Finance sector PR can be a very competitive environment, with a large number of players competing for limited space.
The key players in the sector are high street banks (both domestic and foreign), building societies, money aggregator sites, consumer groups as well as other specialist providers. As such, it pays to know your competition and apply a carefully considered PR strategy to ensure your voice is heard.
Before you begin
It's important to understand the number of different routes to market your finance business before selecting the best type of media to target.
Obviously, people 'buy' personal finance products through a large number of sources (eg. high street branch, online, telephone, money aggregator sites, financial advisor, direct sales stands, supermarket checkouts etc.); often, where the product is sold is reflective of the complexity of their need and the product.
This route to market will almost always also influence the media choice of potential customers (e.g. if your customer is buying via a money aggregator site (e.g. moneysupermarket), they might read other online reviews/stories), and you should bare this in mind when deciding what type of media to approach.
Insight, advice and much more
Most national personal finance sections and online news sources carry some sort of 'best buy' comparison tables to help guide their readers. Getting your product showcased here can do wonders for your business.
Outside of best buy tables, titles vary significantly in the information and stories they will carry; some like surveys and research where others prefer case study lead articles and features that contain opinion and advice.
Analyse your target consumer and understand the media they consume – this will guide your PR strategy.
Setting the agenda
It's important to understand where publications take their news from. Some publication write based on their post bag, while others will rely on industry commentators to help identify hot topics
Because of the importance of many commentators, it is worth considering them as an extra audience/media outlet and you should plan an engagement strategy with them into your PR strategy.
It's important to stay up-to-date. Often online bulletins/emails from key industry titles will set the agenda – by identifying a story early on you may be able to add to the debate and provide further comment.
Think laterally. Just because you didn't initiate the story it's worth considering if you can add to it with statistics, comment, further insight or even a case study that illustrates the topic.