Playing the General Election to your comms advantage in 2024

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By Jessie Adams, Account Manager

With Labour’s financial services plan launched, how can fintech brands get ahead as the election race hots up?

The Labour Party launched its sector plan for financial services earlier this month. For those in the fintech space – including several Missive clients – there was lots to unpack. Themes spanned innovation, financial inclusion, and consumer protection, and put fintech front and centre. The proposal included calls to deliver the next phase of Open Banking, define a roadmap for Open Finance, and make the UK a global standard-setter for the use of AI in financial services.

With the Labour Party currently leading in the polls, it’s important for businesses to consider what plans like this could mean for them and their communications plans.

After all, this year’s General Election is front of mind not just for businesses but journalists, analysts, and industry bodies alike. Media coverage of election issues is only going to increase. How can brands use this to their advantage as part of an authentic PR and comms strategy in 2024, to stand out and build credibility in the face of an incumbent government?

Integrating a campaign issue into your comms plan  

There are several great reasons a brand might consider attaching itself to an election issue – to access a wider audience, cement thought leadership in the industry, and boost credibility. But there are a few key steps any brand should consider first.

  1. Decide: Is there a campaign issue worth talking about? 

Authenticity is the name of the game. Brands should only be going after relevant issues that can be tied back to their business, and where they have credentials. For example, an invoice finance disruptor could focus on a campaign for legislation backing penalties on late payments for SMEs – an audience they already know and support.

For senior leaders with deep sector experience, can they engage by sharing relevant policy recommendations to make themselves a thought leader in this space? Making themselves useful to an incumbent government could be a credible and smart move to put their brand front of mind as a case study for policymakers – but again, this only really applies to sector pioneers so brands should consider this carefully.

  1. Plan ahead and track key calendar moments.  

As with any communications programme, planning ahead is critical. Brands should identify upcoming political milestones, legislation, and the most relevant awareness days to take a stand with a particular campaign issue for best effect.

For example, thousands of Uber, Just Eat, and Deliveroo riders did this masterfully earlier this year, uniting and launching a strike on Valentine’s Day for better pay and working conditions. Other moments this year could include the Spring Budget, by-elections, London Tech Week, financial frameworks coming into place.

  1. Partner up to tackle a wider societal issue.  

Brands seeking campaign credibility and industry leader recognition should also consider options for third-party for endorsement. Partnering with a consumer group such as MoneySuperMarket or Citizens Advice will create a weightier campaign and the ability to reach more mainstream media.

Meanwhile, endorsement from reputable industry bodies including Innovate Finance or FinTech Alliance, will boost the overall credibility and message cut-through, while avoiding appearing self-serving.

  1. Execute integrated campaigns with human-led stories. 

Lastly, brands need a simple and purposeful message at the heart of any campaign. To ensure maximum cut through with media, human-led storytelling is key. A brand that can show how it has added a net benefit to society and provide consumer case studies, influencers, or insights that puts people at the centre, will go a long way.

Taking an integrated approach will also increase the effectiveness of the campaign. For example, using a central research report to create short and long-form content, case studies, video, and wider multimedia assets. These will offer collateral for a range of channels and tactics – from interviews, to events, and more.

Final thoughts: audience, audience, audience

While there are certainly benefits hooking a campaign to a wider societal issue this year, the key for brands is keeping their core customer audience front of mind. That might mean staying away from pure party politics to avoid alienation, or sidestepping themes that stray too far from a product offering.

Missive is an integrated communications consultancy with a fintech specialism. We work with some of the UK's most innovative fintech brands to deliver measurable business impact through integrated PR & comms. If you are a fintech leader, get in touch to find out how we can help you capitalise on the opportunity presented in an election year. 

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