Election year highlights client messaging acumen

The presidential election has kept a variety of regulatory and legislative issues high on the priority list for many clients, especially those in the financial services, energy, housing, and healthcare sectors.

The presidential election has kept a variety of regulatory and legislative issues high on the priority list for many clients, especially those in the financial services, energy, housing, and healthcare sectors.

Ian Campbell, MD of Abernathy MacGregor's West Coast offices, says clients in “virtually every sector” of financial services and the housing industry seek help in better defining why their segment is vital to the financial services system so they “don't get thrown out with the bath-water” amid federal policy changes.

“They want help with communications focused on regulators, Congress, and media to try to ensure that [they] don't get into more trouble as result of inflated rhetoric from DC,” he adds.

Clients are also asking for “more active support to drive a particular regulatory agenda” that can help accomplish their goals now because they know the current administration's policies, he notes.

David Olson, senior counselor at Abernathy, says affordability of Medicare and Medicaid is an “overriding issue” for healthcare companies.

“Medicare covers about 30% of total healthcare expenditures in the US – it's a big influence,” he explains. “[Clients want] to continue to get that point across. [We advise] companies to not get positioned too far one way or the other and to focus on solutions.”

Paul Jensen, GM and head of the corporate practice at Weber Shandwick in New York, says financial services and energy clients are “asking [for] help [to] see around corners” with respect to both industry issues and “significant developments and announcements” from candidates.

“Most agree [that] a more aggressive energy policy” is coming regardless of who is elected, he adds. Jensen also notes an increase in risk-management queries.

“Monitoring media clips [gives clients] the view from inside the Beltway and behind the headlines,” Jensen says. “From a risk-management perspective, clients want to know what they should be thinking about not only from the defensive perspective, but also what issues might be opportunities.”

Jensen says WS has unveiled new risk-management tools and is monitoring blogosphere conversations. The firm is also creating dashboards and widgets to give clients real-time access to and analysis of both online and offline conversations.

Scott Sunshine, principal and MD of the corporate and financial group at Middleberg Communications, says existing clients are also keeping an eye on Wall Street.

“Clients want to reach out to financial advisers [and] tap into [them] on an ongoing basis,” he says. “We

started doing this almost a year ago.”

Middleberg tailored a previously developed tool for client Brinker Capital to gauge election thoughts of 4,000 advisers every quarter. The firm is also working with the Money Management Institute to determine big investment management firms' thinking about the election.

All these issues will continue to impact clients well beyond November.

“Even if we get a Republican administration, things are going to change,” Sunshine says. “Clearly, we need to help clients prepare and [determine] what messages need to be out there.”

Key points:

Clients in various sectors want to prepare for post-election regulatory and legislative changes

Communication with Wall Street is increasingly key to many clients, and some are looking to drive regulatory agendas before the administration change

Firms are helping clients monitor conversations and focus on solutions

Election year highlights client messaging acumen

BY TANYA LEWIS

THE PRESIDENTIAL election has kept a variety of regulatory and legislative issues high on the priority list for many clients, especially those in the financial services, energy, housing, and healthcare sectors.

Ian Campbell, MD of Abernathy MacGregor's West Coast offices, says clients in “virtually every sector” of financial services and the housing industry seek help in better defining why their segment is vital to the financial services system so they “don't get thrown out with the bath-water” amid federal policy changes.

“They want help with communications focused on regulators, Congress, and media to try to ensure that [they] don't get into more trouble as result of inflated rhetoric from DC,” he adds.

Clients are also asking for “more active support to drive a particular regulatory agenda” that can help accomplish their goals now because they know the current administration's policies, he notes.

David Olson, senior counselor at Abernathy, says affordability of Medicare and Medicaid is an “overriding issue” for healthcare companies.

“Medicare covers about 30% of total healthcare expenditures in the US – it's a big influence,” he explains. “[Clients want] to continue to get that point across. [We advise] companies to not get positioned too far one way or the other and to focus on solutions.”

Paul Jensen, GM and head of the corporate practice at Weber Shandwick in New York, says financial services and energy clients are “asking [for] help [to] see around corners” with respect to both industry issues and “significant developments and announcements” from candidates.

“Most agree [that] a more aggressive energy policy” is coming regardless of who is elected, he adds. Jensen also notes an increase in risk-management queries.

“Monitoring media clips [gives clients] the view from inside the Beltway and behind the headlines,” Jensen says. “From a risk-management perspective, clients want to know what they should be thinking about not only from the defensive perspective, but also what issues might be opportunities.”

Jensen says WS has unveiled new risk-management tools and is monitoring blogosphere conversations. The firm is also creating dashboards and widgets to give clients real-time access to and analysis of both online and offline conversations.

Scott Sunshine, principal and MD of the corporate and financial group at Middleberg Communications, says existing clients are also keeping an eye on Wall Street.

“Clients want to reach out to financial advisers [and] tap into [them] on an ongoing basis,” he says. “We

started doing this almost a year ago.”

Middleberg tailored a previously developed tool for client Brinker Capital to gauge election thoughts of 4,000 advisers every quarter. The firm is also working with the Money Management Institute to determine big investment management firms' thinking about the election.

All these issues will continue to impact clients well beyond November.

“Even if we get a Republican administration, things are going to change,” Sunshine says. “Clearly, we need to help clients prepare and [determine] what messages need to be out there.”

Key points:

Clients in various sectors want to prepare for post-election regulatory and legislative changes

Communication with Wall Street is increasingly key to many clients, and some are looking to drive regulatory agendas before the administration change

Firms are helping clients monitor conversations and focus on solutions

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.