member of the Qwoted community, you’ll receive relevant source requests daily, which provide context around your outreach to reporters and propel you as a credible media source.

Sharing your expertise is never a poor choice, as any brand can benefit from securing earned media coverage on either the local or national level. However, reaching out to a journalist requires a collaborative approach. Keep the reporter’s needs in mind throughout the conversation, especially because most good journalists can sniff out your motives right away.

Here are some tips:

  • Respond to source requests as soon as possible to increase your chances of securing the media opportunity.
  • Include written responses to reporters’ questions in your initial pitches. You’ll make the reporter’s job simpler by immediately providing what they’re after. This will improve your chances of being included in the story.
  • Stay away from lengthy anecdotes and “TL;DR” paragraphs.
  • Be thoughtful and offer value without expecting anything in return. The ultimate goal is to build relationships with the media. This approach will provide more returns in the long term.
  • Do a bit of research on the journalist beforehand to learn about the topics they cover.
  • Make sure you have a plan should you receive a piece of coverage. You’ll want to leverage your earned media across your website, social channels, and directly with customers and prospects.

Garnering earned media opportunities doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult, or time-consuming. Make the most of your time by securing media opportunities the smart way. Research affordable alternatives and find which media request platform works best for your business model. You’ll find yourself securing opportunities and expanding your brand faster than you thought possible.

 

Financial PR opportunities for professionals–and they’re free

Everybody likes to get something for free. That includes free financial PR opportunities suitable for financial advisors and other financial professionals.

Your first stop in looking for free PR should be the professional associations that you belong to. Back when I reported for trade publications, I relied heavily on those associations to find me experts for interviews. I sent them the my topic, publication, deadline, and contact information. They shared my info with their members or suggested individual experts to me.

The flip side of the help that I received? These associations’ members received leads at no cost to them. Contact your association to see how it can help you with financial PR opportunities.

Today there are a number of services, such as ProfNet and HARO, which provide PR leads to broader audiences via email. I believe you must pay a fee to receive leads from ProfNet, while HARO leads are free only for an unfiltered flow of leads.

VestedIQ for financial PR opportunities and more

Recently I discovered VestedIQ as an e-newsletter source of free PR opportunities for financial professionals. As I drafted this post, the most recent issue of “Weekly Expert Source Requests” included press requests from CreditCards.com, Magnify Money, The Street, European Pensions, and Global Risk Regulator. You can sign up for this weekly email (and the other emails listed below) through VestedIQ’s contact form (or emailing iq@fullyvested.com)—and naming the newsletter you’d like to receive.

Of course, reporters are always in a hurry, so you have a better chance of making it into an article if you’re among the first to reply. You can sign up for real-time alerts from VestedIQ.

VestedIQ also has a “Weekly Opportunities” email that includes, but goes beyond, financial expert source requests. It also lists financial marketing opportunities, special reports, events, and award submission deadlines. A friend of mine found an exciting job opportunity in one of these emails.

VestedIQ is a financial database for PR, marketing and advertising opportunities. They want you to sign up for more than their freebies. I don’t know anything about their paid services, but the freebies are worth checking out.

What financial PR opportunities do YOU value?

I’m curious to learn how you find your best financial PR opportunities. If you’ve been speaking to the media for years, and you work with a financial PR agency, you may not need to work hard. But not everyone is so fortunate. Do you have advice for your peers?

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Early Bird pricing ends Jan. 31

Don’t sabotage your website’s news page

In the News page

Click to see my news page with items listed in the correct, reverse-chronological order

A news page featuring your firm’s mentions in the media can boost your credibility, as long as you avoid one financial advisor’s mistake.

“Wow! This advisor hasn’t gotten any press since 2006.” That was my first thought when I looked at this advisor’s news page earlier this year. I immediately thought, “He should delete his news page.”

But then I scanned the rest of the page. I realized that the advisor had listed his media coverage in chronological order. He started in 2006 and continued up to the present day way, way down the page.

Unfortunately, most readers won’t scan the entire page. They’ll stop with the misperception that the advisor is a dud at getting the attention of the press.

The lesson for you? List your news coverage in reverse chronological order, putting the most recent items at the top of your page. For an example, see my “In the News” page.

Using the proper order is a small step with a big impact.

5 PR tips for financial advisors

Public relations can be a powerful tool for financial advisors. In “How to Get PR Without Hiring an Agency,” Mike Byrnes shared many tips tailored to advisors in his presentation to the Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts on Feb. 27, 2013. I share some of his tips below, with an emphasis on the lesser-known tips.

1. Use Skype, FaceTime, or Google+ Hangouts

You know how you make a deeper connection when you meet someone face to face? You can achieve a similar connection with tech-savvy reporters who use Skype video, FaceTime, or Google+ Hangouts to communicate using video in addition to audio.

Google+ Hangouts have an added advantage. You can offer a video recording of your call to the reporter. These days even traditional print publications are hungry for video to display on their websites.

However, don’t try to force these technologies on reporters who don’t use them. You’ll just annoy them.

2. Hire an intern who’s a journalist

You need content to feed your PR effort. If you’re on a tight budget, but need help generating content, hire an intern who’s a journalist so she or he writes well.

The intern’s lack of industry knowledge can be a plus. How’s that? You’ll need to explain things in simple, nonfactual terms. This is the language your clients and prospects will respond to.

Just make sure you allow plenty of time to educate your intern. He or she will have a steep learning curve.

3. Provide hyperlinks to your website

If you publish an article on an outside website, be sure to provide a hyperlink to your website. This makes it easy for readers to find you. In an interesting twist on this strategy, Byrnes also suggested commenting online (with an appropriate link) on articles or blogs that your target audience reads. This could introduce you to people who read those comments.

4. Reduce the potential for misquotes

You will be misquoted or misinterpreted at some point in your PR experience. It won’t be malicious. It may be something you can avoid by taking an extra step.

The extra step is to email the reporter with key points after your conversation. If the reporter shares questions prior to your call, you can prepare and send your key points in advance.

A  note from my personal experience as a reporter: Don’t expect reporters to send you articles for your approval prior to publication. They may let you check the accuracy of your quotes before they submit the finished story. However, the more demands you make, the less attractive you’ll be as an interviewee.

5. Follow reporters on social media

It’s much easier to interact with reporters on social media than by traditional means. If you retweet and make positive comments on their articles, you’re helping them look good on the job.

Have these tips worked for you?

If you’ve tried these techniques, I’d like to hear from you about your experiences.