How to break into the financial PR industry as an Undergrad

Everyone wants their friends and family to be up to date with their lives, be aware of their achievements and know how they’re handling problems. The stakeholders in our lives are our friends and family. They invest in us emotionally, physically, and financially (thanks Mum and Dad).

In the same way we prioritise preserving these relationships through communication and expressing gratitude, companies like to maintain their relationships with their customers, investors, and board members. Public relations is about managing the relationship of companies, their shareholders, and the public.

In the current technological age where information is transmitting at a million miles a minute, the need for PR has been streamlined. Here at Honner, they focus on PR for financial firms which is often described as corporate communications, financial PR, or investor relations.

Asset managers, financial institutions, and now crypto organisations need someone managing their public facing side to maintain integrity, run their socials, keep shareholders updated and communicate messages. The credibility good PR brings stems in authentic and informative coverage and is essential for the survival of any business.

But what do you actually do?

To work in financial PR, you need to be constantly across the media and know what’s going on for your client. This is not limited to announcements and changes within a firm but extends to shifts within the industry and any events, statements, or market changes that a financial firm should be aware of.

Within financial comms, you can stem into an in-house career or to agency work. In house means you are hired by the financial institution, and you do only their communications and PR. However, with agency work you are hired by a range of financial institutions, and you operate as an independent.

Honner is an agency and has a variety of influential clients such as NAB, crypto.com and Nano Digital Home Loans. You get to have a taste of every client and the work they require which could include:

  • media monitoring: dissecting publications to see if there are client mentions or articles of interest
  • press releases: writing up announcements (eg. If a bank has announced a new app)
  • media training: working with clients to prepare them for the public (eg. Interview training)
  • content creation: branching out to generate content relevant to a client (eg. Surveys)

My time at Honner

While interning at Honner, I had a chance to work with everyone’s teams. On face value, the upbeat atmosphere and team comradery gave me a breezy impression. While Honner staff have a lot of fun, they also work hard and produce very high-quality work. Honner is home to a diverse group of industry professionals with expertise in media, marketing, journalism, content creation and asset management.

I was able to get the inside scoop on how to know if financial PR is right for you and what ways to impress in a job interview. Interested in the industry but don’t know how to crack in? I’ve got some insight from Honner’s best and brightest.

  • Harrison emphasised the importance of a keen interest in finance and to be open to understanding the ins and outs of the financial sector. You have to know what’s going on in the AFR, The Australian and any other publications that include a popular financial section. If you don’t right now, don’t worry – there’s PLENTY of time to get well versed and you pick it up quick – you just have to want to do it.
  • Andrew has a pretty impressive background in financial journalism and moved to PR in 2019. His media experience has allowed him to curate relationships with a diverse group of journalists. He highlighted the lasting significance of newspapers despite the digital age evolving and how they are always the most accurate and reliable source of information. To thrive at Honner, you need to be outgoing and willing to reach out to form relationships with journalists.
  • Eleanor is a graduate and has been working at Honner for 6 months. She was surprised with the relentlessness of the news cycle and stressed the importance of organization and timelines. She explained that understanding general industry knowledge helps so much with knowing what your clients are talking about and what would be important to them. Having that information rehearsed and accessible pays off in the long run.

Check out the ‘Our People’ tab to put some faces to these names.

The bigger picture

While PR will always be necessary, financial PR is constantly evolving. Not only is the consistency of finance reassuring, but new facets of finance are always emerging to keep things exciting. The crypto space is booming at the moment and Honner is all over it.

During Sydney Fashion Week, a client of Honner’s partnered with a designer to create an NFT. Two Honner girls had the opportunity to check out the digital dress NFT and attend a few shows. Finance is always going to be relevant. And in turn, so will financial coms. Stagnant is not a word Honner staff are familiar with.

I was instantly drawn to the fast passed environment of financial communications. Being a PR major, I had always envisioned myself working with passionate clients and helping them to succeed in the limelight. Spending 2 weeks at Honner made me realise how rewarding a career in financial coms can be.

