measuring financial communicationsGuest Post by Jen Zingsheim Phillips

The April #measurePR chat fell the Thursday before Tax Day, so Shonali invited some of PR’s best financial communications pros with measurement advice for everyone—from those just starting out to seasoned pros.

Serena Ehrlich, Keosha Burns, Erica Hurtt, Elise Perkins, and Howard Williams all joined the panel.

Shonali started by kicking off with introductions, and the guests chimed in on how they got started in financial communications and investor relations. Serena Ehrlich at Business Week had this to say:

Keosha Burns has more than 10 years of financial services PR experience:

The next question went right to the heart of the specialized worlds of investor relations (IR) and financial comms. Shonali asked how financial PR and IR differ when it comes to the practice of PR.

Serena jumped right in with a quick and clear answer:

Keosha pointed out that IR and financial comms require true field expertise—you need to be a subject matter expert:

The size of the target audience is also narrow:

And Howard added:

The next question Shonali asked noted that to measure PR effectively, PR pros are instructed to tie measurement to business goals; she wanted to know if this was easier or more difficult for financial PR or investor relations.

Elise Perkins said that it depends on several factors:

Erica provided another take, less focused on a measurement outcome, but important for business goals:

She also added an incredibly important distinction in IR and financial comms work:

Next, Shonali asked about best practices in measurement for IR/financial comms work.

Serena noted that if you aren’t measuring, you might be hurting yourself:

Elise noted that crisis communications has a direct impact on financial PR, as stock prices are affected directly and almost immediately:

And Erica pointed out that if you are going to measure, it’s important to remember that in financial comms, they’re used to seeing numbers, so no “fuzzy math,” please:

Next, Shonali asked about generational differences in IR/financial comms.

Elise noted that the profession can skew older:

Howard noted that audience reach is important:

And, he noted that because the audience can be varied, word choice is important:

After some discussion on United’s PR woes and how that crisis might have impacted its IR pros, Shonali asked the panel for advice for those starting out.

Erica suggests honing writing skills:

Serena reminds PR pros not to panic:

Howard recommends finding companies that are doing things right, and learn from them:

This lively discussion shed a lot of light on the practice of PR in financial communications—an area of PR that because it is so highly targeted perhaps isn’t as visible as other practice areas.

There’s much more to learn than what is contained in the summary, so please check out the #measurePR transcript for April 13 to see what you might have missed.

May #measurePR Announcement

The next #MeasurePR Twitter chat will be held TOMORROW, Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 12-1pm ET, so make sure to mark your calendars (you can still RSVP to the Facebook event).

Tomorrow, Shonali will be chatting about gaining research smarts on a budget with the Mississippi State University Extension Service communications team. Guests include: Elizabeth Gregory North, Head of Agricultural Communications; Ellen Graves, Social Media Strategist; and Quisto Settle, Assistant Professor. We hope you’ll join us!

Jen ZingsheimJen Zingsheim is a writer and strategic consultant based in New Hampshire. She most recently served as Vice President of Content Marketing and Media Analysis for eOutreach/CustomScoop, analyzing media, digital content, and trends for Fortune 500 clients. Earlier in her career, Jen worked at Fleishman-Hillard’s St. Louis headquarters, and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.