This financial sector in the UK has been very much in the spotlight as banks have been taking huge risks, big bonuses and loosing big sums of money. RBS was bailed out of financial ruin from taxpayers money. Financial PR companies were needed in order to cover the media message. The need for you to have a good media machine is probably more important now that it was in previous years. The pressure has been on the sector to get itself into good order and stop putting pressure on the UK taxpayer. The PR machines have been working to help put a positive message through. This is why it is needed, to help your image and prevent negative media driving customers away causing financial ruin. A tough job considering the economic climate but the financial industry is still ticking, so the work that is being done must be working. Across the UK there are many agencies that work within the industry (whether this is directly for a bank, financial advisors etc.) and have the relevant experience needed.
It is always easier to communicate something that you understand. If the PR agency do not know the industry, then there will be a learning curve as they get to know the sector. How it works, establish contacts at key media institutions etc. Choosing financial PR companies with industry experience makes good sense and should get better long term results. If they have done work in the past, they are the ones that are best equipped to helping you. There are lots of great PR companies in the UK however if you are representing a sector that you do not know or have a track record in, then it will be an uphill struggle. Meaning time and money being spent whilst the hill of experience is climbed.
Due to the number of PR agencies there are in the UK, it may take time to find one that does have a working knowledge of the financial industry. Most carry a mixed bag of experience, working with a variety of clients brings them a more rounded knowledge base and skills from one industry may transfer into another. However there are a quite a few PR agencies that do specialise in the financial industry and some that work exclusively in the financial market.
What is always recommended is to meet with the agency. That way you can build a relationship with them. You can get to know your account manager and quiz them as to their specific experience and background. Many PR agencies select journalists from within the sector or maybe they went from being part of an internal team within a bank (for example) to working for a specialist industry specialist. Although it is very normal to work via e-mail and phone with an agency; it is advised to meet with the PR agency roughly once every couple of months or so. That way you can get a good feel for how your campaign is going. By meeting with them, they will ensure that you have results to look at. For free advice and quotes from financial PR companies, just fill in the form.