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.

Three Essentials to a Balanced Public Relations Program

Starting 2015 off on the right foot

by Rebecca Mayo 

Today’s banking environment is more challenging and competitive than ever before, making it critical for credit unions to implement a solid public relations program that effectively promotes and ultimately builds awareness among prospective members. But for your program to be

Public Relations Advice for a Start-up Company

By Charlyne H. McWilliams, Account Supervisor at William Mills Agency 

We have seen it happen time and time again. A fresh new company that has received a new round of funding or venture capital and/or had a successful Crowdfunding campaign now wants a huge media blitz for its launch. The

Are You Campaigning for Your Brand?

By David Jones, Account Supervisor at William Mills Agency 

While many people love to complain about the work politicians do once they’re in office, elections provide a great testing ground for communication strategies. The public nature of election cycles means that successful politicians must hone their communication strategies and consistently

B2B Content Marketing in Financial Markets – View from the Trenches

By Jerry Goldstein, Senior Vice President

The recently published research report B2B Content Marketing 2015:  Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America written by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs has a number of interesting data points and paints a picture of the current state of the union for CM.

“I Love a Good Braggart,” Said No One Ever

By Bevin Wallace, Account Supervisor at William Mills Agency 

I think my dog Molly is one of the Top 10 Cutest Creatures Ever. From her preciously lopsided ears to her perfectly curled tail, she is the best. She runs like a cheetah and sleeps as sweetly as a baby in

Cybersecurity Planning

What role should public relations play?

by Megan Fort

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

The prevalence of widespread, nonrelated data breaches in the last year continues to spawn conversations about proper cybersecurity technology defenses, risk mitigation tactics and compliance mandates

Money20/20 Tuesday Video Update

William Mills, CEO of William Mills Agency and Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc examine Visa's keynote, the future of data and security and the impact of technology on customer experience at Money 20/20.

Money 20/20 Monday Update Part II

William Mills, CEO of William Mills Agency and Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc discuss the big topics of the day including Bitcoin and big data at Money 20/20.

Money 20/20 2014 Monday Update

William Mills, CEO of William Mills Agency and Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc discuss the first few impressions of the day at Money 20/20 2014.

Money 20/20 Pre-Show Interview

William Mills, CEO of William Mills Agency and Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc discuss their expectations for Money 20/20 2014.

William Mills Agency Selected as Agency of Record for FinTech Forward 2014

William Mills Agency, a provider of financial public relations and marketing services, announces that it has been selected as agency of record for FinTech Forward 2014, a new initiative from American Banker and BAI that identifies significant trends in the financial services industry and ranks the top vendors in banking.

CFPB Weighs Heavy on the Minds of Auto Lenders at Auto Finance Summit 2014

By Mary York Cox, Account Supervisor at William Mills Agency  

 

At last week’s 14th annual Auto Finance Summit 2014, hosted by RoyalMedia, hundreds of industry leaders gathered in Las Vegas to discuss the trends and issues impacting the auto finance community. The CFPB continues to be a huge

PR Lessons the Financial Industry Can Learn From Famous Comedians

By Sarah Wroble, Account Supervisor at William Mills Agency

“Just work and listen to what the audience is responding to…Keep that and throw out everything else.”  -Joan Rivers

This sound advice Joan Rivers gave to young comedians can also be applied to virtually any career in any industry. Joan knew

Top Three Considerations for Using Video on Your Website

Consider content, cost and frequency

by Chuck Meyers and Debbie Harris

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

 

Credit unions excel at connecting with members by maintaining excellent relationships with members, offering more personalized services and cultivating a sense of community

FinovateFall Video Interview: Jim Breune, Owner of The Finovate Group

Steven Ramirez speaks with Jim Breune, one of the founders of Finovate to get his thoughts on themes from this year's show as well as his vision of Finovate from the beginning.

Video Recap: FinovateFall 2014 Day 2 Morning

William Mills, CEO of William Mills Agency and Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc review the standouts of FinovateFall Day 2 including Kabbage, Yodlee and CrowdFlower.

Video Recap: FinovateFall 2014 Day 1 Afternoon

William Mills, CEO of William Mills Agency and Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc discuss the strangest presenters at FinovateFall 2014 as well as the most memorable companies of Day 1.

