Blog

We want to share with you the trends we see in the financial services industry, including important events and media input. As an agency, our goal is to help you. That is why we also post our financial PR and Marketing best practices and opinion articles as a resource for your company.

An Inside Look at Mortgage Banking Magazine with Janet Hewitt, Editor-in-Chief

William Mills Agency values the relationships we have cultivated with the financial trade media. As a PR firm, we are equally customers and media-centric and believe publications like Mortgage Banking magazine are vital for the success of our clients and the industry.

Janet Reilley Hewitt is editor-in-chief of Mortgage Banking magazine, one of the financial industry’s main sources for news, analysis and housing indices. Hewitt discusses the role of Mortgage Banking magazine in the industry and her role as editor-in-chief. Please note Hewitt only represents Mortgage Banking magazine and not the other MBA publications.

MBA’s 100th Annual Convention & Expo Reflects D.C.’s Role in Mortgage Industry

Last week the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) held its 100th Annual Convention and Expo in Washington, D.C. More than 4,000 attendees swarmed the Convention Center, split between lenders and vendors.

Fitting the D.C. setting, the dominant topic of the conference revolved around compliance and regulatory oversight. Many of the sessions, and most of the conversations we heard had at least some compliance angle. The topics ranged from meeting CFPB regulations in 2014 to understanding how to offer new products that would meet the requirements of investors and the GSEs.

However, all of the focus on compliance is producing a backlash. The president of MBA basically said enough is enough on the compliance and that any more is a risk to credit flowing.  He also said 40% of home purchases last year were paid in cash.

Balance Key to Successful PR Campaigns

Does your public relations strategy include these three important components?

By: Charlyne H. McWilliams

CUES’ Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.

In every aspect of life, balance is key to success. Balanced tires on a car mean a smoother ride. A balanced

2013 FinTech 100 Rankings Released

IDC Financial Insights, a leading provider of independent research and advisory services company, American Banker and Bank Technology NewsSourceMedia’s leading publications for banking and financial services professionals, today released the tenth annual FinTech 100 rankings of the top global technology providers to the financial services industry. The 2013 honorees were formally recognized this morning

4 Steps for Generating Consistent Publicity for Credit Unions

Develop a plan, research your targets, write good pitches and work your relationships

by Ron Anderson

CUES’ Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.

Most credit union executives know how beneficial publicity can be for their organizations but do not have a plan

Finovate 2013: Our take on the Best of Show winners

By Steven Ramirez

Most innovative companies in FinTech from the Finovate Fall 2013 conference

William Mills and I blogged about the companies we saw at the 2013 Finovate show that wrapped this week in New York. While you may want to peruse our thoughts on the two-day conference that featured 69 companies, here are our comments on the winners of the Best of Show award.

Day 2: Live Blog, FinovateFall 2013 by William Mills III & Steven Ramirez

William MillsWilliam Mills III, Chief Executive Officer of William Mills Agency is live blogging today at Finovate Fall 2013 in New York City. William has more than 30 years of experience in financial technology and is a recognized leader in financial and technology marketing. William has personally advised more than 300 chief executives on marketing strategy, business development, mergers and acquisitions, company branding and public relations.

Day 1: Live Blog, FinovateFall 2013 by William Mills III & Steven Ramirez

William MillsWilliam Mills III, Chief Executive Officer of William Mills Agency is live blogging today at Finovate Fall 2013 in New York City. William has more than 30 years of experience in financial technology and is a recognized leader in financial and technology marketing. William has personally advised more than 300 chief executives on marketing strategy, business development, mergers and acquisitions, company branding and public relations. You can contact him via email

Telling the Story of Success

5 steps to strategically align public relations with growth

by Ryan Mills

CUES’ Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.

