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Navigating Regulatory Waters: Friend or Food? How To Stay Ahead in Financial Services

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Public Relations Financial Services

Maximise your PR Partnership: 5 Tips for Successful Collaboration

Ah, the corporate dilemma – should we handle our public relations in-house or hire an agency? And... if we do hire an agency, how can we get the best results from that investment? ...



Here's a bold and perhaps dangerous idea. Stay with me... there's a pot of gold in this story. Almost a billion dollars. But it's at the end of the rainbow, after the unicorn and before "how you too can have Happily Ever After".  


Just like parenting, finding true love and being a best friend, your financial services PR firm and the results you achieve together should, mostly, feel easy.  

Over time each of these relationships should give you back as much or more than you put in.  

Each should, over time, make you a better person while not messing with the essence of what's good about you already.  

And over a lifetime or a career, these relationships can, at their best, offer you almost an almost infinite opportunity to be a good person for others and, eventually, be valued in new ways.  

I'm not saying any of these things come without effort or that you can show up as a sh*tshow and expect guaranteed success. 

I am saying there's a lot to learn from our failures, without getting too hung up on them, and that it's worth knowing what "great" looks like and using "easy" as one sign we're on the right path and should stay there.  

At least that's how I think about it. Ah..... but right here and now, it doesn't feel that easy, does it?  

Some days, years and eras are hard work, soul-destroying or heartbreaking. Or all three. 

But if it's that hard for more than a reason or a season (as the saying goes), it’s time to ask if this is the right relationship or approach for the long term.  

In an abrupt departure from lifelong love, I have to say that the work we do that works kind of follows these well-worn "life" grooves.  

You may know I have teenagers, am divorced and happily re-partnered, and don't see my best friends enough. I have known, as I'm sure you have, true heartbreak whether by deathbed (too young), love lost or turned to something less lovely (I own my 51%+ of screwing up those relationships), and the exhaustion of being parents to three kids under four while starting a business. Together. 

There is much hard work in these life experiences and relationships, just as in our work, but there must also be learning, reward and ultimately, ease. Sometimes life hands us 🍋 in what feels like unfair quantities. I'm the person who's going to start a lemonade stand (thanks for listening 🤣).  


Okay... back to work... your work, be that super fund or funds management business, wealth advice practice, property business or capital partner, has every right to expect PR that works as well as your own business does for your client. For many, that means some combination of 'PR" tactics like social media, media coverage, and digital marketing to deliver a measurable outcome. 

This is the "Unicorn" PR that drives new clients, members or investors right up to your front door (website) and into the right sort of relationship with you. Innuendo aside, we've proven this year that PR and the right lead generation funnel, marketing automation, and content marketing will drive traffic, leads and revenue in financial services with relative ease.  

Too good to be true? Well, numbers speak.  

Pot of gold 

Assuming you're in the business, overall, of helping people or other companies do well, you probably have PR-worthy content or latent assets that can become good PR. If it's too hard to find and use those things, maybe you're in the wrong business or PR relationship, or you need a radically different approach. On the other hand, when it feels easy and the results are good or great, we're all in the right place.  

How good can it get? Almost billion dollars worth.  

That's the 2021 funds flow BlueChip has directed towards clients who serve other businesses or individuals using a primarily PR-led approach.  

Some other real (work) results are: 

  1. 462% increase in website hits (2021 compared to 2020) 

  2. 202% increase in new website visitors (CY 2020), average page visits per visitor were 3-4 and average bounce rate improved by 88% 

  3. 80% of campaign registrations generated from new leads 

  4. 382% increase in leads generated (compared to previous campaigns) 

Happily Ever After (yours, not mine) 

None of that happened overnight.  

One B2B client did double their leads in the second or third month of our work, but I'd be stupid to say that program, and the results, are sustainable or easy yet. It can take a year for things to get "easy", and sometimes if it was easy to start, it gets hard later, and we have to rebuild the whole thing. 

More often, it's "hard now easier later" (like children?), and we crack the formula in the first quarter or six months, then it builds over time. 

Long term programs always need a regular proactive course correction, and even with that, sometimes (not often!) sh*t just breaks, and everyone has to run around fixing it.  

Also, like children... just ask my mother, who still graciously takes my calls.  

One client (Hyperion Asset Management) has the tailwinds of award-winning fund performance, so while we can learn a lot from that work, it's worth pointing out that other clients with lead generation outcomes don't have such a natural advantage. If I look across the highest performing PR programs, all in financial services but ex-retail banking, there IS ease once we get momentum.  

Vital to that - and whatever your equivalent is of the pot of gold - are several of the following:   

  1. A clear target market 

  2. Excellent content  

  3. “Always on” profile raising  

  4. Good performance or an outstanding offer (yes, it really does make a difference - but it’s not the only thing that will help grow a business)  

  5. Long term planning  

  6. “Time in” marketing 

  7. Integration, and learning from that... 

  8. Building your database and nurturing them   

You can find the complete list of “golden rules” we’ve discovered in growth marketing here or watch the webinar on the same topic here.  

Point 7 above is why we increasingly see PR deliver measurably better client or adviser/gatekeeper conversion, leads, and revenue. If the work is multi-channel and across digital, we can often drive new business from an integrated marketing and PR program. Importantly our (PRIA Golden Target Award winner) work on the Hyperion listing all included tracking codes so we could evaluate on the fly and adjust where needed.   

We all know that while public relations (PR) is still one of the most effective tools in the financial services marketer’s kit, best practice calls for an integrated approach that will amplify your company’s PR and drive leads. And you don’t need a magic wand to get great results. 

You do need it to be intrinsically rewarding, worth doing, and easy. 

Unlike our children, partners and best friends, we don't expect you to put up with us otherwise. 

This blog was originally published in our fortnightly email, Take a beat Tuesday. To get these direct to your inbox before they're published, subscribe here

If you’d like to discuss adjusting your communication strategy for the current times, please call us or fill out our contact form here. 

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