Every week there’s another major announcement of a worsening economic issue. The old ‘Base rate held for [enter month]’ template story has finally been spiked. Thankfully so too have many of the generic PR responses that flood the inboxes of PF journos seconds after an announcement has been made.
With so much change swirling around the mortgage market and wider economy, marketing teams have plenty of chances to raise their profile by providing journalists with insightful commentary. But take note. There might be stacks of opportunities to hurl your brand at a journo, but doing it badly could do your brand more harm than good.
Industry reacts – a path to the MORTGAGE PR Holy Grail
My inbox is overflowing with mostly unread comments on plummeting mortgage approval figures, record high inflation, record high equity release volumes and base rate hikes.
A lot of the comments are just marketing – a one liner reiterating the line of figures, something general about the crisis and a tenuous link to the firm’s recent activity or latest product launch.
Broad brush statements like this won’t make my cut and damage the brand’s credibility, in my mind anyway.
But peppered in between the fluff there are some real dazzlers.
What makes them dazzle?
- They’re analytical – the comment must analyse the figures (not just repeat them) and give an opinion on what the implications are for the market the publication is aimed at; lenders, brokers, IFAs. It might mean the same thing for all these markets, but it might not.
- Heavy hitting – mortgage professionals are clever people who understand the market. Tell them something they don’t know or might not have thought of. If you’re reading between the lines and have something insightful to share – go for it.
- Don’t be afraid to talk your own market down if it’s true – it makes a good story and you’ll be respected for your integrity. Companies who do this make my ‘go to’ list for future story ideas and commentary that pulls no punches.
- Add to the story with some of your own stats and leave a crumb for us to follow up – after trawling through comments there’s nothing quite like spotting a figure or a few words in an expert’s quote that makes you sit up and take note. When this happens, I won’t use your comment in the reaction story, I’ll build up a story of my own later and call you for exclusive commentary.
Seems like a lot of effort. So what do you get for it? You earn a reputation for being a serious brand that can speak authoritatively and with integrity. Ultimately your company could become that journo’s go-to expert on a topic. Journalists like mewill commission you for future stuff, and ask for your help when they’re in a tight spot (which is frequently). That’s the Holy Grail surely.
What caught my eye
One impressive comment on HMRC’s property transaction data came from a wealth manager who pointed out that the year-on-year increase didn’t tell the full story. Why? Last year, business fell off a cliff after the stamp duty holiday ended and the impact of the mini-budget has not fed through yet. The ‘fluke’ rise, as they called it, does not mask the tricky times ahead.
One estate agent dropped a nice little story angle in the bottom of their commentary about how they’ve seen more downsizers who have lived in their home for 50 years wanting to sell. Great story crumb to leave behind.
And a final hats off goes to agents Chestertons for sharing its 34 per cent drop-off in month-on-month market appraisals. Sharing that stat would earn a place in my story or spark a follow-up with exclusive, top-spot comments.
While you’re here, take a look at some of Air Cover’s mortgage PR services you may be interested in:
If you would like help with your mortgage PR then bringing on a mortgage PR consultant with a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. I work with mortgage lenders and brokers in London, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent.