Fintech PR Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide
Fintech is one of the tech industry’s fastest growing sectors, expected to become a trillion dollar market by 2030. This has created an increased appetite for PR among companies in two main scenarios: New digital challengers that want to share how they’re disrupting the industry, and traditional banks and financial institutions that are transforming their businesses to hold onto market share.
Unsurprisingly, this competition has also created a crowded landscape with increasing noise for fintech companies to break through.
Developing a fintech PR strategy isn’t just about making sure your company is heard, though. It’s about how effectively companies can distinguish themselves from thousands of others that are competing for the same budgets and customers.
We’ve worked with fintech companies ranging from venture-backed startups to publicly traded enterprises as they shape the future of what it means to be a fintech company, and have a few thoughts on how to build an effective fintech PR strategy.
Identify PR Goals & Objectives of Your Fintech Company
A fintech PR strategy can directly influence a company’s larger business goals—as long as those goals are built into the strategy from the start.
For fintech companies specifically, these goals can include things like expanding into a new market, attracting investors, getting acquired, or increasing revenue within a particular time frame. We’ve also worked with companies like Bitrise whose mobile app development offering can be used by companies in various industries, but has been particularly successful among banks, payments companies and other fintechs. We leveraged the company’s existing work with fintech companies to further Bitrise’s recognition in the fintech space.
Whatever your company’s goals are, make sure they are specific, measurable, and accurately reflected in your fintech PR strategy. Read more about how to identify and set PR goals in this blog post.
Define Your Audience
Fintech companies touch various audiences including consumers, enterprises, banks, other fintechs, investors and even regulators. Fintech PR can be a tool for companies to simply push out large-scale, generic communications to all of these audiences. Or, with a thoughtful fintech PR strategy in place, companies can go beyond mass communications to truly move the needle among each of the stakeholders that they need to reach within these audiences.
To do this, define each of your company’s target audiences in as much detail as possible—down to the specific personality traits of the person your company wants to reach. What are their values? What types of media do they consume? What do they need to hear about your company?
Then, think about how your company benefits this specific persona, and create an individual PR strategy for them. A company’s value proposition that is geared towards an acquiring company, for example, will look different than their value proposition does for end users.
Craft Key Messages
Creating key messages is perhaps the most crucial element of fintech PR strategies, as these messages will ultimately influence the behaviors that fintech companies need from the market. Many new companies, as well as those that are launching a new offering or entering into a new market, tend to center their key messages around the company or offering itself, rather than where it fits into the market.
In order to validate a fintech company or product in the media, journalists first need to understand how it is uniquely positioned to offer something that hasn’t existed before, or is better than everything else on the market. Nailing this messaging requires going beyond a company’s mission or value statement, and instead focusing on the gaps it fills in the fintech industry.
Think about how your products or services solve big picture financial challenges that the vast majority of companies are familiar with—for instance, creating a more accessible mobile finance app, or bringing banking services to remote locations that haven’t had them before.
From there, fintech PR strategies will include tactics for getting each of these key messages into the market.
Build Relationships with the Media
Media relationships are built on timely, thoughtful and accurate communication. When implemented correctly, these relationships should be a byproduct of fintech PR strategies.
The first step towards building these relationships is giving every PR tactic its own list of journalists that are relevant to the news or story. Then, share the news with them via a press release or pitch. As the media becomes familiar with your company, there will be opportunities for interviews and briefings with company executives, which can also help build rapport between fintech companies and journalists.
In addition to sharing companies’ news and stories with the media proactively, another fintech PR strategy involves following the top journalists within a particular sector (banking, finance, insurance, payments, etc.), and reacting to their content. Journalists often find value in having an additional expert source to comment on or discuss trending topics for any future stories they may be planning.
We’ve outlined some of the top fintech media outlets to build relationships with here.
Create a Content Strategy
Fintech PR strategies should include a variety of content, such as press releases, topical pitches, thought leadership content, research reports, and even awards and speaking engagements.
Press releases are a content tactic for summarizing a company’s news—for example, a new product, a funding announcement, new hire announcements, and much more. The press release itself does not usually get covered by the media, which is one of the main reasons that companies engage PR agencies, in order to pitch the news to journalists in advance of the press release going over the wire.
