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Media Training for financial services firms and banks – we’ve been particularly interested in two recent controversies.
June 20, 2024

Media Training for financial services firms and banks

As providers of Media Training for financial services firms and banks, we’ve been particularly interested in two recent controversies. First, Baillie Gifford’s sponsorship of the Hay festival and other events ended following pressure from an organisation called Fossil Free Books over its connections with fossil fuels and Israel. More recently Barclays has suspended its sponsorship of Live Nation festivals in response to a boycott by artists protesting about the bank’s alleged ties to defence companies supplying Israel. 

In our Media Training for banks and finance companies we work closely with in-house comms teams and PR companies. We prepare their spokespeople to promote positive stories such as the launch of new products and services. But we also help them to deal with difficult issues. This might be the withdrawal of a popular product, a cut in interest rates paid or even issues surrounding the firm’s record on diversity and inclusion.

Financial services firms and banks get an authentic experience.

All of our media trainers are working journalists (operating under strict NDAs) so they’re experienced in asking financial services firms and banks about these issues. They know the questions that the media will put to interviewees. This means the participants on our Media Training workshops for finance companies get an authentic experience. We can then advise on answers to these difficult questions that would satisfy journalists. Communicate Media can also help spokespeople to move the conversation on and change the subject to something that is more positive and helpful.

We find in these Media Training courses for financial services firms that we can sense check the lines that in-house comms teams and PR consultancies might be thinking of using, if asked about these difficult issues. We work with them to equip spokespeople with the words and phrases that not only work for the firm as a whole but also allow those spokespeople to sound honest and authentic.

Media Coaching exercises

We put the participants in these media coaching exercises through realistic role-play press, radio and TV interviews. Having interviewed them, we then offer them advice and recommendations, again, working closely with their in-house media advisors and public relations companies.

The world is an increasingly threatening place for finance companies and banks. Activists and aggressive campaigners are more likely than ever to attack them and to make life difficult. As well as message development and testing we’re providing more crisis communications training for banks and financial services firms who might find their premises subject to physical attack. 

Crisis Communication Course

We recently ran a crisis communications course in which we simulated Just Stop Oil protesters throwing paint over the main office of a major bank. Communicate Media helped the senior management and their media advisors to develop and test their communications strategy should this or something like it occur. We worked with another wealth manager to handle potential problem with anti-Israel protesters introducing boycotts and staging noisy, aggressive protests outside the firm’s offices.

Obviously, we hope that these situations don’t arise for any of our clients. But equally we know that they’re increasingly likely to do so. Having a crisis communications plan tested and ready to go, as well as trained spokespeople is more essential than ever these days for banks, financial services firms and wealth managers.

Media Training for arts organisations

We’ve talked about financial services firms in these difficult situations, but it’s also worth looking at the other side of the coin. We provide Media Training for arts organisations and again we’re working with more and more of their press offices and communications teams to develop strategies to manage these difficult issues. Communicate Media help them to create lines to take that they can use with the media. 

We also train their spokespeople, be they senior managers, artists or ambassadors, to deal with the kind of difficult situation that the Hay festival and others have found themselves in. You might be going to do an interview with a journalist to promote a book, film or festival event – but what happens when the journalist throws in a question about Baillie Gifford or Barclays? 

Create and test a crisis communications strategy

Whether you work in financial services or the arts or, indeed, any other sector we can help you to develop and test messages about difficult issues. We can help you to create and test a crisis communications strategy ensuring that you’re prepared for any difficult situation, should it arise.

Media Training courses for banks, financial service and arts organisations.

Come and talk to us about our Media Training for banks and financial service firms as well as arts organisations and other sectors.  You can follow us on LinkedIn here.

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