Fall of 2008 was quite a momentous time; Barack Obama became the first African American president-elect, the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series, the first installment of the Twilight series hit theaters and, yes, the stock market crashed.
That crash, dubbed the greatest U.S. economic collapse since the Great Depression, precipitated a bundle of problems, including massive job losses and homeowner bankruptcies that led to a lifetime of emotional scars for many Americans.
In 2008, many economists did not see the recession coming; they simply believed the overheated housing market was returning to normalcy. However, the difference today is that two-thirds of American CFOs are predicting a recession by this time next year, and Garry Shilling believes it “may already be underway.” With this in mind, financial advisors should prepare accordingly.
Regardless of whether experts and analysts are right about timing, another recession, at some future point, is inevitable. However, with recession signals gaining steam, the time to invest in public relations for financial advisors is right now.
Emerging as a thought leader is the key to retaining anxious clients and winning over new ones during a turbulent time. By investing in public relations, your firm can maintain integrity, utilize third-party credibility to elevate your brand and strengthen client trust.
Clients Are More Likely To Change Advisors During Economic Downturns
Dreary headlines and memories of 2008 may prompt investors to place their current advisors under a microscope. Historically, economic downturns serve as a catalyst for clients to switch advisors.
To wind up on the winning end of this client movement, financial advisors should seriously consider bringing on public relations help immediately to develop authority, relevance and influence ahead of this anticipated recession. A results-driven public relations team will raise your profile as a though leader — or even a local celebrity — all while establishing credibility to help put new and existing clients at ease.
Third-Party Credibility Is The Key To Gaining Trust When Times Are Tough
An essential way to gain trust from key audiences during a recession is to earn third-party credibility. This includes press coverage, published thought leadership articles, awards and speaking engagements. Also known as earned media, this is often merit-based, and therefore carries more credibility. However, to gain this credibility, your firm must prioritize public relations.
When your clients and prospective clients see you in the media outlets they know and trust, it legitimizes your brand. Knowing how to successfully leverage third-party credibility can turn press into profit for your firm. Leveraging third-party credibility includes sharing media coverage on social media, posting press hits to the company website and hanging framed features and awards throughout the office. Financial advisors must establish and maintain their credibility, especially during a recession.
Mainstream Financial News Opportunity
National media is extra hungry for finance experts to share their expertise during a recession. A decade ago, you could turn on just about any local or national news show during the recession, and you would see final advisors as featured guests providing tips and analysis.
According to a study held by Pew Research Center in 2009, 29 percent of coverage on network television was devoted to economy-related issues from February into early July. Cable television devoted 28 percent of coverage to the recession. It’s uncertain exactly how much media coverage will be spent on the next recession. However, having the chance to appear on one of these shows as a thought leader is great a public relations opportunity.
While the looming recession may bring thoughts of what’s to come, financial advisors must remain levelheaded for their clients. Public relations professionals can ensure that while the recession may not be the smoothest months, you will have established your credibility as an advisor, with a much better chance of maintaining your clients and winning over new ones. Adding public relations into your business plan is crucial, so pounce on the opportunity now, before the recession hits.
Molly Dooling is a Public Relations Associate at Flackable, a national, full-service public relations and digital marketing agency headquartered in Philadelphia.