Summer offers a great opportunity for investment advisors and money managers to get some media exposure in addition to sun exposure. Investment professionals are away from the office enjoying themselves, which means there are fewer sources for writers and editors to interview. Your chances have improved greatly for breaking into some print stories and getting a foot in the door to being on local or national financial television. There are some great proactive steps you can take to make the most of the dog days of summer and get your name out there through media exposure to gain name recognition, visibility, credibility and expert status to attract new business.
Break into Print
Have you been reading about the new financial regulations and shaking your head? Be proactive and voice your opinion by writing a letter to the editor in publications read by your clients. What is good and bad about the legislation? What don’t you agree with? Include suggestions on how it can be improved. This positions you as a thought leader and expert, building your credibility with your target audience. Or perhaps you don’t want to write about anything technical and want to cover some feel good personal story. For example, a Tennessee client of ours wrote a letter to the editor of her local community newspapers about her mother for Mother’s Day, describing how she taught her the value of money and financial planning. September 11 this year is Grandparent’s Day; perhaps there is a grandparent who taught you about money and you can share that story in a letter to the editor.
If a letter to the editor does not give you enough room to voice your opinion on a given topic that is important to you, send an email to the editor proposing a guest column. These typically don’t run more than 800 words. The email should give your credentials and brief bullet points of what topics the article will cover. When you send the article, be sure to include a high resolution photo of yourself. Be sure to spell-check and proofread the article, and send it prior to the deadline given by the editor.
A trick of the PR trade is to refer to editorial calendars of magazines in which you would like to appear. Most magazines post their editorial calendars on their websites, often under the advertising section as part of their media kit. This gives you a leg up to know what stories they are covering in which issues far in advance. Most magazines post their 12-month calendar of stories at the beginning of each year. If there is a topic you feel strongly about or are an expert in, why not contact the editor and offer to be a source or write a column on the topic? Be sure to reach out to the editor well in advance, say four to five months ahead of time. Often their lead time is this far in advance for a monthly publication.
Another way to gain media exposure is to offer to be a source for a blog. Many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal have various bloggers who contribute to the paper’s website. They need content for several blog entries a day, and are hungry for content and new sources.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to write a letter or column, but feel strongly about an issue in the news, another way to get exposure in the media is to offer yourself to a reporter for a one-on-one interview. Give your background, website and bio to the reporter, and send along some bullet points outlining your position on a given news item. This can be much easier than trying to come up with a news hook. For example, we’ve been able to have clients on financial television shows for the first time by having them comment on news items—perhaps taking the other point of view.
Your Television Debut
Television usually follows print in covering news stories. If there’s a big story in the Wall Street Journal, you can be sure that television will cover it as well, and often will reach out to sources in the original story. You’ll have a better shot at getting on financial television stations such as CNBC in the summer when fewer sources are available as guests.