I am grateful not only to be given the opportunity to experience how this industry functions, but to have had time to learn from a diverse range of experienced and driven industry professionals (aka. Team Honner).

The QUT x Honner scholarship has settled my confusion about what career path to choose. I highly recommend to any QUT students to check out this opportunity or even have a browse of Honner’s website and socials.

If working at Honner sounds interesting to you, email recruitment@honner.com.au with your resume and get in touch.

Honner appoints Andrew White as Senior Consultant to support client growth

SYDNEY, 26 July 2021: Specialist corporate and financial communications firm Honner has appointed senior journalist Andrew White as a Senior Consultant.

Andrew brings a 30-year career in business journalism primarily working across The Australian and The Australian Financial Review. His roles have included Rear Window Columnist and Companies Editor at the AFR, as well as Associate Editor, Media Editor and Business Editor at The Australian.

As AFR Companies Editor, Andrew oversaw a national team of reporters, columnists and commentators covering national and business news for the print edition and the website. As Editor of the Business section at The Australian he managed a team of more than 20 journalists while commissioning, editing and producing a daily print section and general news.

Over the past year Andrew has been head of communications and marketing for Greensill Capital Asia Pacific where he provided strategic advice to the senior leadership team, worked with media, regulators, the Federal Government and other stakeholders during a critical and issues rich time for the business.

Honner founder Philippa Honner said: “Following a period of substantial growth for our business, we are delighted to welcome Andrew to the team. Attracting high-calibre talent who can deliver great results for clients is a key priority.

“Honner works with a wide array of corporate and financial clients who need astute strategic counsel across a range of stakeholder engagement and reputation management issues.

“Andrew brings strong insights into important key areas for our clients, such as public and private companies, asset management, investment banking, superannuation, insurance and energy, and policy issues related to those industries. Our clients and team will appreciate the deep relationships he has built across Australia’s corporate, financial and media sectors.”

As Senior Consultant Andrew will provide senior strategic communications advice to clients and also contribute to Honner’s growing content offering as well as media training services. Honner’s content offering is supported by a number of expert writers who produce a wide range of on-message materials for B2B and B2C audiences.

Honner has also recently appointed Beccy Cambridge as Account Manager. Beccy brings five years’ experience in public relations and marketing across both consumer and corporate sectors. She joined Honner from legal public relations firm Class PR and previously spent nearly three years at consumer PR agency, Sweaty Betty, most recently as senior publicist.

Honner partners with a wide range of global financial and corporate brands. New clients over the past year include venture capital and crypto specialist M.H. Carnegie & Co; BTC Markets – Australia’s largest cryptocurrency and digital asset exchange; digital home lender Nano; listed fintech company Change Financial; sustainable investment manager Nanuk Asset Management; Asia asset manager Longlead Capital Partners; global asset manager Principal Global Investors; independent funds governance specialist Equity Trustees; financial adviser software provider Intelliflo; and new trading and investment solutions provider AUSIEX.

 

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About Honner

Established in Sydney in 1997, Honner is an Australian-based marketing and communications consultancy that specialises in the corporate, investment, professional and financial services sector. We help our clients communicate their messages across multiple channels and formats to build engagement with stakeholders. Honner is part of the prestigious PROI Worldwide, Global Communication Partners (GCP) as well as specialist fintech network the Global Fintech PR Network. In 2020 Honner was named Provoke Corporate / Financial Agency of the Year APAC 2020; Provoke Best Agency to Work For #4 APAC 2020 (#1 Australian firm); and Mumbrella CommsCon PR Agency of the Year Finalist 2020

More information can be found at www.honner.com.au.

 

Contact

 

Philippa Honner

+612 8248 3754

+61 (0)407 939 543

philippa@honner.com.au

Honner continues growth trajectory with new senior hires, increasing regional focus

SYDNEY, 10 May 2021: Specialist corporate and financial communications firm Honner today announced a number of new hires as part of the Agency’s continued expansion of its offering across the spectrum of financial communications, marketing and content services.

