The Power of PR During the COVID Chaos

FiComm Partners on WealthManagement.com’s Wealthies Digital Forum

PR is a critical communications engagement tool that has the power to enhance a brand’s value and bolster its reputation with the right audiences. So, when FiComm President Kirsten Plonner was given the opportunity to participate as a panelist to help educate advisors on “The Power of PR” for the Wealthies Digital Forum, she gladly obliged.

The panel was hosted by CEO and Founder of Eminence Communications, Maria Rosati, and Kirsten was joined by Managing Director at Peak Brokerage Services Glenn Wiggle and Owner of Keramus, Paul Damon. Here are their key takeaways:

The Communication Medium Makes All the Difference

Podcasts and videos have been in the communications toolbox for years, but these platforms became the catalyst for advisors’ client engagement as we navigated a “new normal” during the global pandemic. But now that everyone is using them, how do you connect in a meaningful way? Glenn Wiggle, Founder and Partner of the Financial Guys, LLP, compares searching for the right podcasts to shopping at Amazon and listening to the radio to browsing at a hardware store. He mentioned that with podcasts, like Amazon, your audience must know what they’re looking for and then find *you* among so many other options. For radio, like a hardware store, you are already in the right place, but you need to find the specific tool you know is there somewhere.

So how do you stand out amongst the crowd? All panelists agreed that finding the most comfortable and authentic vehicle for you is the first step in engaging your audience. Once you have your medium, using your authentic voice sets you on a path towards building a brand that resonates with the right people, at the right time, with the right tool.

How Can We Stay Connected Without Getting Disconnected?

Now that we’re all experiencing Zoom fatigue, how can advisors pivot their communication strategy to connect in new and engaging ways? Paul Damon noted the importance of being well integrated in the marketing content machine from a PR perspective. Paul mentioned that advisors are using a variety of one-to-many mediums to reach their audiences and provide resources to help guide their financial decisions, such as hosting webinars, conducting video interviews, and sharing insights on news and industry happenings in trade and local media.

As a result, many advisors report that they feel more connected than ever before because they have more scalable ways to engage clients and prospects. Although the pandemic originally felt like a barrier for human connection, it turns out that advisors now have more “facetime” with clients and the wealth management community than ever before.

Stand Out in the Sea of Sameness

But even if you have the right message and the best medium, advisors must still distinguish themselves from the competition with authenticity. Kirsten Plonner discussed the power of storytelling and how now, more than ever, companies must use examples and insights to bring their expertise to life. A simple anecdote or two – without naming names — helps the audience relate to the story, connecting them to the real-life example that may closely mirror their own life experience. And when they hear something they like the advisor is not more than an email or phone call away.

As we continue to adapt to rapid change, staying engaged through the right communications mediums allows companies to tell their story and amplify their voice as we continue to navigate the COVID chaos. And by combining storytelling with the medium of choice, advisors will continue to connect with audiences in new and exciting ways.