With financial markets on a roller coaster and health hysteria, now is the time for advisors to be communicating more than ever with their clients. It’s no time to hit the bunker.

A full communications strategy should not only mean being in touch with clients by whatever means you use, but also talking to the media. Advisors that are not talking to their clients are vulnerable to have their clients picked off. 

Ones that are sharing their financial experience and expertise with their local media can actually gain clients in this downturn; the DIY investor who wants to throw in the towel and give the responsibility over to a professional or someone who is dissatisfied with how their current financial advisor is handling the situation in personal or performance terms, is ripe to become a client. Now is the time that advisors earn those money management fees.

Everyone knew the day would come when markets would correct. Advisors should have had those client communications already written to go out, already had a plan for client and media relations in place. If not, there is still time. This situation does not look to be resolved in the short term. Luck favors the prepared. 

Advisors should share the same advice they are giving their clients with the media covering the financial markets. There are a plethora of national articles, but this is also a time to write guest columns for advisors in local newspapers or offer to be sources for stories. Writers and the investing public hunger more than ever for good information. They need someone to discard the nonsense and noise and bring into focus for them what is really important and what they should be paying attention to and how to manage through the current situation we all find ourselves in. The virus hysteria has impacted virtually everything around the world. Travel, tourism, schools, businesses, you name it and it has been affected. The numbers for the year will not be good regardless of a recovery. 

Here are a few steps you can take for a fast start. Make a list of topics you can talk about. Go through and write comments on each that can be published. Remember to give illustration to your point and supporting material if possible. Clichés, anecdotes and client success stories are key. Keep your messages or tips to three points. Have all material approved by your compliance people. Simultaneously, begin to put together a media list of personal finance writers at national publications and editors at your local papers by going to the sites.

Perhaps your written client communication can be reworked into a guest column for your community paper or a letter to the editor of another publication. Once approved, offer your comments for publication along with your bio, photo and website information.

Be sure to market the articles with you in the news by posting to your website, sending to clients and posting to social media (again check compliance policies). Send those articles to your local TV stations and offer to talk on camera about the topic. Use the articles as your talking points.

The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Bill Bongiorno is president of Blue Chip Public Relations Inc. and has 30 years of financial media relations experience working with financial advisors and investment companies. He can be reached at [email protected] or www.bluechippr.com.