FPSC: Financial Planning – Building Awareness for a Profession and Designation
The Client: Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC)
Financial Planning Standards Council is a not-for-profit organization that develops, promotes and enforces professional standards in financial planning in Canada through Certified Financial Planner® certification. In 2003, I (Chadnick Communications) was engaged as FPSC’s external consultant to provide media relations/PR counsel services. I became an ongoing (month-to-month) consulting media relations partner for 10+ years. Here are some success highlights.
- Media relations program: Established and developed FPSC’s first media relations program resulting in year-over-year (10+ years) of unprecedented media coverage and brand awareness. Developed media relations campaigns, positioning, key messages for proactive and reactive (issues) activity. This program established FPSC as the ‘go-to’ source for consumer and trade media for financial planning insight and access to corporate spokespeople and CFP® professionals across Canada.
- Brand Ambassador Program: From concept through implementation, I co-created a strategic program that recruited, media trained and built relationships with 100+ Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) professionals across Canada. Integrated with a media relations effort that provided media opportunities for these ambassadors who gave voice to the CFP brand and financial planning profession in Canada.
- Financial Planning Week (FPW) 2009-2013:I was an integral member of the planning and implementation team for the inaugural FPW and four consecutive years. Responsible for all media relations strategies/activities and contributed to broader communications initiatives including FPW themes, key messages, content (web, Globe and Mail insert) – and more. Achieved extensive cross-Canada media coverage; established FPW as important event in the industry with excellent attendance at the annual FPW main event.
- Other: Provided media relations guidance and related implementation for various research/survey initiatives ; Mentored FPSC internal staff to to guide and teach media relations skills and efficacy; assisted the inaugural group of organizations that established the “Financial Planning Coalition” (2012-1013) with its media relations initial strategy; and more.
RESULTS: Brand awareness of the CFP designation increased by over 200% from 2006 to 2012 making it the most frequently cited financial planning designation in Canada (achieved with little to no paid media). The CFP designation became a requirement for many media seeking credible spokespeople and experts on financial planning topics. Further detail on results available.