Marketing Dos and Don’ts for Financial Firms in Crisis

Author: Amy Rossetti | April 8, 2016

If you’re a financial advisor, you know all too well that the only thing constant in the market is change. Still, that doesn’t make a turbulent market any less nerve racking. When your firm is facing a market crisis, you can leverage time-tested PR tactics to minimize damage and calm investors’ fears. Below, find five of Berbay’s financial crisis do’s and don’ts.

Do prepare ahead of time
Even before you find yourself in the middle of a financial crisis, your firm should have a crisis communications plan. Preparing “plan B’s” for a variety of possible situations before they happen can help you come out of a financial crisis even stronger than before. If you don’t have a plan, a good place to start is determining the chain of command. Who is the point of contact between the firm and your PR team? Who should speak to the media? What does your in-house marketing staff handle? Working with a PR team in advance can help you answer some of these questions.

Do research the issue
Before jumping to conclusions, speaking to the media, or communicating with clients, it’s critical that you really understand what’s happening in the market. Read everything you can, research similar situations that have happened in the past, and monitor blogs and online comments. Ask clients and colleagues what they think, too. Once you’ve done all of that and have a broad perspective of the issue, then you can begin to formulate a communications plan.

Don’t go silent
When investors get nervous, the last thing they want to hear from their advisors is radio silence. If you take away one tip from this list, it should be this: communicate with your clients. They’ll appreciate honesty and transparency above all else. Communicate as quickly as possible, but don’t sacrifice clarity for speed—sending messages that aren’t fully fleshed out can lead to mistakes and misinformation. Collect yourself, learn as much as you can about the issue, and respond with thoughtful, timely messages.

Do stay calm
You don’t have much control over an unstable market, so your best bet is to act calm, stay positive, and remind clients that market fluctuation is normal. A crisis is actually a great time to establish your role as a thought leader in the industry—it’s an opportunity to position yourself as the go-to source for information. Not only will this strategy help reassure clients and build trust during the crisis, but it will encourage them to turn to you even after the market levels out.

Don’t forget to reflect
After making it through market turmoil, it can be tempting to just push it out of your mind. But if you want to be prepared for the next crisis, it’s critical that you take time to reflect on how your firm responded. What worked well? What would you have done differently? Are there messages or strategies that you can save and repurpose in the future? Are there steps you can take to minimize company damage in future crises? You can’t always control the market, but you can control your response to it—and with a strong marketing team, there’s no reason to be unprepared when a crisis hits.

Berbay Marketing & PR
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