The Zignal Financial Services Labs Report: COVID-19 Relief Makes Waves
Welcome to the Financial Services Labs Report from Zignal Labs, your latest dive into the issues currently driving conversations in FinServ. For today’s report, we used the Zignal Media Intelligence platform to take a look at the conversations playing out in financial publications, across both digital and social media.
Keep reading as we dive into questions like:
- How has the latest COVID-19 relief package impacted conversations in finance?
- Which aspects of the relief package, in particular, are making a splash?
- What lessons are there for brand managers and communications professionals?
Book a meeting to see how brand managers and communications professionals use media intelligence from Zignal to stay ahead of important stories for their brands.
A Surprise in the COVID-19 Relief Conversation
You likely wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the latest COVID-19 relief bill has had a major presence in FinServ conversations. Indeed, it has: Together, the topics “Stimulus Checks” and “Small Businesses” comprised 22% of mentions in the top 10 issues within mentions published in financial publications in December of 2020. Even mentions of other issues touch on the bill as well. Many of the mentions of “Donald Trump,” the leading issue, are related to his role in stimulus negotiations. And lots of the mentions of “coronavirus” and “loans” occur within the context of discussions of the relief bill as well.
What surprised us, though, was the distribution of topics within the relief conversation – specifically, that “Stimulus Checks” only comprised 2% more mentions in the top 10 issues than “Small Businesses” (the issues comprised 12% and 10% of mentions, respectively). It came as somewhat of a surprise that the margin wasn’t much bigger, considering that stimulus checks were arguably the biggest focal point of contention in Congress in the month of December, and that the issue is directly relevant to virtually all Americans, not just owners and employees of small businesses.
“What surprised us was the distribution of topics within the relief conversation – specifically, that ‘Stimulus Checks’ only comprised 2% more mentions in the top 10 issues than ‘Small Businesses.'”
Head to our press page for other COVID-19-related news coverage that leverages media intelligence from Zignal.
Does This Mandate Action for Finance Comms Professionals?
If you had been operating under the assumption that conversations directly related to small businesses would be dwarfed by mentions of the stimulus payments, how would that affect your communications strategy? If your brand provides loans to small businesses, would you try to make inroads in the discussion of the COVID-19 relief bill, or take a different approach, assuming the issue of small business relief wasn’t receiving enough attention with so much going on related to the stimulus checks?
“Even with the stimulus checks currently getting the most attention from the president, Congress, and much of the media, there’s a lot of conversation playing out around small business relief – and some comms teams in FinServ are actively getting in front of those audiences.”
The media intelligence we used in our analysis suggests the latter approach might be a misguided one. Even with the stimulus checks currently getting the most attention from the president, Congress, and much of the media, there’s a lot of conversation playing out around small business relief – and some comms teams in FinServ are actively getting in front of those audiences. For example, our analysis quickly turned up a press release announcing a partnership between Reliant Funding and Biz2Credit, two FinServ companies that work with small businesses, explicitly tying the announcement to the Paycheck Protection Program funds made available through the latest relief bill.
Learn more about media intelligence for Finance firms on our Financial Services Industry Page.
Recap: Don’t Always Trust the Naked Eye
Two lessons come to mind when reviewing our media intelligence:
- Aspects of the COVID-19 relief bill specific to small businesses are generating more conversation than you might notice with the naked eye.
- FinServ companies are already claiming their share of the topic – possibly even some of your competitors.
Without the will or ability to dive below the surface of these conversations using media intelligence, PR and comms leaders might miss these signals – and miss their chance to claim ownership of a hot topic.
This analysis was conducted using Zignal’s “Banking & Investment Industry 2020” environment. We focused on our “Financial Publications” profile, which pulled in articles from major publications, as well as social media mentions of those articles. Within that profile, we tracked approximately 100 issues related to Finance.