From a career perspective, financial PR professionals stand in a unique position at an interesting time in the current market. Despite fewer M&A transactions and IPO deals taking place this year than last year, financial PR professionals remain in greater demand now more than ever.
Here are my five key elements which make a financial PR professional stand out in the market –
1. M&A and IPO transactions experience
A proven track record of working on M&A and IPOs transactions will naturally stand out in terms of relevant deal knowledge and experience. This is in addition to the traditional calendar work and managing clients’ results and announcements. Financial PRs must able to effectively highlight their respective role working on specific projects and deal activity. Financial PRs with knowledge of M&A/ IPO deals, coupled with international cross-border experience, are placed at a premium.
2. Prized international expertise
In today’s market, many leading financial communications firms are consolidating their service offering as they respond to ever-changing demands with global, political and digital implications. Firms are tasked with managing a corporate narrative as well as financial results and announcements, which often straddle international markets and time zones. As financial PR activity becomes more complex and demanding, clients are becoming increasingly attracted to firms who are able to offer sophisticated, integrated services with a global footprint, but local expertise. The demand for cross-border services has been magnified by large scale, global deal making over the past twelve months.
3. C-Suite influence
Operating at C-suite level not only boosts credibility, it also increases influence which in turn increases value. Whether directly engaging with senior stakeholders on M&A activity, providing senior level strategic advice to retain clients, or securing new business following a successful pitch, these elements all add to your ‘stock’. Operating as a trusted communications advisor to senior stakeholders/counsel with listed clients will inevitably boost your own profile and also supports with bringing in new business.
4. Wider corporate communications know-how
There is an emerging trend for an integrated financial and corporate PR service – offering the two disciplines increasing working directly alongside one another. Firms with a combined financial and corporate offering include Brunswick, Finsbury, Bell Pottinger, CNC, Newgate and Teneo Blue Rubicon. Bucking this trend are traditional financial PR houses who, in the main, have kept the bulk of their financial vs corporate departments as separate entities. These firms include the likes of FTI Consulting and Citigate. Many financial PR firms are interested in bringing in talent with a skill-set combining both M&A and IPOs activity with crisis, issues and reputation management expertise in line with the industry changing, the most sought after professionals require both corporate and financial expertise.
5. Knowing your market worth in the industry
The talent pool of professionals with traditional financial PR experience is much smaller than in most other PR sectors – in comparison to corporate and consumer disciplines for example. In addition, the level of technical knowledge and expertise required ultimately results in attracting talent at a premium. Financial PRs are among the best paid professionals in the industry and lead the way in terms of salaries and bonuses in comparison to their corporate peers. According to our 2015/16 salary survey across over 800 PR industry professionals, the average salary for an Account Director in financial PR stands at £58,000 – over £6,000 more than an equivalent level role in corporate PR. Its imperative financial PR professionals know their market value to remain competitively remunerated for the work they do.
The Works Search specialise in placing board to mid level PR and communications talent in leading PR agencies and in-house organisations across London, on both a contingency and executive search basis. For our latest roles visit our jobs page, or to discuss your career in confidence contact James on 0207 559 6521 or by email.