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.

Twitter Chat: How to Handle a Social Media Crisis

No organization is immune to a crisis. They’re inevitable and strike when you least expect it. But with the sharp rise in social media, crises can leave a nasty scar if not handled appropriately.

For a second consecutive year, WMA participated in a #BankOnSocial Twitter Chat, moderated by WMA-client Kasasa,

Why we can expect fintech to grow in 2017

How soon is now?

While driving to work on this beautiful Atlanta fall morning I was listening to the 1985 song by “The Smiths:” “How soon is now?” and realized that THIS is the time I’ve been expecting for years.

If you ask my associates at the agency, you’ll find

PR Insight: Tell Me What You Really Think

People care about their finances. The growth of personal finance blogs over the past few years has been astounding, with the top finance-oriented websites pulling in millions of readers each month.

But credit unions are often a great untapped resource for expertise on financial topics for their community. How can

Digital Mortgage 2016 – A New Conference Centered Around the Digital Revolution

The home buying process is transforming. Digital innovation is changing the way homebuyers make an offer, handle the closing process and more.

Digital Mortgage is a new conference presented by SourceMedia. It takes place December 8-9, 2016 in San Francisco, and will be a day and a half filled with

MBA Annual 2016 - Putting things in Perspective

This year’s MBA Annual Convention & Expo was like many other MBA Annuals in that it was an opportunity to spend quality time with peers that you may not see that often (maybe once a year); enjoy the beautiful weather; eat yummy Boston lobster rolls; and grab a copy of

Will Machines Rule FinTech? Money2020 Dives into AI and Blockchain’s Impact on FinTech


This year’s annual Money2020 conference brought more than 10,000 FinTech executives, bankers and innovators to Las Vegas for five days of meetings, demos and panels. Anchored by an expo hall of more than 400 exhibitors, Money2020 filled the Venetian and Sands Exposition Center. But outside of the booths doubling as

PR Insight: 5 Reasons to Use Infographics

Undoubtedly, graphics have become a widely-adopted method to spread messages across various social media platforms. More than likely, anyone following a brand on social media will encounter a graphic illustrating that brand’s value proposition and/or data illustrating some form of a best practice. Credit unions have an advantage here as

PSA: Technology Is For Us Too, CTOs Aren’t the Only Ones with Tech in Their Budget

Our agency is no stranger to technology, its evolution and its expanding impact on all of our lives. We live and breathe it each day through our clients, who have partnered with us (in most cases) for one reason: to help tell their technology story to the right people. It’s

5 Factors Google Uses to Determine a Company’s Page Rank

Google is the number one search engine in the world and when your prospects are looking for a solution to their business problems, they are almost always searching via the search engine. Some companies choose to invest in “pay per click” ads on Google, and those can be a good

Despite Reports to the Contrary, The Press Release is NOT Dead

Press releases and blogging are two complementary tools to build brand awareness.

As the methods of professional communications continue to evolve, there has been recent discussion around how channels like blogs may one day serve as a replacement for the press release as part of an organization’s communications strategy. Traditionally,

BAI Beacon 2016, Inaugural Event Showcased Numerous Ideas and Areas to Improve


This year’s BAI Beacon held October 5th and 6th replaced BAI Retail Delivery and BAI Payments Connect. “Retail Delivery” started many years ago as an ATM show and evolved into a multi-discipline event, though it had waned in the last few years.

As any good association would do, BAI rebooted

What You Need to Know About AFT Fall Summit 2016

I’m fast approaching my third decade of attending financial industry conferences, and quite honestly, I’ve become bored and weary of most of them. Perhaps I’ve heard too many times the typical conference pitch all using the same catch phrases: “collaboration,” “education,” “insight,” and “contacts.” I know I’ve spent way too

PR Insight: Time To Get Your Social On

About three years ago, I wrote another article for CUES called: Balance Key to Successful PR Campaigns. In it I explained how a public relations campaign needs three important components to really be successful. Well, fast forward to today, and I would actually add a fourth component: social media. Yes,

5 Ways to Enhance Trade Show Attendance through Social Media

A decade ago, social media was primarily a tool for the 25-and-under crowd to engage with peers, but even in its infancy, its potential was recognizable. “Social media will increasingly begin to compete directly with traditional media consumption,” (Robert Young, 2006 on Gigaom). Sure enough, social media’s ascension through the

Is AP Style Out of Style?