Live Blog at FinovateFall 2014: Day 2

William Mills Agency and Beyond the Arc will be live blogging at FinovateFall. Check back for new updates throughout the day. If you missed our commentary yesterday, you can catch up on Day 1 of Finovate.

Video Recap: FinovateFall 2014 Day 1 Morning

William Mills, CEO of William Mills Agency and Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc discuss how FinovateFall 2014 has changed over the years and what makes this Finovate different from those in the past.

Live Blog at FinovateFall 2014: Day 1

Live Blog at FinovateFall 2014: Day 2

Live Blog at FinovateFall 2014: Day 1

William Mills Agency and Beyond the Arc will be live blogging at FinovateFall 2014. Check back for new updates throughout the day.

3 Keys to Build an Effective Website: SEO, Design and Usability

Your company’s website is essential for increasing brand awareness and for lead generation: the ultimate goal of your marketing activities. Your website acts as your storefront digital. Just as potential customers walk by and evaluate a business on its physical storefront, today’s customers often base their first impression of your

Is it too late for SeaWorld’s sinking reputation?

Four lessons learned for effective crisis communication that can apply to FinTech companies

 By Mary Cox  

A few weeks ago, the Huffington Post’s co-founder, Kenneth Lerer, posted an article titled “The End of SeaWorld,” outlining the reasons why the company is “finished,” as he put it. SeaWorld’s stock took a

Press Release Writing Basics

Is your credit union following these three news release best practices?

by Jamie Garvin

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

The book bags are packed and the buses are rolling; Kids across the U.S. are headed back to school. They’ll spend

Last Minute Tips for Finovate Fall 2014– from the Stage or from the Stands

By Heather Sugg, Account Supervisor and Regional Manager

FinovateFall 2014 begins next month. Are you ready? This show marks the event’s eighth year, and it continues to debut the industry’s best new ideas. The convenience of New York tends to bring a stronger media presence, in addition to the analysts, investors, vendors and

The Marketing Brilliance Behind the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge

What the financial industry can learn from ALS’ big marketing “splash”

By Mary Cox 

 

If you haven’t heard of the ALS Association’s “Ice Bucket Challenge,” then you’re likely living under a rock. Between the more than 1.2 million videos shared on Facebook, the 2.2 million Tweets, segments on national

William Mills Agency's Response to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Our agency recently participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We believe increasing awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is an important cause. We dedicate this to our founder, Bill Mills, who passed away in 2012 due to ALS.

Seventeen of our team members participated, including CEO William Mills and President Scott Mills. In addition to getting drenched, we made a donation to the ALS Association to support ongoing research.

What Do Your Associates & Strategic Partners Say About Your Company?

In today’s social world, your brand may be pulled into highly sensitive debates

By Heather Sugg    

In the world of finance, perception is reality. Managing a public reputation can provide challenges, particularly when a corporation is comprised of many employees and has close relationships with partnering companies. These

Three Essentials for an Influential Website

Keys to a successful renovation

by Lauren Schuster

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

The summer season is generally considered as “downtime” for both businesses and members, so business matters are often pushed aside and re-addressed in the fall. Vacations or

Exciting Opportunities in Content Marketing

According to the Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends for 2014 a study based on a global survey of more than 2,500 marketers and internet professionals, content marketing is the single most exciting opportunity for B2B marketers. For companies marketing to financial organizations, creating stimulating content which engages and educates

National Lender CEO Addresses Importance of Public Relations in Today’s Mortgage Industry

WMA Corner Office Interview with Churchill Mortgage Corporation CEO, Mike Hardwick 

Recently, William Mills Agency had an insightful conversation with Mike Hardwick, CEO of Churchill Mortgage, in which he shared his views about public relations in today’s mortgage industry and why PR is critical to an organization’s success.

1. The housing

Webinar: What is Content Marketing?

Scott Mills, President of William Mills Agency, provides a definition of content marketing and how public relations and content marketing work together. The video below further explains how content marketing helps prospects find your company online while also engaging your audience in the financial industry.

