From Headline to Bottom Line: Leveraging Media for Tangible Business Impact

By Carly Nocchi

The financial media landscape has never been more saturated, so it is critical for capital markets firms to ensure they have a targeted, comprehensive PR strategy that is aligned with their commercial priorities. Effectively leveraging PR and communications support can produce messaging and press coverage that ultimately drives your firm’s bottom line.

  1. Let Organizational Objectives Drive the Narrative
    To create a commercially-oriented communications plan, you must avoid the temptation to take a “media for media’s sake” approach. While such an attitude can work to maximize visibility, you are most likely reaching audiences that don’t care about your company. A more effective B2B communications plan homes in on target audiences and emphasizes differentiators that help your organization stand out.Think critically about what narratives matter to your audience – just because your executives can comment on a major theme or new story, does not mean that you should. Instead, determine each spokesperson’s specific thought leadership lanes based on what topics are additive to your company’s goals and choose media opportunities that fit within that scope.Impactful messaging must also be current, so your PR strategy must be flexible and informed by your organization’s quarterly goals, fundraising timeline and deal pipeline.

    When your strategy is profit-oriented, your spokespeople are armed with relevant talking points and your messaging is built around key commercial targets, so your communications efforts can more effectively cut through the noise of a dense news cycle.

  2. Avoid Target Tunnel Vision
    Once you have messaging that is tailored to your primary business objectives, the next step of a comprehensive media strategy is to determine which news outlets to target. The media landscape today is far more varied than just traditional written publications. Explore broadcasts, podcasts, newsletters and social media series as additive communications vehicles.Still, even within the traditional media realm, publications are more democratic than ever. Trade and local publications can have an outsized impact by directly targeting niche audiences. Think about your audience’s collective media diet – where are your potential LPs and investors most engaged? Target those spaces regardless of scale or assumed prestige.Casting a wide net of outlets can also help you best leverage the skills of your spokespeople. For instance, your founder may thrive under the pressure of a live broadcast, whereas your COO is more effective over an on-the-record lunch with a reporter. This flexibility places each spokesperson in the best position to succeed, while also diversifying your organization’s point of view and allowing for broader pitching targets.
  3. Understand the Investment of Time
    The above lessons will place you in a strong position to promote your messaging and spokespeople; however, it is crucial to keep a long-term growth perspective. Results that will facilitate commercial success don’t necessarily happen overnight.Executing a strategy with this level of detail requires buy-in at all levels of your organization, and an especially dedicated commitment from your executive thought leaders. Express from the start that reporter-spokesperson relationships take time and laying that groundwork may require multiple interviews that don’t result in immediate coverage. However, this upfront investment will make all the difference when you have an important company announcement to amplify and the reporters know who you are.

When done well, media campaigns can be a driving force in your company’s brand and growth, so it is critical that your PR strategy is layered, flexible and aligned with your commercial goals. Proactive PR and communications are a business strategy, powered like any other to ultimately accentuate your firm’s unique value, highlight key leaders and push forward your ongoing business efforts.