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Financial Planning Publicity: When Talking to the Media, Dont Fake What You Dont Know

Relationships are based on trust-not just romantic relationships, or doctor/patient relationships, but practically any relationship, even the one with your auto mechanic.

That's why the absolute worst thing a financial planner can do in their relationship with a reporter-especially a new relationship-is to give them false information.

Remember, they think of you as a subject matter expert. Someone they can turn to again and again for concise, intelligent and accurate explanations for financial planning matters that they don't understand. If you mislead them, even if it's unintentional, you lose all credibility--and all chances for publicity.

It is an especially egregious mistake to make with a reporter, because they have a relationship with their readers. If they print the false information that you gave them, it gets into the hands of thousands of people.

When the mistake is caught (and it will be) the reporter has to print an embarrassing correction or retraction. Believe me, your number will be gone from their Rolodex in an instant.

If you are not sure of the answer to a reporter's question, say these words: "I'm not sure, let me check." This sentence is the only acceptable response. Winging it will invariably get you in trouble. Tell the reporter you'll look into it, and call back soon.

Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit or call 212-243-8383.


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