While “fintech” as we know it burst onto the scene with serious force in 2015, fintech actually traces its roots back to the invention of the printing press – making paper currency more accessible and relevant in the marketplace. Today, fintech is synonymous with leading companies like PayPal, SoFi, Venmo and GoFundMe. Within a well-saturated marketplace (more than 1,000 companies, $105 billion in funding, $867 billion in value and its own stock market index) strategic public relations is playing a critical role in helping fintech firms stand out from the crowd. Here are the four most important elements of a successful public relations foundation for fintech companies.
- Strong and consistent messaging is the foundation of any successful company, but in fintech it’s a particularly critical component. Investors and consumers need to explicitly understand what value your company brings to the market – how are you different from the rest of the pack? What’s your purpose? What is your vision for the future? Do you have the ability to scale? Taking the time to analyze core messaging (with help from the experts of course) will help a fintech firm’s value become easily consumable. Next, ensure that your website, social media, marketing collateral and other owned online presences reflect your brand and its value proposition.
- Now that you know what you want to say, you need to decide how and when to say it, i.e. you need a comprehensive PR plan or strategy. A well-balanced plan should be detailed, extensive and include media relations targeting earned media; content marketing capitalizing on owned media; social media; conferences and awards. Build these elements out for at least two quarters in order to capitalize on potential opportunities. In addition, a successful PR plan needs to have the scope to address crisis management, IPO and M&A communications, investor relations and C-Suite communications.
- As execution against the plan unfolds, how do you track and measure success? PR needs to measure up against the metrics the organization looks at as a whole. A good fintech PR firm can clearly articulate where value is being driven and how activities are leading to results. Whether this involves specialist software or the value is less tangible, explaining and tracking ROI is very important.
- The final piece to the fintech PR puzzle is ensuring that you have the right team in place to execute. Yes, you need the people power to execute against your strategy (that’s where a PR team comes in), but you also need at least one well-trained spokesperson. Proper media and presentation training can make or break results from media interviews as well as presentations with potential investors.
Understanding strategies on how to best convey your firm’s messaging and value proposition is critical to establishing your firm’s reputation and positive brand awareness. While it can be tempting to rush to market, not taking the time to establish a proper foundation for PR can be detrimental to your firm’s brand identity and success in the long term.