There are many things to take into consideration when choosing a financial institution. Do they offer user-friendly mobile banking? Will someone help me set up my automatic bill pay? What are the fees? Do they offer special savings accounts for children? Among all these things, the biggest factor for most consumers is trust.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Association both have tools to help consumers identify where their money can be safely held. These are great resources to help jumpstart that trust. Consumers, however, need more time (and proof) to gain your full trust. As a result, it is essential for financial institutions to have a strategic public relations (PR) plan in place.
A strong PR plan involves no-cost visibility (a.k.a. earned media) through media and public relations strategies. And because these opportunities are presented by someone outside of a brand’s control, they are more credible. Below are ways PR will help you earn more trust.
- According to Cision’s 2017 State of the Media Report, more than 1,550 North American journalists and influencers reveal that people have more trust in earned media than paid or owned advertising. Placement in local media outlets and other trusted news outlets will earn you credibility in your community, with your customers/members and in your industry. For example, with Mother’s Day right around the corner, you may pitch the media a story on what your organization is doing to help empower more women to take better control of their finances. Have one of your customers/members share her personal story…another great third-party source.
- To those not working in the finance industry, money and financial planning can be complicated. PR is a great avenue to educate your audience on key topics. For another example around Mother’s Day, develop an opinion editorial on the topic of important financial advice learned from mom, and submit it to your local paper. This is a great way to provide key takeaways for your audience to better manage their finances and to build more credibility for you and your organization.
- There are seemingly endless PR tactics that you can utilize throughout the year to gain more trust:
- Bylined articles, such as an opinion editorial in your local newspaper
- Press releases to share positive company news
- TV news coverage and radio interviews to leverage a specific time of year, such as the Mother’s Day story idea above
- Thought leadership, such as being quoted in an industry publication or featured in an expert Q&A
- All secured media opportunities should be shared via social media to reach more customers/members and others outside your organization
Using public relations can significantly impact consumer perceptions, helping to build trust, improve customer retention and grow customer/member base. If you need help developing and implementing a successful PR strategy, contact Chartwell Agency to get more PR bang for your buck.