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New Study Finds Family Offices Engaging More in PR and Marketing to Boost Investment Opportunities and Social Impact

June 16, 2020

BOSTON – JUNE 16, 2020 – A new study by BackBay Communications has found that while family offices remain more discreet in their public-facing activities than traditional asset management firms, many leading family offices have begun to leverage marketing and public relations to create differentiation and build awareness in support of their investment and impact objectives.

In many ways, the marketing efforts of family offices is on the same maturation curve as private equity 15 years earlier

The study assessing the external marketing and communications efforts of family offices was conducted by BackBay Communications, a financial services-focused public relations, content development, digital marketing, and branding agency.

Of the leading 20 family offices analyzed in the study, “Family Offices Tiptoe into the Spotlight,” BackBay found that:

  • More than half, 55%, have launched websites
  • More than two-thirds, or 70%, have used either third-party public relations firms or hired PR representatives in-house
  • And 75% produce content (such as thought leadership in the form of white papers and other insights) regularly

“Anecdotally, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of inbound inquiries from family office clients,” said BackBay Founder and CEO Bill Haynes. “This research helps to confirm our assumptions that family offices are indeed more interested in marketing than in past eras and they recognize that honing their brand messages, and sharing them to key stakeholders via their website, thought leadership content, and public relations can be effective ways to inform and strengthen ties with key stakeholders.”

Beyond highlighting best practices employed by the most influential family offices, the study also explores the drivers behind the segment’s new appreciation for public relations, particularly for a community that has historically sought to avoid public exposure.

For instance, many family offices have sought to disintermediate certain investment strategies, and are often competing directly against private equity firms for new deals. In this case, PR can help deal sources understand the unique appetite of family offices, while conveying key differentiators that can position the family office as a preferred buyer of certain assets. Alternatively, many family offices have also been among the earliest supporters and advocates of impact strategies, and are now leveraging PR to use their influence as investors and help shape the public discourse around causes important to them, the research found.

“In many ways, the marketing efforts of family offices is on the same maturation curve as private equity 15 years earlier,” said Ken MacFadyen, Senior Vice President and Head of Content Development at BackBay Communications. “They used to perceive marketing as a risk, but websites and content are allowing family offices to test the waters and share their narrative in a controlled and measured way.”

To conduct the study, BackBay Communications used Trusted Insight’s ranking of “The Most Influential Family Offices” to analyze which organizations had websites, communicated with the media through third-party PR representatives, and produced content in some form, either owned, earned, or paid media.

About BackBay Communications
BackBay Communications is an integrated public relations and content marketing firm focused on the financial services sector including private equity and venture capital firms, wealth managers, family offices, financial technology companies, and impact investing firms. BackBay helps its clients develop brand messaging and build integrated communications programs. BackBay’s services include public relations, thought leadership content creation, digital marketing, branding, and website development. BackBay is highly regarded for thought leadership initiatives and relationships with the business media. For more information, please visit

Emily Stoermer, BackBay Communications


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