May 31

Renaissance For Financial Services Relations

There is a clear need for some mending of fences between financial services institutions and the general public. Every day a new scandal seems to emerge Whether it be the controversy surrounding the rigging Libor, insider trading or a Ponzi scheme unraveling the public just doesnt trust the industry anymore

Is financial services relations in the midst of a renaissance? Perhaps. However, no one will argue with the fact that the discipline of financial services relations has never been more important and might be surpassing another form of commercial persuasion, namely advertising, as a key weapon in the marketing arsenal.

Practioners of financial services relations possess a distinct advantage over their brethren in advertising. Rather than simply broadcasting positive messages, Financial Services Relations professionals help institutions create an ongoing dialogue with their audiences. The growth of blogs and social media have made this essential if today’s financial institutions are to restore consumer confidence and trust.

The importance of two-way communications should never be underestimated. Through two-way communications, financial services relations professionals can learn what is working and what isnt in real time. Thats the benefit of real time feedback as opposed to conducting audience research studies, which can take weeks to complete and analyze. Through this so-called spot feedback, an institution can modify its plans to address the critical needs of its various audiences. In addition, the mechanism of two-way communications can enable a financial services relations practitioner to spot a problem and deal with it before it turns into a full-fledged crisis.

While public relations in general hasnt gone unscathed from the standpoint of budgets during these challenging economic times, crisis management has moved to the fore, particularly for financial services relations professionals. Crisis communications is usually administered by the very highest levels of a company or institution and involves the reassurance of various constituencies from customers to shareholders to staffers, etc. It also involves the communication of a plan to remedy the situation.

If our nations financial institutions are to regain the publics trust and confidence, they will have to step up their commitment to communicating the positives and their importance to the world at large and thats where experts in financial relations enter the picture


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