5 Things to Look for in a Fintech PR Firm.
Shopping for a public relations (PR) firm to represent your company is not something you do every day. It’s not like shopping for groceries or even a car. It’s going to be a time-consuming process. Not only do you need to make sure the firm understands your needs and has the ability to meet them, but you also need to make sure they are the right people to be on the other side of the phone call or email chain with media and, by extension, the rest of the world.
If you are operating a financial technology (fintech) company, it makes sense to approach a PR firm that focuses on fintech. Financial technology requires expertise in both the financial and technology fields, which have nuanced messaging, media landscapes and communications and regulatory pitfalls.
Fintech PR needs the imagination and out-of-the-box thinking of the most ingenious Silicon Valley entrepreneur tempered with the data-driven strategic thinking of financial analysts. It’s a niche not many firms can fill effectively, and the nuances of niche industries are such that public relations for these industries require a similar niche mindset.
No two PR firms are exactly the same—not even the firms that focus on fintech. Some may offer more services, others may require a higher retainer than many entrepreneurs can afford. But no matter what the size and scope of your financial technology business, there are five key things to look for when looking for a communications firm to serve your company.
Does the team you may work with have the collective experience to meet your needs? Do they have other clients in or adjacent to your specific niche in the fintech world? Do they have recent client placements in desired news publications? Do they have good relationships with journalists that cover your part of the industry, and have they generally been there, done that in a way that aligns with your goals?
How many team members will be regularly working on your account, and haven’t just shown up at the presentation as window dressing? Does each member of the prospective team also have six or seven other clients they need to help? Do they have the right tools in place such as media databases, a way to track the work they do and deliver to you in a timely manner and a format you can use internally? The team that wants to help you may be bright and have hearts of gold, but if they are juggling too many other clients or lacking the proper tools, they may not have the capacity to provide the right level of service.
Is the PR firm strategizing the same way with your five-person company as they would with a bulge-bracket corporation? Are they sending you proposals to spend $30,000 per month while you are still raising seed funding? Each vision and strategy is unique because each company and its needs are unique. A good PR firm will have a customized approach to each client.
Is the team you are considering guaranteeing coverage in all the best publications? Do they tell you that a story about a small round of seed funding is guaranteed to land on the front page of The Wall Street Journal? Making big promises over something they ultimately do not control should be a big red flag. A PR firm or any communications professional needs to lay out realistic expectations before Day One. Enthusiasm and ambition, yes; hyperbolic promises, no.
Is the team eager to serve you, or acting like they are doing a favor by taking your call? Have all your questions been answered promptly and courteously to your satisfaction? There is an adage that how you do anything is how you do everything. If a team working to get your business is not being prompt, courteous and transparent, they will not do so with you as a client.
There will be many metrics you use to judge the fintech PR firm you hire to speak for your business and guide the way you interact with the media and the world. Finding the one that is the right fit for you will go smoother if you let these five key pillars navigate the way.