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An increasing number of financial brands are trying to push themselves into people’s faces. They think this approach will move audiences to their way of thinking. Instead, it does just the opposite. 

Here are 3 places where it happens and what to do instead.

"Let's push this out to the press."

I’ve heard it many times, “Let’s push this out to the press.” News alert: no matter how great you are, or your bank is, reporters are not waiting anxiously to read every word of your brilliant press release. While this is said and done with no ill intent, it comes across badly. Reporters are busy, stretched beyond belief and constantly under fire. Have a heart.

what do do instead: consider how your news can bring value to a reporter’s readers. What kinds of stories does she cover? Where are her stories seen or heard? Does she write straight news, opinion or feature stories? What’s her perspective or angle? Why should she, her editor and her readers care about what you have to say?

Craft your news release and your pitch specifically to her, and the likelihood of sharing your message is much greater. At the same time, you’ll build respect for your brand and set the tone for a good relationship. So when that reporter needs a quote or a source for another finance-related story, she’ll come to you. That’s win-win. That’s a relationship.

"We'll push it out on social media."

Don’t just put whatever you have to say out there. Most likely, you’ll hear a deafening silence. You already must contend with the vagaries of various channels’ algorithms so you can’t predict what will show up organically in peoples’ feeds. And if it does show up, they probably weren't hanging on with baited breath to see your post. 

Social media is supposed to be just that. Social.

Would you walk up to a person at a cocktail party, thrust a business card in his face, tell him your new money market special, then walk away? Of course not. So don’t do this on Facebook, Insta or anywhere else.

what to do instead: consider what your desired audiences care about, and the value you can bring to them. What have they responded to before on your social media posts? Where are the likes, loves and shares? Even better, where are the comments? Pay close attention to those things because that’s where your online friends are telling you how they feel and what they want. Build on that feedback. That’s your open door to build a rapport and love for your brand.

"Let's push this out to employees."

Your employees don’t want to be pushed around either. Simply posting edicts on your intranet or your Slack channel sends a message, but probably not what you meant to send. Your great employees—especially millennials—want a conversation. They want to know why you’re doing things, what direction the institution is going, progress toward goals and how they can contribute to the success of  your organization.

Barking commands—even if they’re just digital—is off-putting.

what to do instead: craft messages that support your brand purpose and invite feedback. Consider town hall meetings that allow you to add the color, emotion and theatre that bring you words to life. Whether virtual, live or a blend, create forums for two way communications and ongoing feedback. 

Invite conversation within your internal communications channels by asking questions and promptly providing respectful answers. Follow up on your commitments by reporting back regularly.

The care you take into orchestrating thoughtful two-way conversations will pay dividends because you’re building trust and support all throughout the institution.

When you push, people move backwards.

Instead, invite them in. That’s the stuff of respect, long term love and loyalty.

For more financial messaging insights, watch our short video: Wasted financial brand communications: Marketers must do better

Banktastic is the financial marketing and branding agency for banks, credit unions and financial companies. If you need help creating more friendships with current customers, members and employees, schedule a meeting with Martha Bartlett Piland today.