CAMPAIGNS: Profile in UK is increased for Edward Jones - Financial PR

Client: Edward Jones PR Team: CardewChancery Campaign: Raising the profile of US securities firm Edward Jones in the UK Timescale: September 2002 - present Budget: Undisclosed

Edward Jones is the fourth largest retail stockbroker for private clients in the US. The firm moved to the UK in 1998 and has so far established 120 offices, but had a minimal public profile. It operates an 'Avon calling'-style business approach, where its brokers operate from suburban offices and visit prospective clients at their homes.

Objectives

CardewChancery was charged with raising the profile of Edward Jones and increasing the credibility of the way it operated to the notoriously staid financial community. The agency had to distance it from undesirable associations with double-glazing salesmen.

Strategy

The agency focused on building the profile of Edward Jones CEO John Bachmann and other senior figures such as UK managing principal John Anderson.

Its media programme focused on two UK visits by Bachmann in November 2002 and March 2003. He met with City and business editors from The Financial Times, the Daily Mail, The Independent, Financial News and The Economist.

Senior managers were positioned as 'thought leaders' in areas such as retirement and pensions, with emphasis placed on the firm's track record in the US. Certain brokers were also trained to act as regional spokesmen. This all worked to distance the company from any associations with door-to-door sales.

CardewChancery manager Jonathan Smith said: 'In the current climate many companies were actually pulling back from smaller customers and concentrating on high net-worth clients. We were trying to show that in a bear market the face-to-face approach really works.'

To illustrate this the agency came up with the strapline 'Keeping up with the Joneses'.

Themed dinners with organisations such as the FSA and Dow Jones were organised.

Measurement and Evaluation

There has been an increase in enquiries and leads in response to initial articles in the FT, The Daily Telegraph and Financial Adviser.

Further press enquiries from areas such as The Sunday Times resulted.

Feedback was also received from brokers in the field on comments about Edward Jones. Key messages about the company were reflected in the articles printed.

Bachmann and Anderson have been positioned as spokespeople for the press on a range of industry issues.

Results

Awareness of Edward Jones has been increased in the business community and customer traffic into the company's offices has risen, as have enquiries.

An ongoing contact programme is raising the profile of Edward Jones in the investment press. A full-page profile from the FT was reprinted by the company and used for further recruitment and training.

Bachmann is set to return to the UK in May for further meetings.

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