Responding to the occasional reporter call is not enough.
Success in the public relations arena means you reverse the process: it's your story, your theme, and your timeframe in publications you've selected. Excellent media coverage is the result of developing and consistently communicating a focused message about you - a message about your investment style, your economic themes and your performance.
Objectives. Timeframes. Accountability.
Sounds simple enough, but what are the components of a sound PR plan? "First, your PR plan must be in alignment with the strategic goals of the firm - and with the marketing objectives," offers Melissa Murphy of SunStar. "Knowing who you are trying to reach and what you want them to do are key questions that must be addressed by both your marketing efforts and PR tactics."
Your plan must include a series of related objectives that are specific and actionable. An individual, who certainly can call on team members or outside resources, must be accountable to management for each objective. And, each objective must have a time-frame for completion. Most importantly, your plan can only succeed if you have commitment from top management, sales and marketing.
Before You Start
As you build your plan, Sunstar's Hibre Teklemariam recommends you start by reviewing the present situation. "What worked or didn't work in your media effort last year? Do you already have favorable reporter relationships - who are they, where and why? What story ideas did you pitch that yielded positive results? When reviewing the past, looking at individual successes allows you to identify what you want to repeat or areas to pay more attention to," says Teklemariam. "Then, look at the future state you desire. Will you need to add platforms, be in front of the public more frequently or overcome any obstacles? Do you know exactly what you want to communicate and to whom? Are you trying to establish a brand, support your sales team, grow assets, retain assets or open new distribution channels? Your plan needs to be built around these answers."
Make It Happen
Specific objectives will vary depending on where your funds are in their lifecycle and your overall goal. At all times, each objective must be tied to a timeframe and a particular individual. Specific tactics can be developed to:
- Create and institutionalize a consistent message across portfolio management, sales and customer contact personnel.
- Ensure a cohesive fit with marketing materials.
- Gain commitment from spokespersons at the firm to participate, ensuring an understanding of frequency and expectations. Will they do phone interviews, TV appearances, or press conferences?
- Provide media training for portfolio managers to ensure they understand how to respond in a way that keeps the message focused on your firm.
- Target reporters with credibility, determining how many to target, how frequently to contact them and which media will most effectively reach your audience.
- Develop and retain positive relationships with existing reporters.
- Target media to maximize coverage by identifying specific TV programs, trade or retail magazines, newspapers and online opportunities such as web casts.
- Manage reprints by developing a budget, providing sales training on how to effectively use reprints, working through compliance issues in advance and posting articles online.
- Pursue speaking and networking opportunities that fit your goal and schedule.
- Host conference calls consistently, pre-determining frequency and target audience.
SunStar specializes in working with fund and separate account management firms to create and execute a viable public relations program. We develop strategies that will help you attract and retain investors, strengthen distribution and build brands.
Excellent PR Can Happen
You have to have a plan and work that plan. We’d like to help! Call us at 703-299-8390 or visit our website.
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