Every credit union has a story; a compelling, distinctive brand that sets it apart from competitors. Credit unions are “not for profit, not

Financial Media Relations 101

Building relationships with the media is vital to the success of any communications campaign, yet many public relations professionals focus too much on how the pitch is written rather than on having outstanding working relationships. For example, reporters ignore pitches that do not fit their publication, and even perfectly written pitches can fall through the cracks if the public relations professional is not persistent enough to reach busy reporters. The following principles will ensure that your organization receives consistent media coverage in key financial services publications.

Ten Steps to Crisis Communication Planning in the Financial Industry

Many organizations put crisis communication planning on the backburner thinking that they can simply address issues as they occur. Unfortunately, bank and mortgage crises arise without warning and can often have long-lasting effects on your company’s reputation. There are ten steps to help your financial organization properly plan for a crisis. Crisis communication planning can save your company the headache resulting from dealing with a crisis as it unfolds.

Maximize Your Trade Show Value

Is your credit union making the most of credit union industry event participation?

By Lauren Schuster

CUES’ CU Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.

Trade shows are a costly component of a credit union’s public relations campaign, from both a time and a cost

Trademarks & Servicemarks: Build an Effective Financial Brand

In our previous blog post Trademarks: It’s time to protect your financial brand, we discussed what a trademark is and the need for brand protection.  A “servicemark” is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms “trademark” and “mark” are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and “servicemarks.”

Trademarks: It’s Time to Protect your Financial Brand

Trademarks are a critical tool for financial marketing and brand development. However, many FinTech and mortgage service providers don’t do enough today to protect their brand. There are many instances where a lack of proper trademark usage can harm your business.  As a company, you need to understand what you can and cannot protect and right now, financial service providers often do not do enough to protect their brands.

Don’t Let Your Financial PR Plan Get the Summertime Blues

As spring ends, so does the traditional growth season for most business-to-business organizations. The summer months mark a time when executives usually huddle in conference rooms to brainstorm and strategize their activities for fall and the new year ahead. To ensure that your banking or mortgage organization’s public relations and marketing plan does not lose the momentum you’ve worked hard to create, this time should also be used to reconnect with customers by integrating them into your financial PR and marketing plan in the following ways:

You’re fat and your company’s PR didn’t work. Here’s why:

“I tried to lose weight, but it didn’t work.” “We tried PR, but it didn’t work.” The explanations and excuses for failures are the same for both. And the fundamental solutions are the same for both as well.

New Product Launch Strategies in Financial Markets

Launching new products in the financial industry is something very different from introducing consumer packaged goods. To put it simply, marketing to banks isn’t like selling soda. Introducing technology solutions in highly-regulated industries, such as banking, come with unique challenges. However, using the proper communication strategies will make your marketing to the financial industry less daunting.

Leveraging your Speaking Engagements will Help your Company Sell to Banks

Speaking engagements provide excellent exposure for your company and offer a great advantage to secure sales leads. However, speaking at a financial tradeshows is not enough. There are a variety of methods available to truly take advantage of each speaking opportunity. William Mills Agency’s PR teams can help you make the most of every event. Collaborate with them to execute the best tactics for your company to better sell to banks and your target markets.

Six Steps to Secure your Next Speaking Opportunity in the Financial Industry

Securing speaking engagements at financial tradeshows is great exposure for your company and a key to better marketing to banks, credit unions, payments providers and other financial audiences. Work with your financial public relations team to determine the best conferences and key message points for your company. If it is a priority for you, it should be a central part of your balanced PR plan and calendar.

Connecting With Members This Summer

Great content ideas to stay in touch

by Sheryl Gudelsky

Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month. Because of the July 4 holiday, the column is running one day late this month!

 

As your members enjoy the fun and excitement that summer brings

Improve Marketing to Banks & Credit Unions by Speaking at Tradeshows

Consider including speaking engagements as a part of your financial PR plan

Similar to financial media coverage, speaking engagements have the ability to raise awareness and credibility of your company’s products and solutions and is a critical ingredient for selling to banks. Securing speaking engagements at industry conferences and tradeshows is a great advantage, but it also requires a great deal of time and effort as well as a little luck, to secure a single speaking engagement. Unlike media coverage, these engagements allow immediate follow up on sales leads on the tradeshow floor, often making them more valuable to clients.

