People find it interesting when I tell them I work in financial services PR. The next question, typically, is whether I get to meet anyone famous, but unless they read the Wall Street Journal religiously, prefer Bloomberg Radio to Casey Kasem (am I showing my age?); or work best when CNBC drones on in the background, few outside of financial services are familiar with my client base.
As a former sports reporter and political hack, even I find my choice to work in financial services PR somewhat of a surprise. I have on occasion met some famous people – recognizable to those outside of finance — but those who know me would think I’d be more interested in talking to Bill Belichick than Bill Gates, Larry Bird more than Larry Ellison, Tom Brady over…well, that’s a different story.
My interest in financial services PR speaks to a genuine curiosity, the fascination of a good story, and the chance to help tell it. I don’t create the stories, and other than the random musings of a blog post such as this, it’s not that often I get to write them. But I know a good narrative when I see it, and connecting the dots between the interesting perspectives of my clients and the dedicated hive of reporters looking to document trends in the global economy has always proven to be more than enough motivation to get me out of bed.
A key element not to be discounted are the relationships developed with business reporters across the globe over many years. I’m not some big shot PR guy having three martini lunches with industry movers and shakers (think Mad Men). I am lucky enough, however, to have broken bread with a number of really interesting, nice and equally curious people, both clients and reporters. For me that is worth its weight in filet mignon. In most cases these long-term relationships have worked well for everyone involved. Noteworthy perspectives from interesting clients, solid sources for interested reporters – a best-case scenario for me – and everyone leaves the literal and figurative table with a full stomach and a notepad of ideas.
We all reflect on our career paths from time to time, and working from my home “office” surrounded by (and stepping on) Legos, photo albums and scrapbooking supplies allows for plenty of deep thoughts. These are unusual times, to say the least, for clients, reporters, and yes, PR folks. We are all trying to maneuver through the weeks and months ahead, navigating a new way of doing business, a new way of connecting, and hopefully a new way of sharing interesting and important stories.
Sharing these stories may not directly impact the how, why or when we land on a “new” normal of doing business, but it does provide an important view into a world in which our efforts to connect these dots can help all of us feel connected too.