PR Training

Reputation and Relationship Management Guide: How Your Company Can Use PR During Difficult Times

During a time deemed “the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression,” the media, government and consumers have continued to paint financial institutions with the same “big bad bank” brush. Public perception has placed a host of the economic crisis’ blame on the banking industry, but the reality is that there are “good” banks out there. It’s just a matter of making the public aware that the good banks still exist … and to educate the public on how to recognize the difference among those in the industry

What should your “good” company do when others in your industry go against everything you’ve fought to build, unwittingly wrapping you up in public scrutiny? The answer: Use public relations to tell your story.

The financial industry is just one example of how the actions of some wrapped all banks up in the same blanket. During a time deemed “the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression,” the media, government and consumers have continued to paint financial institutions with the same “big bad bank” brush. Public perception has placed a host of the economic crisis’ blame on the banking industry, but the reality is that there are “good” banks out there. It’s just a matter of making the public aware that the good banks still exist … and to educate the public on how to recognize the difference among those in the industry.

During the session I’m presenting at the PRSA 2010 International Conference: Powering PRogress (The “Big Bad Banks”: How PR Can Guide Reputation and Relationship Management During Difficult Times), you’ll hear how one bank used public relations to guide its way to reputation and relationship management with customers, analysts, employees and local communities. And you’ll see first-hand how one organization turned a negative into a positive by using public relations to get out there and tell its story.

It’s important to note that this session isn’t just about the banking industry.  It’s about using PR to raise awareness, educate and influence your key constituents.  It’s about recognizing when opportunities are right in front of you … and finding opportunities where you might not think there are any. It’s about how you can use PR to change perceptions. And it’s about asking yourself, “Why not?” In a time when so many banks were quiet, one bank asked why we couldn’t be a player on the national stage, talking about a national topic. Then we took that exposure and translated it locally to influence the attitudes and perceptions of those that impact us the most.

We all know that changing attitudes and perceptions is a long and winding road, but in the examples you’ll hear during this session, you’ll learn how Sun National Bank carefully crafted its plan to explore opportunities created by the financial crisis, and how we used those opportunities to the fullest advantage to help Sun come out on top of our competitors. And you’ll hear, among other examples, how the company embarked on a PR campaign that focused on:

  • Creating key message documents well in advance.
  • Preparing — and praising — employees.
  • Watching what competitors are doing.
  • Using media relations and recognizing that this was NO time to be shy.
  • Ancillary efforts that can support your message, including employee and community relations.

Thomas X. Geisel, president and CEO, Sun Bancorp, Inc. and Sun National Bank, has more than 20 years of diversified experience in investment banking, private equity investing, commercial banking and executive management. Mr. Geisel’s financial insight and expertise have been showcased on prominent business news network shows, including CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” and in national publications, including Fortune Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

Join Thomas for his presentation “The “Big Bad Banks”: How PR Can Guide Reputation and Relationship Management During Difficult Times,” to be held at the PRSA 2010 International Conference: Powering PRogress on Tuesday, Oct. 19 from 12:30–1:45 p.m.

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