Make a PR Plan Work for You in the Financial Industry

Companies that get consistent media coverage understand the importance of making a financial PR plan and leveraging it to their advantage. This is why William Mills Agency developed a media planning process called Intelligent Information Integration (I3) based on the concept of providing the right content to the media at the right time so you can successfully market to banks, credit unions, payments providers and other financial audiences.

Crisis Preparedness

by Elizabeth McMillan, APR

How ready is your credit union?

CUES’ Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.

At some point in time, every organization will be faced with a crisis. Some are minor: The ATM is down for two hours for maintenance.

Searching for True ROI Measurement in B2B Financial Public Relations Programs

ROI seems to be on everyone’s minds these days. Our agency and clients have been having more sustainable conversations about the ROI of PR programs.

If budget were not an issue, we would welcome regular primary research to uncover perceptions and track awareness in clients’ respective target markets, before and after campaigns. However, it is significantly more difficult (and expensive) to survey specific titles and departments within financial institutions, than to survey 18-22 year olds on their mobile phone preferences.

Therefore, we have to look for ways to effectively measure business-to-business financial public relations programs in ways that are both affordable and manageable.

Six Ingredients for Maximizing the Success of Your Financial Industry PR Program

By Scott Mills,

The agency has worked with hundreds of companies over the years, and we have seen how some programs, processes and relationships are more productive than others. I suppose it would be a great thing to engage a PR firm, sit back and wait for wonderful results. Truth is, there are six behaviors that make a big difference in achieving financial PR results that will make your management team proud.

Live Blog: FinovateSpring 2013 San Francisco by William Mills III-DAY TWO

FinovateSpring 2013William Mills III, Chief Executive Officer of William Mills Agency is live blogging again today at FinovateSpring 2013 in San Francisco. William has more than 30 years of experience in financial technology and is a recognized leader in financial and technology marketing. William has personally advised more than 300 chief executives on marketing strategy, business development, mergers and acquisitions, company branding and public relations.

Live Blog: FinovateSpring 2013 San Francisco by William Mills III-DAY ONE

FinovateSpring 2013 William Mills III, Chief Executive Officer of William Mills Agency is live blogging today at Finovate Spring 2013 in San Francisco. William has more than 30 years of experience in financial technology and is a recognized leader in financial and technology marketing. William has personally advised more than 300 chief executives on marketing strategy,

Measurable Benchmarks

by Chuck Meyers

Enhance the value of your public relations program

Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.

Much like any business investment, the only way to determine whether a public relations plan is successful is to set benchmarks and make sure you

Last Minute Tips for FinovateSpring – from the Stage or from the Stands

By Heather Sugg, Account Supervisor and Regional Manager

FinovateSpring begins next week. Are you ready? In its sixth year, the show continues to debut the industry’s best new ideas, and in turn draws media, analysts, investors, vendors and financial institutions that are looking for a special lead. We have compiled a list of last minute tips for both presenters and attendees to make the most out of your two days in San Francisco.

2013 ETA Annual Conference Advisory

New Orleans, William Mills Agency’s CEO, William Mills III and Executive Vice President Kelly Williams will be at the Electronic Transaction Association’s (ETA) 2013 ETA Annual Conference this Tuesday and Wednesday to facilitate press meetings and provide editorial support for our clients.

2013 NACHA Payments Conference Advisory

San Diego, William Mills Agency’s Heather Sugg and Elizabeth McMillan will be at the 2013 NACHA Payments Conference to facilitate press meetings and provide editorial support for our clients.

