Harnessing the power of the media

It would be easy to write yet another article about debt, bankruptcy or health reform this week as we\'ve recently seen the newspapers flooded with reports and studies on all these topics.

Whether it’s through published reports from the Citizens Advice Bureau or via independent studies, we are continually receiving proof that we as an industry must make more effort to get the message across to the public that they should think about financially protecting themselves and their families.

So this week I’m taking a different slant. I’d like to consider how you can use the media to get your message across.

The vast majority of your clients will read a newspaper or watch the TV news at least once a week. They will be reading and hearing snippets of information about health reform and the financial state of the nation but not necessarily understanding how this affects them.

Making use of these news items is a great way for brokers to bring home to their clients the importance of protection as it relates the subject to something they understand, even though they might not previously have made the connection.

In recent weeks we have seen more news about the country struggling financially and reports indicating that the number of people facing bankruptcy is likely to surge. We’ve heard the fantastic news about Herceptin, the breast cancer drug being approved for use in the National Health Service to treat the early stages of cancer. There were even reports of surgeons being asked to postpone cancer surgery to carry out wisdom tooth treatments in an attempt to keep waiting lists down.

All these stories made the front pages of newspapers and the lead items on the TV news. Your customers don’t have to scan the financial or health pages to get a feel for the financial and health implications on society.

These days, news is instantaneous. CNN and BBC news websites update constantly and many daily newspapers have morning and afternoon editions. Our appetite for information is unwavering, with most of us aware of everything going on in the world, particularly those things that might affect us.

By keeping an eye on the news you will find ways of raising the need for protection with your clients. Whether they have made the connection with their personal situations or not you can bet that they are aware of the hot news topics.

If you put your mind to it you can get some compelling protection sales angles from news stories and if your clients have seen those stories it will be like a third party endorsement of the point you’re making. Powerful stuff.