How to Get Reporters' Attention to Move Beyond Stock Picks

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 19:12
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How to Get Reporters' Attention to Move Beyond Stock Picks

If there's one frustration I hear repeatedly from financial clients, it's that all too often reporters covering finance and investing are only interested in the "next hot stock." Of course, the simple reason for that is investors as a rule are always looking for the easy way out (e.g. high returns with very little time investment). There are some simple ways to get reporters to think beyond this narrow box, however.

 

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As financial advisors, you're experts not only at giving financial guidance, but also on a variety of niche, specialized areas that you use to separate your practice from your peers. For some, that's socially-responsible investing and others it might be a conservative, value approach. A still smaller group has carved out a niche serving certain professions, such as self-employed individuals. All of these niches contain a wealth of potential story ideas that you can use to differentiate your practice.

Getting started at promoting your practice is really as simple as noticing what a favorite reporter or editor is writing about and putting together information that you think will interest him/her. Financial professionals have a wealth of information at their fingertips that point to long and short-term trends -- things that are at the heart of any reporter's story. Professionals who use this information creatively to develop a story that no one's ever seen before can instantly jump at the top of any reporter's Rolodex.

Think in terms of story ideas that will help investors develop a plan, as that's what many are seeking to do now in this time of volatility. Quite simply, many investors are stumped as to where they go next because there are contradicting indicators everywhere they look. Add to that, many approaches that were time-tested ways to build wealth for the past few decades simply aren't working right now and may not for the foreseeable future. This is why you see so many outlets running series that chronicle various investors and their specific scenarios. Such a proposal can easily work for most financial advisors too; just be sure you're ready to go not only with ideas but specific information, as well as clients that would be willing to speak to the media.

Finally, don't be intimidated by the fact that you don't have a rapport with a particular reporter or editor. If there's one misconception out there about media relations that's not true, it's the notion that you have to personally know someone to secure a story. If that were true, most people who specialize in media relations as I do would be in big trouble these days, as reporters are literally getting laid off by the hundreds. In reality, all it takes is a solid idea that's put in the hands of the right people. Making sure it gets to the right people takes preparation and research, but it's not an impossible task.

 

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