In a world inundated by 140 character attention spans, speed texting acronyms and strong competition for millennial market share, many people challenge the traditional Associated Press (AP) Style that has been the foundation of journalism and corporate communications for the last 50 years. The most widely accepted variation to AP

BAI Beacon: Reshaping the Banking Industry’s Main Stage

For years, the BAI Payments Connect and Retail Delivery conferences have provided industry leaders and influencers alike with the latest information and innovation in the financial services industry. As the influence of technology continues to transform the way financial services organizations conduct business, BAI developed and launched one innovative and immersive

PR Insight: Attracting New Members Through Strategic Public Relations

Competing against large, national banks’ seemingly endless marketing budgets and strong brand recognition for consumer market share continues to be a primary focus for credit unions. With all the marketing noise out there, getting the attention of prospective members can be a daunting task. In fact, many organizations either put

End of an Era: It’s Hard to Say Goodbye to Mortgage Banking Magazine’s Janet Hewitt

I honestly cannot remember when I first met Mortgage Banking magazine’s editor-in-chief Janet Reilley Hewitt. It would have been during the time I started my career in the mortgage industry as a journalist. At any rate, I cannot remember a time that Janet has not been a part of the

Financial Conferences this Fall Showcasing New Ideas and Innovation

I’ll admit it, I really do look forward to the fall conference season. Between September and October, we’ll see a host of new companies, ideas and innovation, and we’ll hear from the “experts” on those issues we need to pay attention to in 2017. While this year will be remembered

Podcast: Crone Consulting, LLC's Take on The Payoff of Bank-Branded Mobile Wallets With Tender Reciprocity

In this podcast, William Mills Agency's Charlyne McWilliams interviews Richard Crone and Heidi Liebenguth from Crone Consulting, LLC. They discuss key insights from their article in the 2016 Bankers as Buyers Report titled, "The Payoff of Bank-Branded Mobile Wallets With Tender Reciprocity." For the full transcript of the interview, see

The Rundown: 3 Ways Brexit May Impact the U.S. Financial Industry

Since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (EU), many questions have been raised about how Britain’s Exit (Brexit) may impact the United States, as well as the world. In the mortgage industry, the U.S. has already felt the effects of Brexit. In fact, according to the Mortgage

PR Insight: Five Tips for PR Success

Public relations is more than just managing the flow of information between a credit union and its stakeholders. It’s a communication process that analyzes public opinion, engages and informs key audiences, builds mutually beneficial relationships, and brings vital information back into an organization for analysis and action. It creates a

5 SEO Tactics to Increase Traffic to Your Website: Part 2

Search Engine Optimization tactics to improve your digital footprint in the financial technology industry.

In our last blog, we talked about how identifying keywords important to your company and technically optimizing your website are the starting points to increasing traffic to your website. However, that is just the beginning. In

5 SEO Tactics to Increase Traffic to Your Website: Part 1

Search Engine Optimization tactics to improve your digital footprint in the financial technology industry.

Every company wants to be on page one of Google, and some want it so bad they will pay for ad space to be at the top. However, you do not have to spend tons of

Content Marketing Closes the Loop Between Marketing and Sales

Today’s selling and customer acquisition process is changing.  With the evolution of content marketing, today’s buyers are not relying solely on the assistance of salespeople in the same way they have in the past.  In fact, according to Forrester Research, today’s buyer is anywhere from two-thirds to 90 percent of

PR Answers: Broaden Your Press Release Reach

In public relations, the most notable and utilized tool in the kit is the press release. That being said, this multi-faceted tool can present both a challenge and opportunity for credit unions.

While a press release is a great way to keep current and potential members informed of your latest

Are You Ready for Your Close Up?