For more information, download our

Webinar: Marketing to Financial Institutions Has Changed

William Mills, CEO of William Mills Agency, discusses how marketing has changed in the past 10 years and what the future of marketing looks like in the financial industry. 20th century marketing process are out of date in today's market because buyers are in control of the buying process.

For

Don’t Miss Out on AFT’s Early-Bird Special for the Fall Summit!

The Association for Financial Technology’s Fall Summit will be raising its registration price soon. The registration price will leap from $1495 to $1595 for AFT members and from $2120 to $2220 for non-members, after July 14th.

The summit, on the theme, “Where Your Roadmap to Success Begins,” will be held

Target in the Cross Hairs Again – and Lessons on How to Communicate Controversial Positions

The financial industry can learn valuable PR lessons from Target

By David Jones

In early July, the company invited controversy when they requested that gun owners not bring their guns into stores, even in states where the open carrying of firearms is legal. In a statement released July 2, Target

WMA Corner Office Video Interview with TTV Capital Partner, Sean Banks

Scott Mills sits down with Sean Banks, Partner at TTV Capital, one of the few venture firms focused exclusively on investing in technology-enabled financial services companies. Sean explains TTV's interest in the financial technology and payments markets and what makes a company an attractive investment. Watch the video below for the full interview.

How to Engage Members Through Blogging

Know what your audience wants and deliver compelling content

by Anna Stanley

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

Building long-term relationships with members is one of the fundamental values driving the credit union movement. Consistent member communication is crucial to building

Content Marketing and PR: A Match Made in Heaven

Content marketing and public relations may seem like two different animals, but in reality, these two teams are made for each other. Content marketing consists of many activities, including overseeing marketing automation software, building landing pages,  creating blogs, developing white papers, publishing emails and pursuing a prominent social media presence,

A Startup CEO’s Perspective on Public Relations

WMA Corner Office Interview with Malauzai CEO, Tom Shen

Recently, Bevin Wallace had an interesting conversation with Tom Shen, CEO of Malauzai. See below for his insightful responses on public relations.

What role has PR played in the launch/success of your company?

PR has played a pivotal role in the

Crafting the Modern Press Release

Four must-haves to make your news more compelling

by Ann Bates

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

The reality of today’s media environment is that everyone is competing for the same audience.Consumers are bombarded with a 24-hour news cycle and endless exposure

Making Sense of “Social” for Financial Services CEOs

By Jerry Goldstein,

Recently our agency had the pleasure of hosting Serena Ehrlich, director, Social & Evolving Media at Business Wire, at our offices for an update on “All Things Social.” We have made distribution of the news via social media a priority since the emergence of the channel more

Changing Buyer Behavior Impacts Marketing to Banks

By Jerry Goldstein, SVP Marketing Services

The financial services market is ever-changing, not unlike other markets in today’s digital age.  The way financial institutions are evaluating products and services has evolved with the increased use of the Internet and easy access to information. Buyers research products and services long before engaging providers, and most of that research is conducted online.

Optimizing your press releases for SEO comes naturally to WMA

Stay up-to-date with host of social, mobile and Google changes impacting search

Driving a large number of visitors to your company’s website and converting them to leads requires a high page rank for targeted keywords being used by prospective customers in their search for financial products and services. Staying on top of search engine optimization (SEO) best practices can be daunting due to continuous revisions in search engine algorithms by Google and the impact of social media and mobile devices.

Need PR? Here are 7 Qualifications To Help You Choose a PR Firm

Public relations takes your message and bring it to the public. It helps you influence prospects, customers and investors. What you need to know is that every PR firm is different. If you are deciding to choose a new partner for PR, there are 7 key elements to take into consideration to discover which company fits bestwith your organization.

Do Financial Trade Shows & Conferences Represent a Waste of Resources?

In many cases, yes; however if you choose the right meeting and execute the appropriate strategy, they can be an enlightening and engaging environment.

