Just when most alternative asset management firms finally accepted the need for traditional public relations, all of sudden it’s not enough.
Of course, knowing the right editor and reporter at The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Institutional Investor, Bloomberg, and other traditional media will always be important – in good times and bad. But today’s savvy alternative asset fund executives are using a much broader vision of PR to define, differentiate, promote and protect their businesses. Content, thought leadership, social media, and, yes, traditional media-focused PR can all be part of today’s communications arsenal. These tools and the strategies behind them need to be understood, evaluated and appropriately put to use by growing firms.
What is PR for alternative management firms?
PR is how companies build relationships with their target audiences. It’s getting in front of, staying on front of and having a “conversation” with your audiences in a credible, leveraged and controlled fashion.
For hedge funds, private equity and other alternative asset firms, PR reaches investors, potential investors, influencers such as consultants and others by means of traditional media, social media, content/thought leadership and related. It’s a process that helps build visibility and awareness for a company and helps the market appreciate what makes that company good or even great.
Is PR dead?
Traditional PR was talking to or otherwise managing the media. As the media have come under tremendous economic pressures, traditional PR has been re-defined in order to take advantage of the many new, direct and highly controllable forms of leverage communications that reach the markets and target audiences that alternative managers want. Writing articles for online media that welcome fresh and insightful content, posting blogs on professional platforms, commenting on news and trends via social channels that link the financial community, and keeping your company high in search engine results all are part of the new PR.
How can PR help my business?
PR can help your business in many ways. Here are a few:
- PR can make your firm stand out from the crowd, in a good way.
- Strategic PR puts your core messages, your brand, your expertise in front of audiences that matter.
- When a potential client searches for your firm and its executives, what do they find? Does it accurately and consistently reflect how you want to be positioned in the marketplace? PR can help make sure it does.
- PR can play a big role in handling crisis – bad performance, executive changes, regulatory actions, etc. Prepare in advance, build relationships in advance, take charge if it happens.
- PR helps you stay with your prospects during the long sell cycle and helps keep with your clients over a long relationship. PR opens doors, builds relationships, builds business.
What about compliance?
PR works well with compliance. Current rules and regulations have opened the doors to communications for alternative management firms. Along with compliance, it’s just as important to determine which communications strategies and approaches are right for you and your firm.
Meyler is happy to talk with you about whether PR is right for your company, how PR can work for you and how it can fit into a layered communications program that helps build your business.
By Tom Walek