How to Engage Meaningfully With Financial Media

March 7, 2024
By Veronica Chung

It’s no secret the media landscape continues to face both challenges and changes, from the latest layoffs by Bell Media at CTV News and BNN Bloomberg to Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and many more outlets steadily downsizing their staff over the past few months. These changes are without a doubt causing a chain reaction in the way journalism is conducted across North America and impacting the relationship between PR professionals and journalists.

While it’s impossible to know what’s next, we as PR professionals can adjust our approach to best support journalists in this current environment. Below, we offer three tips for engaging with financial media to do just that, and to help develop effective and long-lasting relationships.

  1. Tailor and personalize your pitch note     

Building upon the foundation of a mutually beneficial relationship, it’s imperative to tailor each pitch for the intended receiver. Given the limited resources in newsrooms, pitch notes serve as a valuable resource for journalists to enrich the stories they’re currently working on or unearth unique angles. This is particularly crucial for financial media, who are constantly monitoring market trends and announcements.

Moreover, the financial sector often demands a greater level of technical expertise, reflecting the difference in the readership of national media compared to trade media. For instance, it’s unlikely that a journalist focused on reporting economic data would also provide investment advice. Tailoring the pitch to align with the topics generally covered by the intended journalist is paramount for financial PR professionals.

  1. Monitor, digest and analyze the daily news

News monitoring has long been a standard practice for PR professionals. While passively consuming news is important, digesting and analyzing it is even more crucial to stay informed on the latest market trends and concerns, as they can shift dramatically. As PR professionals, our role extends beyond passive engagement, aiming to provide value to our clients.

At K&P, daily monitoring allows us to identify emerging trends and create more compelling stories on behalf of our clients by seamlessly linking their expertise with current market dynamics or shifts.

When monitoring the daily news cycle, here are few questions to consider:

  • Why did publications cover financial news in this manner?
  • What makes the news story compelling?
  • Why did they select specific experts over others?
  1. Prioritize availability and expediency of spokespeople

In an increasingly tight financial media landscape, media interviews emerge as highly valuable opportunities with quick turnaround times. Having experts (clients) media-ready and available is key to fostering sustainable relationships with journalists.

Because of this, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of the clients’ financial expertise and their availability to promptly provide expert sources to reporters.

Promptly providing dependable experts will contribute to building stronger relationships with a variety of media outlets and establish those experts (clients) as go-to sources in their field. This is particularly crucial given the rapid evolution of financial market issues. Take big banks in Canada as an example. They offer swift and insightful commentaries on economic developments and announcements while positioning themselves as the premium sources among financial media. Speed and efficiency may be underestimated, but they play a significant role in nurturing successful media relations.

Relationships are key

The media landscape and our approach to it will continue to evolve over time. Nevertheless, one constant remains: the fundamental importance of relationship building. Active listening, vigilant monitoring and proactivity are crucial to making the right connections between media and clients.

Despite the challenges in media relations, the art of cultivating sustainable relationships will always endure.

Have a question? Interested in finding out more?