Media Training for Financial Service Firms FAQs
Financial services is a competitive industry, as we know from the people who do our Media Training courses for finance firms. Meanwhile, journalists are always looking for people to contribute to their reports on everything, from personal finance and savings to insurance and investments. The fact is that those finance companies who have the best media relations are most likely to get prominent coverage and therefore pick up clients as a result.
Doing an interview or engaging with the media is always a risk. One of the benefits of Media Training for financial services firms and finance houses is that their spokespeople learn to focus on their messages and gain more control of a media interview. They also know what journalists are looking for, and this means that they are more likely to achieve a more significant share of voice with more favourable coverage. At Communicate Media Training, we work closely with the in-house communications teams and PR agencies of investment companies, personal finance providers and other financial services firms to prepare their spokespeople to deliver effective interviews and to produce positive prominent media coverage as a result.
But there are other benefits. People who do our Media Training courses for financial services firms usually tell us that they have improved their general business communication skills. This might include focusing on the audience and their wishes and needs during meetings with colleagues, clients and regulators. They also use our techniques to hone down and define the messages for these meetings, thereby increasing their chances of getting the results they want. There are also improvements to body language and vocal skills that result from our Media Training and Presentation courses.
Journalists love case studies, examples and even simple human anecdotes. These do two things in a media interview – they prove the point you’re making and illustrate what you’re trying to say. We use examples and storytelling in everyday conversations, and the same is true of a good media interview. As we know, the best spokespeople and interviewees from the corporate world are those who tell the best stories.
However, we’re always conscious that client confidentiality is essential for our clients who work in professional services such as finance and the law. That’s why during our Media Training courses for financial services firms, we look at a range of techniques for telling stories without the risk of embarrassing or offending clients. Using these storytelling techniques, you can engage the journalist and increase the chances of prominent and positive coverage while keeping your clients happy.
Speaking to a journalist involves opportunities and risks. Media Training will enable you to maximise the former and mitigate the latter. Let’s start with the opportunities. As our Media Trainers who are also working journalists (don’t worry – they work under strict non-disclosure agreements) will tell you, very often a public relations professional or in-house comms team will arrange for them to speak to one of their colleagues or clients, but that interviewee misses an opportunity.
This could be because they say something irrelevant or simply not newsworthy. It might be because their language is dull, and they don’t give any compelling examples or illustrations. Media Training teaches those working in financial services and other professions to avoid these pitfalls and give the journalist what they are looking for in a win-win way for the media and the organisation.
Then there are the risks, of course. Journalists are not out to help you – they just want a story. The danger is that when you come to do a media interview, you find yourself being drawn into saying something that you didn’t want to say, or you end up revealing information or giving an unhelpful quote. One of the things we look at during our Media Training courses for those working in financial services is how interviewees can gain more control of the interview. This means that they and their comms teams are pleased with the resulting result, and this coverage benefits them.
As we say in our Media Training courses for financial firms and other organisations – if you’re not speaking to the media, gaining positive media coverage and raising the profile of your firm, then you can bet that your competitors will be doing so.
At Communicate Media Training, we work with in-house comms teams and public relations agencies whose clients include financial services firms to help them to prepare their spokespeople to deliver great interviews, which then raise the profile of the firm so that when potential clients are looking for a supplier, that firm will come up prominently on internet searches.
Having good relations with the media means that if something does go wrong, then doors are already open and bridges built with journalists so that your defensive media strategy and your work to overcome any adverse reports will land better than it would if the journalist has never heard of you or spoken to you before.
A final thought on why financial services firms can benefit from speaking to journalists. The trade of the media is gossip, and it’s a two-way street. Not only will talking to journalists enable you to raise your organisation’s profile positively, but it also gives you intelligence on what is happening in your sector, with journalists sharing what they are seeing and what your competitors might be telling them. Either way, there are many benefits to talking to journalists, but provided you do so in a planned and controlled manner, Communicate Media Training courses for financial firms can help.