Unlocking the Power of Financial Advice: Launching Fidelity’s latest Women & Money report in lockdown

By Liberty Wallis on Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Research reports form a key part of a PR team’s toolkit. From the initial idea, the project develops into consumer research, the drafting and publication of a full report and then, after months of hard work, launch day. The big bang comes when the news is shared with journalists across different news titles, activated across social channels and events are held to discuss the findings further.

The lead-up to launch takes months of preparation but something we didn’t factor into the launch of one our latest reports was that the entire country would be in the middle of lockdown, with desk phones left ringing and newsdesks no more.

In 2018 we launched the hugely successful Fidelity Women and Money Financial Power of Women report and July 2020 marked the launch of second iteration. Titled ‘Unlocking the Power of Financial Advice’, the report uncovered the barriers to advice for women and disparity between the number of men and women seeking advice, particularly among the younger generations.

These are just some of the key findings:

  • 21% of men aged 18-34 have sought a financial adviser, compared to just 12% of women of the same age
  • 24% of young women worry about money on a daily basis and six in ten (59%) young women worry about their finances at least once a week
  • 50% of IFAs have lost a female client’s business once that client’s partner has passed away
  • 33% of IFAs said that their female clients originally came in for one-off advice but ended up coming back later on
  • 72% of women said that they would recommend professional financial advice to a loved one

However, we faced different challenges than in 2018. Firstly, we were launching virtually with the team spread across five different locations. Communication was key. In the lead-up to launch we were speaking with several journalists about different angles so catching up regularly as a team was so important.

But it wasn’t only us; journalists were also working from home so no longer available via their office phone numbers.

Instead, WhatsApp became our best friend and feedback on angles or questions from journalists were shared immediately. This did rely on us having the journalists’ mobile numbers – luckily years of media relations meant we had many to hand.

We answered queries, pulled additional data, arranged calls with case studies and shared bespoke commentary with journalists all ahead of the report’s launch, making sure that everyone had what they needed to write up our launch release once the embargo had been lifted.

One of the unique activations of the Fidelity Women and Money report is the Women and Money Innovation Lab, which gathers leading industry figures and key journalists in one room to discuss the report findings.

Back in 2018 we held a large event at Fidelity’s offices, bringing together influencers, policymakers and personal finance journalists. However, under the lockdown rules this was most definitely not allowed. Instead of an in-person event, Fidelity switched to Zoom, with 15 handpicked attendees including financial advisers. In keeping with the ‘workshop’ style of the Labs, the group was split into two virtual break-out ‘rooms’ to discuss and debate the role financial advice can play in helping women to invest, stay invested and secure their financial future.

I think I speak for the whole team when I say we were slightly nervous about how it would all work, but the lab was a success.

The report has resulted in 87 (and counting) pieces of coverage across national, consumer and trade publications as well as social media. A testament to the hard work and weeks of planning from the whole team.

We couldn’t be prouder to be working on a campaign with Fidelity that is highlighting the barriers to investing for women and what more needs to be done by the industry to help shape women’s financial security. We’re already looking forward to the next one!