Ah, the Public! How Public Relations Really Works

Vessenes, Peter M.
August 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;Aug2004, Vol. 17 Issue 8, p32
Academic Journal
This article starts the process of conveying to the right audience the message of who financial planners are. 'Touching' an audience, in marketing lingo, means how often an individual in that audience hears or finds out about the planner through some form of communication or media. Market research for financial services has shown that audiences matching the client profile of financial planners need to be touched at least 24 times over a 12-month period. Touches wind up coming in only two forms--advertising or public relations. Advertising is you declaring who you are, what you are, what makes you different, and why someone in your targeted audience should work with you. Public relations is someone the targeted audience already trusts telling them that the planner is worth trusting. Public relations is the result of having a network of contacts in a given market area that believe it is newsworthy to give the financial planner the exposure. That is why planners cannot create their own public relations campaign. They must work with a public relations (PR) agency. Almost all markets outside of a rural community have PR agencies. These agencies vary in size, cost, concentration, or diversification in types of businesses in their market area, and the value of their network.


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