Thursday, February 01, 2007

Got a question for PR expert Beth Chapman?

You can post your questions in the Comments section below or in the Comments section of any articles that Beth posts here during February.

It's easy to post Comments, but if you're befuddled, you can email your questions to Susan Weiner through the Contact form on her website.

I'd like to start the questions here.

Beth,
Many of my clients write quarterly commentary on investment markets. Can they use that to get interviewed by reporters? Is it enough to add the reporters to their mailing list? Or is there something else that they should do?

Beth Chapman said...

It is a good protocol to send quarterly commentary on investment markets to a media list you develop over the years. You want the media to know that you have a broad understanding of what is happening in the economy and the markets. In your cover e-mail, you can increase the media's interest by focusing on an investment your company made -- one stock or a sector -- in the last quarter that shows how your firm's strategy paid off. One hint: please make certain that those on your mailing list actually write about the economy and the markets. You can find this out by reading the publications to which you are mailing your information. Nothing is as frustrating to an editor as receiving repetitive e-mails with information that would never be used by that publication.

For my readers' convenience, I'm copying your questions and Beth's answers into the body of this message.

Anonymous said...

I recently started my own investment advisory firm. After going through all the necessary start-up issues last year, I am really ready to grow my business and build up my assets under management (AUM). Due to a non-compete agreement with my previous employer, I was not able to approach a lot of my former clients; so now I am starting from scratch. As a new independent, registered investment advisor (RIA) with limited staff and budget, how can PR help me get more clients in the door and build up my AUM?

5:05 PM


Beth Chapman said...

The biggest hurdle for a new RIA, clearly, is recognition. PR is the fastest way I know to become a trusted expert with the media. It is very worthwhile paying attention to your media plan when you are first in business. Here are some ideas:
Make a list of client questions and turn them into an informative story idea. It only has to be several paragraphs: For instance, you are getting a lot of questions about whether it is appropriate to take money out of savings to pay down a mortgage so a client enters retirement free of this debt. Do a hypothetical chart that shows the benefits of keeping the mortgage versus paying off the mortgage. Send it to reporters or syndicated columnists you read who are doing personal finance stories. Another idea is to hold brown bag luncheons in your office for your clients and their "friends" who are also your prospective clients. You provide coffee and a spectacular dessert from nearby bakery. Develop a short list of pertinent story ideas, based on what your clients are asking and the story ideas you are sending to reporters and offer to give your clients and their friends answers during lunch.

9:26 PM


Anonymous said...

Our firm's primary client base is high net worth individuals and families. Our experience has been that most of our new business opportunities have come from referrals from existing clients and other people who know about us (friends and other professionals). Most of our "marketing" goes toward greater awareness to these people. How would we go about generating greater awareness of our firm when our potential clients are a small sub-set of the general population?

10:16 AM


Beth Chapman said...

It's actually an excellent situation when a firm knows that their potential clients are a small sub-set of the general population. However, the point of working with the media in this case is to establish brand, so that your satisfied clients can pass on a informative news clip or article reprint to their friends as a third party endorsement that goes beyond your existing client's opinion. Third party endorsements are very powerful, particularly when a firm takes the time to write a journal-length white paper and gets it published by the Journal of Financial Planning or the Journal of Financial Services Professionals. You can buy permission to post the article on your website, or pay for reprints, sending them to your existing clients with a request for referral, or to prospects with an invitation for a meeting. The fact that you have been found to be expert enough to be published goes a long way in establishing you as the trusted expert the high net worth family wants to trust.

11:59 AM

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Beth Chapman said...

It is a good protocol to send quarterly commentary on investment markets to a media list you develop over the years. You want the media to know that you have a broad understanding of what is happening in the economy and the markets. In your cover e-mail, you can increase the media's interest by focusing on an investment your company made -- one stock or a sector -- in the last quarter that shows how your firm's strategy paid off. One hint: please make certain that those on your mailing list actually write about the economy and the markets. You can find this out by reading the publications to which you are mailing your information. Nothing is as frustrating to an editor as receiving repetitive e-mails with information that would never be used by that publication.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently started my own investment advisory firm. After going through all the necessary start-up issues last year, I am really ready to grow my business and build up my assets under management (AUM). Due to a non-compete agreement with my previous employer, I was not able to approach a lot of my former clients; so now I am starting from scratch. As a new independent, registered investment advisor (RIA) with limited staff and budget, how can PR help me get more clients in the door and build up my AUM?

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Beth Chapman said...

The biggest hurdle for a new RIA, clearly, is recognition. PR is the fastest way I know to become a trusted expert with the media. It is very worthwhile paying attention to your media plan when you are first in business. Here are some ideas:
Make a list of client questions and turn them into an informative story idea. It only has to be several paragraphs: For instance, you are getting a lot of questions about whether it is appropriate to take money out of savings to pay down a mortgage so a client enters retirement free of this debt. Do a hypothetical chart that shows the benefits of keeping the mortgage versus paying off the mortgage. Send it to reporters or syndicated columnists you read who are doing personal finance stories. Another idea is to hold brown bag luncheons in your office for your clients and their "friends" who are also your prospective clients. You provide coffee and a spectacular dessert from nearby bakery. Develop a short list of pertinent story ideas, based on what your clients are asking and the story ideas you are sending to reporters and offer to give your clients and their friends answers during lunch.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our firm's primary client base is high net worth individuals and families. Our experience has been that most of our new business opportunities have come from referrals from existing clients and other people who know about us (friends and other professionals). Most of our "marketing" goes toward greater awareness to these people. How would we go about generating greater awareness of our firm when our potential clients are a small sub-set of the general population?

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Beth Chapman said...

It's actually an excellent situation when a firm knows that their potential clients are a small sub-set of the general population. However, the point of working with the media in this case is to establish brand, so that your satisfied clients can pass on a informative news clip or article reprint to their friends as a third party endorsement that goes beyond your existing client's opinion. Third party endorsements are very powerful, particularly when a firm takes the time to write a journal-length white paper and gets it published by the Journal of Financial Planning or the Journal of Financial Services Professionals. You can buy permission to post the article on your website, or pay for reprints, sending them to your existing clients with a request for referral, or to prospects with an invitation for a meeting. The fact that you have been found to be expert enough to be published goes a long way in establishing you as the trusted expert the high net worth family wants to trust.

11:59 AM  

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