By Kelly Williams
Trade shows are expensive: booth creation, exhibit fees, shipping, travel, employee time, promotion, entertainment and more make your participation in a conference an

Interruption at Atlanta Press Club Luncheon with Fannie Mae Chairman – Stalls Conversation on Housing Progress

By Blair Logan, Senior Vice President

I had the opportunity to catch the new Fannie Mae Board Chairman, Egbert Perry’s appearance as the guest speaker at a recent Atlanta Press Club Newsmakers Luncheon. If you are local to Atlanta, Paula Hovater and her team do a great job of coordinating

'Final Four' Ways of Implementing a Winning Media Relations Strategy

Best practices for being a champion with the media

by Michael Graul

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

As the hype of the NCAA basketball tournament has come to an end, it is a perfect time for credit unions everywhere to re-examine

Video & Podcast Coverage of Finovate Spring 2014

Finovate Spring 2014 was a huge success this week. William Mills and Steven Ramirez live blogged both days. To view the blogs visit Finovate Spring 2014 Live Blog Day 1 and Finovate Spring Live Blog Day 2.

Below is a video of Steven Ramierez of Beyond the Arc and his

Finovate Spring 2014 Live Blog- Day 2

William Mills Agency and Beyond the Arc will be live blogging at Finovate Spring. Check back for new updates throughout the day. If you missed our commentary yesterday, you can catch up on Day 1 of Finovate.

Finovate Spring 2014 Live Blog- Day 1

William Mills Agency and Beyond the Arc will be live blogging at Finovate Spring. Check back for new updates throughout the day.

Marketing to Banks: Building a Leadership Position in a Digital World

The financial services industry is a unique market and requires a strategy for creating a leadership position if you are to be successful in selling to banks and credit unions. Marketing to financial institutions is not a one size fits all approach. Today’s landscape consists of large financial institutions, regional and community banks and credit unions. There are different tactics for selling into these markets, but there are also common best practices.

A FinTech/Payments Secret Society - Association for Financial Technology (AFT)

By Scott Mills, President and Principal of William Mills Agency

Well maybe it’s not exactly Yale’s Skull & Bones society, but AFT does represent a small and influential group of companies that control most of North America’s banking and payments technology…and it has a surprisingly low profile. Established in 1972

Content Marketing for Credit Unions

Understanding what it is, what it can do, and why you need it

by Michael Touchton

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

Marketing continues to be a primary challenge for credit union managers. In fact, a recent report found that for

5 Ways to Garner Greater Visibility in 2014

Use them as foundation for your strategic public relations plan

by Kathryn Farmer

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

Developing and maintaining member loyalty is typically a primary focus of a credit union’s strategic plan. Moving into 2014, it is important

After Shocking Opening from CFPB’s Antonakes, Compliance Remains Top of Mind at MBA’s National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo 2014

By Mary York Cox, Account Supervisor at William Mills Agency

At last week’s Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo 2014, more than 1,200 industry leaders gathered in Orlando to discuss the road ahead for the servicing market. With servicing in a state of transition – largely due to a substantial increase in regulations and procedures – attendees were on the hunt for solutions and best practices to equip them for the future and adhere to new servicing rules.

Contact Us – REALLY?

By: Kelly Williams

While recently scouring through financial industry trade show directories, we noticed an unsettling trend: About 20 percent of financial technology and service companies have NO REAL CONTACT INFORMATION on their websites! These companies have opted to use either a “Contact Our Sales Team” page approach or “Fill Out Your Contact Information” page approach. These companies provide no management team information. Sometimes no physical address is listed.  If this is your company’s strategy, you may want to rethink your approach.

Strategic Public Relations Planning for Credit Unions

Make it your roadmap for the year

By: Ron Anderson

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

A well-constructed public relations plan – or roadmap – can help your credit union drive growth, establish and maintain credibility, and educate key audiences on

One Size Does Not Fit All: PR Programs for Larger Multi-Faceted Organizations

Public relations programs vary widely depending on the type of organization and industry.  Large multi-product organizations have a different perception of PR from smaller start ups. Large corporations demand a process-driven approach to project management, execution and reporting.

One Size Does Not Fit All: PR Programs for Single-Solution Companies

Public Relations programs come in all shapes and sizes. Most programs are tailored to the organization, and industry. Typically, startup companies have unique needs for PR as opposed to larger, multi-product organizations.

Cracking the Social Media Code

Key steps to reaching your internal business goals with a new communication strategy

By: Stephen Sprayberry

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

Throughout the past decade, the introduction and adoption of social media have consistently increased year after year, expanding far beyond