Within today’s technology-centric world, consumers expect on demand access to information anytime, anywhere. Whether consumers are shopping for a new house, refilling a prescription or ordering a new pair of shoes, having complete access on the go is no longer an option, but a necessity. Just as new technology has

PR and Content Marketing go together like Bonnie and Clyde

PR and content marketing are the answer to your fintech brand awareness and lead generation woes.

When you are searching on Google, do you ever click on the advertisements? When you are scrolling through Facebook, do you pay any attention to the ads on the side? Recent studies by Goo

What’s the Big [FinTech] Deal?

Through four decades, our agency has been considered by many as the leading communications firm dedicated to financial services. But bigger than that, we began getting caught up in this world of “fintech” long before it became the latest overnight sensation, which – by the way – has actually been

Technologists See Hybrid as the Future of the Cloud

Last month I attended the COLLABORATE 16 conference for Oracle users at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. When the more than 5,500 attendees weren’t losing all their money on the Wheel of Fortune ™ slot machines (or maybe that was just me), they were busy attending

PR Insight: Blogs Are the Building Blocks of Social Media

Social media is a ubiquitous force in our society. It has evolved from a source of entertainment and a place to connect with friends and family to a trusted source of information that has the power to shape consumers’ perceptions, influence their ideas and affect their behavior.

Credit unions recognize

How Lack of Sales Strategy Can Make your Startup Fall Down

Fintech startups fail for a number of reasons; ironically, most of those reasons are centered on finances. If you recognize and understand common pit falls beforehand, you can make a better plan and turn your startup into a success story rather than a failure.

The most impactful startup mistakes usually

CBA of Georgia Spring Meetings: Change Continues to Impact Community Banks

The Community Bankers Association of Georgia (CBA) held its annual spring meetings in cities across the state which this year included Macon, Hoschton and Albany (pronounced ALL-benie if you’re not from around these parts). The CBA meetings bring community bankers together to discuss opportunities as well as challenges within the

FinovateSpring 2016 Live Blog – Day 2

William Mills Agency and Beyond the Arc will be live blogging at FinovateSpring 2016. Check back for new updates throughout the day.

11:37 am

William Mills, CEO of William Mills Agency, and Stephen Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc, discuss major trends presented at this year’s Finovate and highlight key companies

FinovateSpring 2016 Live Blog – Day 1

William Mills Agency and Beyond the Arc will be live blogging at FinovateSpring 2016. Check back for new updates throughout the day.

07:14 pm

Well folks, 35 companies today, 35 tomorrow and now we are off to visit with this afternoon’s presenters. We MIGHT have some video from San Jose so

Maximizing Your Time at a Conference

4 tips for getting the most out of industry trade shows

Conferences are an excellent venue to meet industry experts, share and learn best practices from peers, and even encounter potential partners. However, with so much activity packed into just a few short days, they can also seem overwhelming. To

Will Your Startup Launch or Lag at Finovate?

How Your Website Can Open or Close the Door for Prospects  

Finovate 2016 is coming up soon and this is the place for FinTech startups to get their products or services noticed by top industry influencers. As competitive as it is for startups to make it, it is crucial

Is Your Financial PR on Offense or Defense?

Even with summer just upon us, I know I’m not completely alone in my eagerness for football season to start. As we think about how our teams (and tailgate snacks) will stack up this fall, I too think about and compare different organizations’ game plans for PR. It’s usually pretty

MBA Tech Conference: New Outlooks, New Opportunities

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference and Expo was held April 3rd through 6th in sunny Los Angeles, California. The four-day conference included more than 30 sessions based on the mortgage industry’s most prominent issues including data and analytics, emerging technologies, regulation and compliance and information

Video Interview Part Two: Why EMV Will Be a Major Failure in 2016

In part two of our Bankers as Buyers video interview, Jimmy Sawyers, Co-Founder of Sawyers & Jacobs, LLC, speaks with William Mills Agency’s Charlyne McWilliams to discuss EMV technology and its impact on customer experience in the U.S.