Pitches are a media relations tactic that involve proactively reaching out to relevant journalists or media outlets to share a story or announcement that they may be interested in writing about. Pitches typically connect what a company is doing to the larger fintech industry, and can also be a way to offer company executives to discuss trending topics or breaking news.
Thought leadership is a way to communicate expert opinions and insights within a particular subject or field. Done effectively, the subject matter expert—typically a company executive or senior leader—becomes recognized as an industry authority, or a thought leader. Some of the most common forms of thought leadership content include bylined articles, blogs, podcasts, commentary, or interviews.
Fintech companies often have countless data points available to them, which can provide insights into the way that consumers and businesses are thinking about and interacting with financial technology. These data points can be compiled into third-party research reports or whitepapers that are an effective way to validate a company’s key messages by backing them with data. Fintech companies can also source third-party data via surveys of the general public.
Awards & Speaking Engagements
Awards and speaking engagements can provide additional exposure of companies’ key messages and offerings outside of traditional media sources. Fintech PR strategies should include a master list of awards and speaking engagements that are relevant to your company in order to stay abreast of content submission deadlines. See our lists of Top Fintech Awards to Apply For and Top Fintech Conferences to Attend for inspiration.
Monitor Industry Trends
In order to stay in the news even without having their own news, fintech companies need to stay on top of industry trends and news topics that are relevant to them. These topics can then be worked into thought leadership content or newsjacking, enabling companies to align what they are doing with what’s happening in the larger market.
Companies in the banking industry, for example, should monitor regulatory news so that they can then be some of the first to respond with analyses on how the news will affect the industry.
Trend monitoring should be a part of companies’ day-to-day fintech PR strategies, as they’ll want to react quickly as soon as a relevant story breaks. This will also help keep your company top of mind for journalists to the extent that they will seek you out looking for comments, rather than the other way around.
PR is a great tool for fintech companies that need to communicate with investors. Press releases, for example, can be shared directly with investors to summarize recent earnings reports and future financial projections. Financial press releases are typically distributed quarterly for public companies, and also include an analysis of recent company milestones within that quarter.
Press coverage that is secured through fintech PR can also keep investors abreast of a fintech company’s recent accomplishments, and is a way to showcase what companies are doing well. Seeing that company’s name dominate headlines doesn’t hurt investors’ morale, either!
Measuring success is a tricky topic in PR, as there are various ways to determine both quantity and quality of PR results. Our tried-and-true formula is to align your company’s business goals with its PR goals up front, so that you can translate those goals into measurable outcomes, and track them along the way.
Instead of relying entirely on media impressions—which have become increasingly difficult to measure on their own—assign quantitative coverage goals to every single tactic you’ve defined in support of driving your company’s business goals. This might mean securing X pieces of coverage in mainstream business and Y hits in vertical-specific trades for that story your big client has agreed to work with you on. Or, being included in Z industry analyst reports over the course of a quarter or year.
And while it can be easy to fall into the pattern of goal setting strictly based on numerical media coverage and publications, there are many other KPIs companies can measure to show the value of PR. For example, tracking the number of leads that can be directly attributed to PR.
We share a more in-depth analysis of what works well and what doesn’t when measuring PR success in this blog post.
As fintech companies evolve, so will their PR strategies. PR strategies should always be a direct reflection of companies’ goals, which is why it’s crucial to keep your PR team informed of these goals so that they can pivot when needed.
The fintech landscape looks vastly different now than it did a year ago—and will continue to change a year from now, and so on. Fintech companies should also make sure that their PR strategies accurately reflect these changes in order to keep themselves on the front lines of current events and trends.
Interested in creating a bespoke fintech PR strategy for your company? Get in touch.
About Channel V Media
Founded in 2008, Channel V Media is an award-winning PR and communications agency.
We build market momentum for Fortune 500 and emerging companies through Communications Strategy, PR strategy, and digital marketing. We specialize in breaking clients into new markets and categories, rising to the top of crowded conversations, and reinvigorating enthusiasm for long-standing companies as they compete in new areas.
Along the way, we develop C-Suite leaders into industry visionaries, position clients to be among the most vocal in their industry, and increase their inbound leads (b2b) and new audience acquisition (b2c).
Some of our clients include Sopra Banking Software, GFT, Penn Mutual, IBM, Bluecore, Grapeshot + Oracle, Fortune & Frame, and others.