If you are attending the conference and interested in learning more about our agency and how we can help your organization get the media coverage it deserves,

A Balanced PR Program can Maximize your Exposure in the Financial Industry

In the financial media, there are endless ways to promote your company. The trick is to know how to create a efficient and balanced PR program to maximize your exposure and gain consistent press coverage over time. An effective media relations plan should outline content and identify outlets and timing to create exposure for your company through consumer, media, and industry channels.

Online Newsrooms Aren't Just for Journalists

by Joanna Braeckel

How to educate several target audiences from one place

Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.

According to the 2013 Online Newsroom Survey conducted annually by TEKGroup International, Inc., 97 percent of journalists consider it important for a company to

Highlights from AFT's 2013 Spring Conference

AFT's 2013 Spring ConferenceBy Scott Mills

My goodness, it was a good, productive meeting for me and the agency. The registered attendees were the highest ever for a spring meeting with more than 150 guests, not including spouses. Thirty-nine of the attendees are William Mills Agency clients, so I was on reasonably good behavior.

FinTech Recap from 2013 TAG Georgia Technology Summit

Georgia Technology Summit

As expected, this years’ 2013 Georgia Technology Summit on March 20, 2013 was a great event -- with a host of dynamic speakers and presentations. For those not familiar with the event, the annual summit brings together executives, entrepreneurs, tech professionals and academia from Georgia’s technology community.

Simplifying Social Media

by Bevin Wallace

How to lighten your social media workload with a content strategy

Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month

Does your head spin when you consider the number of social media channels your credit union could be using? Is your credit

Laura Linthicum Receives Bill & Eloise Mills Scholarship at FSU

Laura LinthicumCongratulations Laura on all your hard work!

In 2003, the Board of Directors of William Mills Agency established the Bill and Eloise Mills Scholarship in the College of Communication at Florida State University (FSU) in honor of their founding members’ service to the agency, and dedication to the university. This school year recipient is Laura Linthicum who is currently interning at the Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee, Florida.

Video of Richard Crone on Mobile Banking for Bankers as Buyers 2013

Richard is the founder and CEO of Crone Consulting which is an independent advisory firm that helps businesses integrate mobile self-service capabilities with payment optimization strategies to reduce costs, increase customer loyalty and sales. In his 32-year career in financial services, Richard has harnessed the technological innovations that have shaped the industry, from ATMs, home banking, internet commerce, Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment, to mobile banking and payments.

JP Nicols Video on Wealth Management for Bankers As Buyers 2013

JP Nicols is the CEO and founder of Clientific, a consulting firm that helps financial institutions and FinTech firms improve performance and accelerate growth. He has more than 20 years of experience in banking and wealth management as an advisor, manager and senior leader.

Keywords are Key for Your FinTech Marketing Plan

If someone is looking for your company on the Web, they will find you.  But what if they are looking for information to help solve a problem or for vendors to consider – would you show up on Google? And if you do, what will they see?  How high on the search results do you appear?

Use Visbyte Videos to Effectively Promote Your FinTech Business

Videos are fast becoming a preferred means of marketing within FinTech and B2B businesses. People today have shorter attention spans, less time to gather information and want things quickly. Video marketing is a powerful tool that will engage your financial industry audience and increase your sales. William Mills Agency’s marketing services offers you a fresh marketing advantage, Visbyte videos.

Optimistic 2013 Forecast for FinTech Companies

By William Mills III, CEO, William Mills Agency

FinTech Companies

2013 marks my 30th year at the agency as well as my 30th year working with financial technology entrepreneurs and business owners. Over the course of these three decades, I’ve witnessed first hand three eras of sustained growth in the financial industry and the devastating effects of their eventual collapse.

Telling Your CU Story Through Images

by Elizabeth McMillan, APR

Tips for creating interesting graphics online

Credit Union Management's Web-only "PR Insight" column runs the first Thursday of every month.

Sound public relations practitioners always know their credit union’s target audience.

They have a good idea of where current and prospective members, as well as employees,

PR Strategies

for Larger Enterprises vs. One Product Companies

Read More

Subscribe to Our Blog!