Don’t wait, start planning smart year-end public relations (PR) moves to enhance your brand, reach your target audience and build credibility. For community banks and credit unions (along with many other organizations and industries), digital marketing is at the top of the list for reaching target audiences more effectively. And it should be. Today more than ever, people are spending an incredible amount of time online. But let’s not forget the power of PR!

Public relations should always be part of every financial marketing and communications plan. PR includes earned opportunities, such as pitched stories, bylined articles, speaking opportunities and other thought leadership activities. An earned opportunity involves no-cost visibility to enhance your brand and because it is presented by an objective third party, it can improve your credibility and build trust. Plus, you can further its reach by sharing all earned opportunities on your website, social media channels, newsletters and more!

I encourage you to finish the year strong by identifying 2-3 public relations activities that you can implement by year-end. Here are some suggestions to jump start your efforts:

  • Leverage the upcoming holiday shopping season. Below are examples of two topics to consider pitching to your local media. Identify someone within your organization, such as a financial advisor, personal banker or another team member, to provide valuable tips to benefit individuals and families.
    • Avoiding debt. The pandemic can’t cancel the holidays, but how will it affect spending? According to consulting firm Deloitte, holiday retail sales this year is expected to rise. As a bank or credit union, you have the expertise to help individuals and families spend wisely and avoid debt this holiday season.
    • Protecting your money and identity. More consumers will be shopping online this year. According to Deloitte, contactless shopping experiences are in high demand with 73 percent of consumers planning to have items delivered vs. 62 percent in 2019. Offer safety tips to protect an individual’s money, credit and identity.
  • Smart financial moves to make before year-end. It’s been a tough year for many. What should individuals and families do in the coming weeks to close out 2020 on the upswing? Connect with area businesses to offer tips for their employees in an upcoming e-newsletter.
  • Show your commitment to the community and encourage others to do the same. ‘Tis the season for giving! Are you planning to make a large donation to a local charity or offering pro bono services to help local families navigate their finances during these uncertain times? Share with the media the ways in which you are giving and encourage others to do the same.
  • Get ready for the New Year. Develop and submit an opinion editorial to your local newspaper that encourages people to make – and stick to – a financial New Year’s resolution. Offer insightful ways to help people stick to their goal, especially during the ongoing pandemic crisis.

Don’t stop on December 31. By incorporating PR in your 2021 marketing and communications plan, you will enhance your brand, reach your target audience and build credibility more than ever before. If you need help, contact Chartwell Agency. From regional to national in scope, we have decades of experience helping financial institutions elevate their brand via public relations.