There is absolutely no question that there is a great divide between Main Street and Wall Street. It is a divide fraught with mistrust due to the financial meltdown, the Great Recession and exacerbated by the Occupy Wall Street crowd. What to do? It appears that now more than ever, financial services PR is called for.
In good times as well as bad, financial services PR experts can help banks and investment houses navigate the rocky terrain of federal regulation, the media and public opinion to communicate their value to key stakeholders. Financial services PR is even more important when times are bad. It's possible that not even the best financial services PR could have helped big banks whose irresponsible practices that led to the financial crisis. However, it's also possible that a skilled financial services PR consultant could help Wall Street enhance its image.
We sometimes forget the role that banks have played in the development of our country in building its railroads and funding its expansion from its earliest days. Also, the technology we take for granted today required capital to fully develop and implement. I'm thinking here of the wonderful devices from Apple (what would life be without an iPod or iPad?). Who raised the money for Apple and companies that are perhaps working on cures for diseases? Of course, it came from Wall Street. Of course, Wall Street is entitled to make a profit on transactions - you risk money, you're entitled to a reward.
Wall Street is an engine of capital. It raises money for promising enterprises. It does it well. What it doesn't do well is tell its own story. And that's where a good financial services PR program comes in. The industry should burnish its image through a concerted financial services PR effort that highlights its many contributions to the advancement of society.
For readers unfamiliar with financial services PR, the practice involves many things: media relations, positioning, thought leadership, branding - and, most important during turbulent times, crisis management.