Posted by Cognito on Tue, Nov 22 2016

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Financial services media: Planning your strategy for 2017

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London’s Coq d’Argent hosted our latest Breakfast Byte event on 16 November. Clients and friends of the company joined the Cognito team for an early morning panel discussion on the financial services media, and what to expect as we move into 2017.

Our panel brought together professionals from both the press and financial services PR to consider the evolving media landscape and its implications for communicators.

Moderated by Cognito’s Deputy CEO Andrew Marshall, the line-up included Deborah Botwood Smith, formerly Director of External Relations at AFME, Lawrence Gosling, Editorial Director at Incisive Media, Helen Philpot, Director of Business Change at News UK, and Kimberley Robinson, Head of Public Relations at Old Mutual Global Investors.

The US election and Brexit were front of mind. These divisive events have helped to engage audiences again, fuelled conversation and highlighted the massive appetite for news consumption across all ages. Our speakers identified the need for trusted sources now more than ever, citing Facebook’s fake news problem.

It’s clear that mainstream media still has a huge role to play, but – as the panel pointed out – we saw Trump vs. the US media, and Trump won. We’ll need to wait and see what the implications of that may be.

The lively debate unearthed a few common themes worth bearing in mind when considering your 2017 strategy.

Don’t spam

Be selective when it comes to approaching journalists. Like the wider population, they’re overwhelmed by content. Make sure that you’re providing considered analysis and opinion that adds something new. It doesn’t need to be off the wall, just fresh insight that’s a little different.

And good content is good content. It doesn’t matter if it’s paid, earned or owned so long as it’s engaging and draws in your target audience.

Tailor your content

Life is complicated, and audiences are time poor. Help them out by personalising content so they have what they need. Social media is a good way to remind them to return to your content. Compliance is often used as an excuse not to leverage social media in financial services, but this is changing...

Curiosity maketh journalist

The internet may have democratised news distribution, but there is still a major role for journalists in terms of adding the right context. Writing is only one part of the equation – good journalism is based on intellectual curiosity and relationships. So make sure that you continue to nurture those relationships.

Death of the exclusive

In these multi-channel times, the panel agreed that there’s no such thing as an exclusive anymore. It simply comes down to where the reader remembers consuming the information. Make your content impactful and memorable – make it the definitive source.

Cultivate a community

The lines are blurring between B2B and B2C. We’re all consumers now. But financial services is still rooted in trust. People want a sense of community, whether on or offline. Talk to your audiences, and get the data that enables you to provide a better service. One tip is to approach an industry columnist to moderate or host an event – good columnists attract loyalty and a ready-made community.

The Generation Game

The wave of millennials entering the financial services ecosystem means that adopting new technologies and moving further towards digital is crucial, and inevitable. This of course impacts on the media. There is still a sense of prestige in appearing in the print edition of Financial Times, but will this lessen once the current C-Suite retires?

Check out the best of the social chat from the event at #cogspeaks

Breakfast Byte, Events, London, Media, Media Relations, Planning, Strategies,
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