In today’s economic climate, the financial sector needs PR more than ever. From inflation, third-party scams, potential recession and as the spotlight on financial disparity gains attention, there is so much to navigate. The financial sector includes banks, but it also covers money management and investment firms, financial advisors, insurance companies, digital banking, portfolio management and more. With such a wide range of verticals, there’s quite a bit that PR can accomplish on behalf of brands in the financial sector.
What can PR do?
Here are just a few of the initiatives PR can accomplish:
Build trust – As a financial provider, it can be difficult to build trust with the current public perception. A 2021 poll of U.S. adults showed that only 39% said they trusted financial services companies in general, 36% said they trusted investment and wealth management companies and 48% trusted payment companies such as credit card providers. If a financial services company wants to grow or retain its customer base, a great way is to build trust. PR can help through digital marketing, content marketing and earned media features that reach the target audience with messaging that will show credibility to earn that valuable trust.
Educate – While it can be tempting to focus on a sales message, educating the target audience with no expectation of financial buy-in can be incredibly smart. Part of a financial company’s content could be to provide helpful tips and tools, and to also alert the target audience to any trends or scams. Scams have become a scourge on the financial sector, with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reporting that in 2021 consumers lost $5.8 billion to fraud, which is a 70% increase from 2020. A financial company that educates its audience about scams will not only be providing an important service, but it could also help build trust.
Connect – Consumers want to connect with brands on a deeper level, and the financial sector is no exception. A research report by Accenture found that, “Banks that infuse humanity and personalization into their digital interactions can forge strong customer connections, build trust and drive growth.” Digital marketing and PR are important components in building a connection with the target audience, and right now, as trust is failing, understanding and connecting with the customer is vital.
Why invest now?
A 2022 J.D. Power report discovered that customers want support from their financial institutions during challenging times, and right now is an incredibly challenging time for the average American. Many are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, and we’re seeing increasing inflation as well as teetering on the cusp of a recession. Americans are struggling, and they want support and guidance from the financial sector, but they want it from an organization that they trust. Now is the time for the financial sector to dive into PR, to authentically educate, build trust and connect with their target audiences.
Count on PR
The financial sector could benefit from some strong PR strategy right now. The target audience is looking for help and guidance and a company that steps up and can reach them with an honest and effective message will stand out in a crowded space.