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Hidden Marketing Gem: Working with the Media

Occasionally, the local NBC affiliate in Denver interviews CFP® professionals on money matters; often members of the FPA of Colorado. To those viewers, their names become top of mind whenever it comes time to search for financial planners.

Being quoted in the media—print, digital, TV or radio—has served as a great marketing tool for some FPA members, a few told me recently for the cover article in this month’s Journal of Financial Planning.

Mychal Eagleson, CFP®, president of An Exceptional Life Financial, said completing FPA’s media training was a smart marketing move for him. Members go through the training and then have access to reporters and writers who need input from financial planners. When reporters fill out an FPA MediaSource request, it’s distributed to members who have completed the media training, and they can respond via email or call the reporters up and answer questions.

“I recently used MediaSource and was quoted in an AARP Magazine article,” Eagleson said. “I’ve had two prospects who saw that article and called me because of it.”

Eric Roberge, CFP®, founder of Beyond Your Hammock, said in an FPA member profile that the FPA media training was invaluable in helping him attract new clients and impress his current ones. Participating in the training helped him build a media platform and be quoted in CNBC, Entrepreneur, InvestmentNews and USA Today. After the USA Today article, a high school classmate he hadn’t talked to in more than 20 years contacted him to talk finances. Another high-earning young professional contacted him after reading the same article.

“The FPA media training and media queries are an incredible way to help me expand my platform to people across the country,” Roberge said.

Being quoted in articles and on TV isn’t just a way to prospect, it also affirms for current clients that they made the right choice.

“When clients see my name, they say, ‘Oh congratulations, we saw you in this article and we were blown away,’” Eagleson said. “It’s a testament.”

Serving as a resource to the media is commonly among the top public relations tips for financial planners.

“The better the relationship [with reporters], the more opportunity you will have long term,” Ben Lewis, director of public relations for FPA said in a recent Financial Advisor article.

The article indicated that if you build positive relationships with reporters, you’ll
continually get quoted, leading to more exposure to potential clients for you.

To sign up for the virtual media trainings that come with your FPA membership, click here. Not a member? Become one today.

Ana Headshot

Ana Trujillo Limón is associate editor of the Journal of Financial Planning and the editor of the FPA Practice Management Blog. Email her at alimon@onefpa.org. Follow her on Twitter at @AnaT_Edits.


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5 Myths about Working with the Media: Busted!

If you’re looking to build relationships with local and national media so they will call on you when they need a quote or subject matter expert on their financial planning story, here are some things to keep in mind.

This tips were shared by Ben Lewis, FPA’s public relations director, during the FPA Chapter Leaders Conference in Broomfield, Colo.

Myth 1: You need to have expertise working with the media in order to be a sought after source/expert.
Not true, says Lewis. Reporters are constantly looking for new sources, new experts and new points of view.

Myth 2: You need to be on guard at all times during an interview.
“It’s not an interview,” says Lewis. “It’s a conversation.” He suggests that planners approach every interview with a journalist as though it is a conversation with a client. Speak with confidence about what you know. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” if in fact you don’t know the answer to a journalist’s question.

Myth 3: If you are interviewed, you will be quoted in the story.
A journalist may interview you for 10 minutes or an hour, but that doesn’t mean your quotes are guaranteed to make it into the published piece. The journalist may use your interview as background, but that doesn’t mean they don’t value you as a resource.

Myth 4: Journalists are malicious and will use what you say against you.
Simply put, no journalist is out to get you. But it’s important that you prepare for the interview, by doing proper research to have solid, confident points to make. Before the actual interview, inquire about the angle of the story and know what you want to say.

Myth 5: Being a smart professional is enough to work with the media.
No matter how smart you are, if you deliver your answers to the journalist’s questions like a lead balloon, it will go over like a lead balloon, says Lewis. Your nonverbal communication is key. “It has to come from your heart as much as it comes from your head,” he says.

A few more “speaking to journalists” tips from Lewis:

  • Remember that you are never just representing yourself. You are representing your business, your FPA chapter, and your profession.
  • Always tell the truth.
  • Always have something to say.
  • At the end of the interview ask, “Did I answer all your questions?”
  • Don’t ask to see a copy of the story beforehand.
  • Always thank the interviewer.

Schulaka Carly_resizedCarly Schulaka
Journal of Financial Planning
Denver, CO