We’re kicking off the year with two back-to-back posts on our predictions for investment industry communications trends in 2024. Below Jody Lowe comments on what she sees ahead for public relations professionals.
The New Year is a great time to build outreach plans for the coming year.
This year, there are plenty of predictable stories we’re tracking, hoping to connect our smart client sources to the headlines we are sure will fill financial news sites. We expect to see more stories about the investment opportunities created by higher and eventually lower interest rates and what that will mean for both investors and borrowers. Stories related to the megatrend of Baby Boomers transitioning into retirement and contemplating transferring wealth to the next generation are likely to continue for the next few years. The elections, the expiration of the Trump tax cuts and the Biden administration’s reintroduction of a fiduciary rule are also likely to fill the media in 2024. All of this is pretty predictable.
But we’d like to stick our neck out and make a few predictions of trends we see affecting financial firms and their communications in 2024:
Rise of AI tools to support media pitching. This year we are piloting a new AI tool to find relevant media for the stories our clients want to tell. While we haven’t abandoned the traditional tools we’ve used to find relevant media contacts and build custom media lists, new tools that can quickly find reporters and their emails will change the PR landscape. We expect that by the end of 2024, we’ll see newer AI-driven tools taking share away from the market leaders like Cision, Meltwater and Muck Rack.
The future of podcasts. The proliferation of new podcasts targeting financial audiences has accelerated. Overall, that is a good thing, and part of the reason we maintain our Insider’s List to Investment Podcasts) to help listeners separate the wheat from the chaff.
In 2024, we see challenges ahead for both podcast producers and guests as both focus on differentiating their unique value and building their following.
To those who seek to be guests, we recommend building a podcast bio with links to past appearances and topic areas. Tying your pitch to a timely news hook supported by compelling research is a must.
For podcast producers, don’t be surprised to see a waning in willingness to accept invitations. Podcast appearances require preparation—sometimes extra prep, given the length of the interviews—and some financial professionals will hesitate to appear on shows with sloppy or disorganized podcast hosts. Podcast sponsors may also find it challenging to come up with consistently engaging shows to grow and keep their audience tuning in. Our prediction: eventually we’ll see fewer, higher quality podcasts thrive while others cease to exist.
The growing ETF news hole. The proliferation of ETFs has brought new publications and podcasts and dedicated reporters devoted just to the space and covering all things ETF. Those new to the ETF space must accelerate their team’s knowledge with training for customer service staff, board members and sales professionals to highlight the differences and get familiar with the vernacular.
While it is getting harder for traditional mutual funds and active managers to score media coverage, those with niche investment strategies and strong track records are still finding opportunities to get in the news.
Relief for those who don’t own the Magnificent Seven. Will the market (finally?) broaden beyond the large cap “Magnificent Seven” stocks (MSFT, AMZN, META, AAPL, GOOGL, NVDA, TSLA) that dominated the news in 2023? The patient investors in small/midcaps, value-oriented stocks and international/emerging markets who have languished in the shadows of these mega cap tech names are hoping 2024 could be the year for markets to broaden and investors to once again find opportunities outside those blockbuster names.
True believers that this will be the year should get ready with timely content and media trained spokespeople for when the shift begins.
Sustainable investors quietly begin growing again. Despite attacks on woke investing and the greenhushing by some trying to avoid the crosshairs of political attacks, persistent concerns about the environment should drive both new innovation and interest on the part of investors. Asset managers who offer well-defined strategies with meaningful measurement could benefit, especially if they can support their approach with thoughtful impact reporting.
TikTok for investment content and personal finance news My, how the financial communications world has changed over the 20 years that we’ve been working with asset managers and RIAs. I recently wrote about some of the changes. My colleague Pat Allen also blogged about a survey that found that it is TikTok, not Google, that is the go-to for basic investment searches. I predict more communications teams will expand their social media efforts beyond LinkedIn this year.
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