Communicating With Millennials

3 topics to discuss with Gen Y members through blogs, social media and video

Observing the financial struggles their parents endured, the millennial generation -- those born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s--have developed a different point of view about finances and the financial industry than those of

Macro Trends and Millennials: AFT Spring Summit Meeting

The Association for Financial Technology (AFT) held its 2016 Spring Summit Meeting in Orlando, Florida this year, and both Kelly Williams and I made the trip to learn more about what’s happening right now in the banking industry as well as what trends to expect in the future.

AFT is

Video Interview: Customer Experience and Cybersecurity Vital to Bankers Today

Jimmy Sawyers, Co-Founder of Sawyers & Jacobs, LLC, speaks with William Mills Agency's Charlyne McWilliams to discuss key industry topics including customer experience and cybersecurity from his article, " The Top Ten Trends Impacting Bank Technology in 2016," in this year's Bankers as Buyers Report.

Prepare for Video and Televised Interviews

5 things to think about before you're in front of the camera

With a successful public relations strategy, credit unions can develop meaningful content through news and feature stories on a wide variety of platforms, including TV and video. Participating in a televised interview gives credit unions the opportunity to

MBA Servicing Conference 2016: A Place for Coffee and Yoga

The number of regulations touching the mortgage servicing industry has grown significantly since 2008. That could be the reason more than 2,000 industry professionals registered for the MBA Servicing Conference in Orlando late last month.

Some attendees said this was the biggest MBA Servicing show they had seen in years

Closing the Social Media Gap

Three Ways Financial Companies Can Bridge the Gap in 2016

Social media is no longer the shiny new toy in the PR and marketing toy box. Today, financial providers and FinTech firms alike know they must integrate social media into their communications strategies. But as social media constantly evolves, companies

Bankers as Buyers Video Introduction with Scott Mills

Scott Mills, President at William Mills Agency, provides an introduction to Bankers as Buyers 2016 and highlights key themes and trends represented in this year's report.

Two Top Reasons Financial Industry Trade Shows and User Conferences are Important Even with Today’s Technology

- Free 2016 Trade Show Directory Available for Download Now! -

In today’s digital age, there has definitely been a shift in how we communicate. More of our interactions in both our professional life as well as personal life are done through digital channels rather than through face to face

Bankers as Buyers 2016 Letter From The Editor

 

The expectations of customers and how they interact with their banks are changing faster than at any time in my career. Even the use of the term “fintech” has changed, not only to reflect technology companies that support financial institutions and payments, but to also describe competition from non-traditional

Don't Make These Mistakes

3 common public relations pitfalls credit unions want to avoid

Public relations is one of the most effective ways your credit union can build its brand and increase awareness of the value you bring to the community. A well-orchestrated PR program can help raise awareness and interest in many key

Money 20/20 Has Emerged As The Must-Attend Fintech Event for 2016

In the financial services industry, there have been several mainstay trade shows where bankers and service providers come together to learn about new products and technologies: Finovate, the ABA Annual Conference for Community Bankers and BAI Retail Delivery are all examples, and there is another emerging.

This is just one snapshot of many important Fintech trade shows to consider this year. To help you in your market planning, William Mills Agency has compiled a comprehensive listing of financial services trade shows by sector in our annual Trade Show Directory. We hope you find our directory useful in planning your trade show schedule for 2016!

Today, Money 20/20 is making

2016 State of Content Marketing in Fintech

Content marketing has rapidly emerged as a key marketing strategy within the fintech industry in a relatively short time. I vividly remember my content marketing conversations with clients in early 2014. Our agency had spent the better part of two years developing our content marketing service offering and formally launched

The 6 Steps to Crisis Communication Preparedness

How to manage your efforts when crisis strikes

In many ways, 2015 was the Year of the Crisis when it came to corporate communications – from the Volkswagen emissions scandal to the host of data breaches that affect financial services companies. The reality is that allorganizations will experience a crisis

Welcome to 2016 – The Year of FinTech Disruption

In a recent analysis of all technology investments announced on a single day on CrunchBase, there was more than $250 million in venture capital spending. If that single day was representative of every other business day, that means there was approximately $65 billion in new investment capital last year, and