Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What NOT to do as professional communicators in the GFC

With an admittedly ‘ghastly’ outlook for 2009, how do you communicate to clients and other stakeholders in the year ahead?

While it’s tempting to keep a low profile, the strongest findings ( about reputation show that leadership and communication are more important than ever in a crisis.

Reputations are made or broken in troubled times. As PR & marketing people in the financial services industry we can't singlehandedly solve the global financial crisis - but we can show leadership in how we respond.

Before we talk about leadership in future blogs, here are my top suggestions about what NOT to do:

1. Say nothing
2. Be overly optimistic
3. Make promises you can’t keep
4. Imply you know what’s going to happen now
5. Ignore technology such as webcasts, email, Skype or your website
6. Fail to educate your client with what you do know, as soon as you know it.

Financial services heed swine online

A global health crisis trumps a global financial crisis anyday.

Rightly so. Lives matter far more than money.

So then, it's right that swine flu has galvanised the online community.

The single source of all about swine flu?
And for analysis of how swine online in unfolding, read the professional communicator's view at

It's not directly relevant to financial services, but what we learn here about online public health communication is applicable to our own crisis communication.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Streakers, strollers & scholars...yes they all read

Writing for three audiences in every document

EVERY document (well nearly) should cater for three levels of readers. Some will glance, some will skim read and some will study every word.

Also known colloquially as streakers, strollers and scholars.

So how to talk to them?

Headlines and big pictures for the streakers.

Sub-headings and pullout text for skim readers - our strollers.

And the full treatment for scholars - every word carefully placed and thought through in a logical order, supported by images and headlines that make sense.

Why? Because we're going online, getting news in ever shorter, shaper blocks of copy & becoming overwhelmed by GFC markets info overload.

Simple, clear, compelling communication matters more than ever.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Welcome....what do you want?

Welcome! This blog is about financial services communication and PR - more specifically, the industry's reputation.

If you're in asset or wealth management, banking or similar, this is for you.

It's about ideas as well as proven approaches that drive reputations in financial services pr. The content is based on the successes I and my colleagues have had, but also the mistakes - what we've learned in our decades as financial services PR practitioners or journalists.

I'll also share the best ideas about how apply social media & online PR to the finance industry.

Future topics will include:
- Leadership post-GFC
- Communicating in difficult times - how PR needs to change
- Effective wealth management CEO communication
- How to use online PR to get real results - fund inflows & retention.