Six Years Later, One Thing Remains The Same
Back in April of 2014, while I was climbing the ranks at a New York City-based public relations firm, I published an article on LinkedIn titled 3 Reasons Why Third-Party Credibility is Crucial for Advisors.
Meanwhile, nearly 2,500 miles across the country in Los Angeles, a new marketing manager at a growing wealth management firm was tasked with her first assignment: finding new public relations representation. As luck would have it, she came across my article in her LinkedIn feed and decided to reach out.
I was sitting on a business plan at the time, but I thought I was at least another year away from being ready to go off on my own. Regardless, I agreed to chat and learn more about their public relations needs. We instantly hit it off. I elaborated on my concept of earning and leveraging third-party credibility, drawing a sharp contrast from the publicity-focused mindset, and it was exactly what they were looking for. Things moved quickly after that initial conversation, and before I could even process what was happening, I quit my job and officially launched Flackable six years ago today.
While our size, service capabilities and national client base have grown, our focus on building third-party credibility for the brands we represent remains constant. Meanwhile, the necessity of third-party credibility across financial and professional services has never been more consequential, particularly as our nation endures this period of social distancing and the new normal on the horizon.
During these unprecedented times, consumers and prospective clients do not want to be sold to. They want to be engaged, educated and entertained by the brands they do business with. And they expect brands to show validation beyond their own sales, marketing and advertising claims. They want to see third-party credibility.
Earning positive features and mentions from reputable news outlets proves to have a lasting impact for brand across all industries, but it is particularly essential for financial and professional services firms – where trust is often a deciding factor for prospective clients.
Leveraging third-party credibility is as important as earning it in the first place. Establishing systems and processes for integrating public relations success into a brand’s greater marketing operation is necessary to convert press into tangible, measurable business success. That’s the formula it takes to thrive in this new digital economy, and it’s the message I’ve stood by throughout my career.
Six years ago, that one article I wrote about third-party credibility changed the trajectory of my life and career. It has allowed me to help small and mid-sized businesses achieve levels of credibility, authority, influence and relevance they had only previously dreamed of. We’re helping our clients raise the ceilings of their business potential and reshaping the trajectory of their growth. We’re changing the lives and careers of the experts we represent, giving them next-level confidence, validating their life’s work and helping them share their expertise to the world. And we’re bringing new energy and ideas to our industry, disrupting the traditional agency model and offering financial and professional services firms a refreshing alternative. While our nation powers through this difficult time together, my focus is on the small and mid-sized businesses we represent, and I’m as fired up, motivated, passionate and enthusiastic as ever to help them reach new heights and emerge from this global crisis stronger than they could have imagined.
Brian Hart is the founder and president of Flackable, a national public relations agency headquartered in Philadelphia. Follow Brian on Twitter at @BrianHartPR.