Consumer Public Relations in the Financial Industry
The financial industry has not been held in high regards for the past couple of years due to the financial crisis and the government bailout programs. Although traditional advertising has worked to produce new business to a limited extent, a lot of consumers are still quite reluctant to bring new businesses to banks and other financial institutions. This is where Public Relations (PR) comes in. Although PR is an area that is used by banks to communicate with business reporters, investors, and industry trade groups, it is also an area that communicates with the general public as well. Sometimes, the purpose is to generate a better image of the bank. In other cases, it is to introduce a new product. PR is becoming a useful tool in repairing the image of financial institutions.
In the past couple of years, there have been a lot of foreclosures. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that borrowers who fall behind on their mortgage payments will eventually be foreclosed upon. It is not possible to allow borrowers to defer payments indefinitely. It is eventually necessary to follow through with the foreclosure process. What many consumers don’t know is that banks can offer debt advice such as Debt Management tips that can help avoid foreclosure. In some cases, a loan modification can be made. All of this needs to be better publicized with press releases from the PR department.
Consumers are also falling behind with other debts as well such as credit cards and auto loans. In some cases, the bank can help with Debt Consolidation loans and other loan modifications. This is especially true when the consumer has a temporary setback such as a short term loss of employment. Nobody benefits if the consumer ends up in Bankruptcy. If the consumer had known about the bank’s willingness to help, a lot of debt problems could have been avoided. For banks, the PR press releases should spread the word that the bank is willing to work with consumers who are in financial trouble.
Another way the PR departments in the financial industry is helping to change consumer opinion is via social media on the Internet. A couple of great offers can drastically change opinions about a bank. Blogs are also becoming an important way to communicate with consumers with practical information on managing money. The more the bank seems like a partner in a consumer’s life, the less damage the bank will get from being perceived as a recipient of government bailout funds.
The last couple of years have not been kind to banks. Even though the financial performance of financial institutions has turned around, there is still a lot of damage PR-wise from the financial crisis and the subsequent government bailout of the financial institutions. If banks can get more positive press as good partners in a consumer’s financial life, they will end up with a better reputation in the long run. Banks and other financial institutions that can continue to help consumers and spread the word about it will benefit the most.