Terms like ‘bridging finance’ and ‘short-term loans’ tend to conjure a particular image in people’s minds; and it’s fair to say, the image is often not a positive one, with the negative connotations that surround payday loans unfairly tainting the wider market.
So when, in the second half of 2016, we began working with Market Financial Solutions (MFS), we knew that reputation management was going to be hugely important. The London-based bridging lender was more than a decade old at this point, and while they had a strong, loyal customer-base, little was known about the business within the industry.
For those not so well versed in the world of bridging — indeed, it was a relatively new subject to us back in 2016 — these are short-term loans typically used by individuals, particularly buy-to-let (BTL) investors, when buying a property. They have become particularly popular in recent years, especially as mortgage providers have become more reticent in their lending to BTL landlords.
MFS therefore needed to get its name in front of more investors, as well as the brokers these investors work with to secure finance for their property transactions. At the same time, our client needed to establish its brand in an increasingly competitive marketplace, ensuring it took a proactive approach to fighting off those aforementioned negative stereotypes that still clung to businesses of its ilk.
For the past three years we have been executing a holistic research, PR and content strategy for MFS, which has achieved both these things. In summary, this is how it has worked: we will regularly commission new surveys on behalf of MFS via our market research partners — this research usually involves quizzing investors and homebuyers about pertinent trends and issues within the property market.
Then, using the findings of this unique research, we create press releases, interesting articles, engaging reports, factual blogs and short social media posts for MFS. The result is that the client has stories to offer journalists that no one else does; as such it receives a huge amount of coverage in both national newspapers and trade publications. In fact, in the first six months of 2019 alone we secured a massive 94 pieces of media coverage for MFS — have a sneak peek here.
Since the start of 2018, MFS has received more than 250 pieces of coverage and featured in the likes of the Financial Times, The Times, Independent, City AM, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Yahoo Finance and more.
All of this media coverage has established MFS as a market leader in the bridging space. It’s a company people see and respect because it has unique, interesting insights that its competitors cannot match. What’s more, the company’s CEO, Paresh Raja, is now a prominent spokesperson for a wide range of topical issues in the property market, which has helped build his own network, in turn opening doors for new business opportunities. (Give Paresh a Google and you can see for yourself!)
But that’s not all. On top of the vast amount of excellent exposure MFS receives in the press, City Road Comms’ work has also made sure the business has a steady stream of engaging content to share with new and existing clients. All that research, which sits at the heart of the PR activity, also informs white papers and infographics, which are used as downloadable guides to generate leads.
Similarly, daily social media content and weekly blogs mean MFS has a consistent, prominent voice — it’s able to shout about the great things the company is doing while also providing valuable insight to potential clients.
For three years City Road Comms has acted as an extension of the MFS marketing and comms team, and the results over this period speak for themselves. It’s a perfect example of how a robust, holistic and proactive PR strategy can underpin commercial success by significantly boosting the awareness and reputation of a business.
Get in touch with our director, Dominic Pollard, if you want to learn more about how City Road Comm’s services could work for your organisation: firstname.lastname@example.org