The appointments also reinforce Honner’s growing regional focus as part of its support for local and global financial brands seeking to grow their profile across the Asia Pacific Region.

Judith Bence joins in a new role of Chief Operating Officer, Senior Consultant, commencing 1 June. Judith will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Agency, managing a team of 22 communications professionals and also providing senior counsel to Honner clients. Judith brings more than 20 years’ experience advising multi-national companies across a range of financial services, corporate and technology sectors across the Asia Pacific Region. She previously held senior roles at global PR agencies including Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Engine Group where she led teams responsible for key clients in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Barry Rafe BSC. MRES. FIAA. FAICD has joined Honner as the Agency’s first Non-Executive Director. A long-time associate of Honner, Barry brings more than 30 years’ experience working across Australia’s financial services industry in roles including strategy partner at Accenture and head of the financial services practice at Trowbridge Consulting. He is a former President and Chair of the Actuaries Institute and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. As NED Barry works with Honner’s senior management team to provide guidance and management insight, supporting the ongoing growth and evolution of the firm.

Samantha Rockliff joins Honner as an Account Director, starting in early May. Samantha brings more than 20 years’ experience working across marketing and communications with a strong focus on the financial sector. She joins from AMP where she spent the past decade working across a range of media, public affairs, marketing and communications roles.

As part of Honner’s expanding services in the specialist financial content space, the Agency has appointed veteran journalist Christine St Anne to the newly created role of Head of Content. Joining in April, Christine will work with Honner’s team of writers to further evolve Honner’s expanding content services, which include content strategy development as well as delivery across client events, websites, client communications, investor communications, social and digital channels.

Harrison Worley also joined Honner as a Consultant in April, working across both content and account management duties. Harrison previously worked at another financial PR agency where he was responsible for managing the day-to-day PR programs for clients including asset managers, financial planning groups, superannuation funds, non-bank lenders and regional banks. Prior to entering the PR world, he spent more than two years working with industry publisher Rainmaker, working as a journalist on the Financial Standard magazine as well as the Associate Editor for sister superannuation journal FS Super.

As part of its ongoing relationship with Queensland University of Technology, Honner has bolstered its graduate intake with four new grads joining over the past six months. Libby Hopper, Bridget Thelander and Connie Short have joined as Account Coordinators, all graduates from QUT Business School. UTS graduate Eva Harrington has also joined as Account Executive.

As part of the senior team changes, Honner has announced that its long-time Managing Director and Partner Paul Cheal has resigned from his role after nine years with Honner. Paul will continue to work with the Honner team as an independent consultant, providing senior counsel to key Honner clients

Honner founder and CEO Philippa Honner said the business was entering a new phase of growth with strong opportunities emerging across the changing Asia Pacific landscape.

“We have entered 2021 feeling energised and more confident than ever at the opportunities ahead of us.

“I would like to thank our wonderful colleague Paul for his substantial contribution to building our Agency over the past decade. Our strong culture and continued growth is in part a result of Paul and fellow Partner Susie Bell’s commitment to building a talented team with a laser focus on delivering great client outcomes, and we look forward to continuing to work with Paul going forward,” Ms Honner said.

Judith Bence will take over the majority of Paul’s day-to-day role, working closely with General Manager, Partner Susie Bell and founder Philippa Honner.

Expanding regional opportunities

With a rapidly changing landscape in key Asia markets such as Hong Kong, Honner is responding to increasing demand for regional mandates from global financial brands.

Judith Bence will lead the firm’s growing opportunities in Asia, given her substantial experience working across regional markets.

Honner partners with a wide range of global financial and corporate brands. New clients over the past year include venture capital and crypto specialist M.H. Carnegie & Co; BTC Markets – Australia’s largest cryptocurrency and digital asset exchange; real estate group Fortius Funds Management; Asia asset manager Longlead Capital Partners; global asset manager Principal Global Investors; independent funds governance specialist Equity Trustees; financial adviser software provider Intelliflo; and new trading and investment solutions provider AUSIEX.