As a multi-line agent, you may not have the time to develop a comprehensive public relations strategy as part of the marketing plan for your agency. However, publicity is important in building awareness about your agency and ensuring a demand for your services. According to the Public Relations Society of America, businesses who understand and believe in the benefits of public relations/marketing evaluation are able to link the results to business outcomes that further the achievement of organizational goals.
Here are the five most important steps in crafting any communication about your agency:
1. Have a Plan of Action
Strategy simply means deciding what the goal is and then making sure that all of your actions help you achieve that goal. For example, if you issue a press release, how do you know what to say? Well, the first thing you need to do is consider what action you want your audience to take. Do you want them to buy insurance? Or maybe you just opened your agency and you want more people to know about it. In either case, always be strategic and never forget what action you are hoping to convince your audience to take.
2. Identify Your Audience
Everything you put out there should be executed in order to reach a certain audience. Maybe it’s a trade audience, a carrier audience, a consumer prospect audience, or an internal audience. Before you put out any communication about your agency, decide who the audience is, and then imagine you are one of them. What would you want to read or hear? Now, write or speak directly to them. Your primary focus should always be on what your audience wants. Try to step outside yourself and craft materials that speak to them.
3. Research Your Audience’s Concerns
Make sure you always identify where your audience’s interest or concern lies before you begin your communication. For example, if your audience is comprised of homeowners, decide what issues are important to them. One might be protecting the home and material possessions. Also, always back up your claims with data. If you are stating that there are a lot of families at risk because they are lacking life insurance, do a little research and back that claim up with some hard facts (always indicate the data source as well).
4. Offer a Solution
The next step is to offer a solution, or information/advice that your audience may be interested in. Whether it’s offering life insurance, which solves the problem of being unprotected in the event of a tragedy… or providing convenience for potential clients by calling attention to the fact that you’re the most centrally located agency in town. The goal is to create a solution for your audience and ideally, that solution is a service your agency can provide. If you have illustrated a need that exists with a specific audience, you need to offer the solution.
5. Always Include “The Ask”
The final step is to compel your audience to take action. This is where you come full circle, back to your original goal. Make a statement as to why it is important to the audience to take the action you advise. For example, if you have painted a picture about how many families don’t have enough homeowners insurance, and you have offered a solution (meeting with their agent to review the policy and make any changes that will ensure they are sufficiently protected), now advise them on what to do (call your agency). Always encourage your audience to take action and provide your contact information such as a website, email or phone number.
Keep in mind, every agency works differently, but exposing your agency to the public (potential customers) is an important marketing strategy.
If you have questions about designing a marketing plan, or are simply ready to take your agency to the next level, Troy Korsgaden can help you get there with his one-on-one coaching for individual insurance agents.