In PR For Fintechs we talked about building your key corporate messages, but once you’ve defined your messages, how do you get involved in conversations relevant to your audiences?
To raise the profile of your company you need to do more than just talk about the products and services you offer. You need to think about the problems you solve and the issues which impact your clients that you can have a say in.
1. Conversation mapping
Start by identifying and mapping out the prevalent themes, topics and issues being discussed in your industry. Think about who each topic is relevant to, what the varying opinions are and who is already engaging in the public conversation.
Keep your various audiences in mind to ensure you are researching conversations relevant to them all. These are a good places to start your research:
● News sites such as Fintech Finance, Fintech Futures, TechCrunch, and the national press
● Panel and keynote topics covered at industry events
2. How many topics should you incorporate into your PR strategy?
Once you have your conversation map it can be tempting to feel you need to have something to say on every topic. This isn’t a good idea, you’ll be in danger of overstretching yourself and diluting your message.
To optimise efficiency and impact, select one or two topics that you want to be seen as an expert on. This will help you to put out powerful and relevant communications.
With just a few topics you will be able to test your key messages and build up a body of content to share on those themes. You will also have a greater opportunity to build relationships with journalists and influencers covering those topics. A laser focus and depth of insight will help you to become a go-to commentator on your chosen areas.
As the business matures and grows, so will the breadth of topics you can speak about.
3. How do you choose your topics?
Have a look at your conversation map again and think about which topics sit within your product offering - get rid of everything else!
Authenticity is key when building a brand, your PR strategy is all about building trust and therefore you need to focus on themes you are qualified to talk about, this is why beginning with topics relevant to your product is a great place to start.
If your product sits within a broad sector then it’s best to drill down into where your business offers something unique or superior to its competitors. Don’t worry too much about being niche, once you’ve owned your niche you can broaden out the scope of your communications.
Once you have identified the appropriate topics you should find you have a lot to say, with a number of potential story angles. If you don’t, the likelihood is they aren’t the right topics for you, you may need to go back to your conversation map and dig into another topic. Ideally, you will identify a contention or challenge within your niche that you have a unique opinion on.
4. Are there topics to avoid?
As long as it’s authentic to your business, you should be able to communicate on any topic on your map. Be sure to stress-test your chosen topics and ensure there are no skeletons in your business’s closet.
If you have any concerns about engaging on a certain topic then it’s best to steer clear of proactively communicating on it and focus on something else. This will help you avoid reputation damage.
5. How do you talk on your selected topics with impact?
There are two crucial ingredients - opinion and insight.
Come up with a clear and concise opinion. This needs to align with your key messages and be shared by your spokesperson (they will be asked to defend it!).
Be interesting and/or controversial, weak, middle-of-the-road, opinions won’t cut it with the media and won’t strike a chord with your audiences.
Again, if you don’t feel comfortable sharing a strong or controversial opinion on an issue then it probably isn’t one to incorporate into your PR strategy.
This could be a piece of your own research, data from within your business, or data from a well regarded third party. The insight should align directly with the topic, your key messages and the opinion you want to share.
Your opinion and insight should support each other and convey your key messages in a way that is relevant to your audiences.
The key points to consider when identifying topics to incorporate into your PR strategy are:
● Mapping - make sure you know what conversations your audiences are having
● Keep it simple - pick a few of those conversations and drill down into the niches you can own
● Authenticity - talk about what you know
● Be interesting - base your communications on robust opinions and insights
Follow these steps and you will find you have a strong foundation for your PR strategy.