Hedge Fund Public Relations

In the following video, I talk about public relations for hedge fund managers.  Hedge fund managers often shy away from media attention and overlook opportunities for public relations.  I believe that public relations is one of the most ignored marketing tools in the hedge fund industry.


Video Transcript/SummaryThe strategies and tips provided within this video module include:

  1. The media is very hungry for stories about hedge funds and the opinions and insights of hedge fund managers.
  2. If you speak with your compliance or in-house legal counsel, you can really use the press as an asset rather than an adversary.
  3. By only doing interviews via e-mail you can run your communications with the press by your compliance or legal firm to make sure that you are not violating any laws or regulations.
  4. Have a process in place that you have written with your compliance officer so that you avoid any problems in your interviews.
  5. Identify a few select publications that you would like to appear in and contact those editors with information about you and your hedge fund.
  6. Speak at public events, conferences and networking events in the hedge fund and finance industries.  
  7. Consider writing a book on your experiences and your insights.  

Transcript for Hedge Fund Public Relations

Hello, this is Richard Wilson and now we’re going to talk just real briefly on public relations for hedge fund managers. This is a topic that isn’t talked about too much because most hedge fund managers ignore public relations strategies, don’t talk to the press at all and kind of shy away from any type of media attention. And it’s probably one of the most ignored marketing tools that I see in the hedge fund industry. I’ve spoken and worked with over a thousand hedge funds. I work pretty closely with three dozen hedge funds and with the exception of one fund which I’d highly publish, author as a CIO, the rest at best put out one press release every two or three years and that was the extent of their public relation strategy.

So I definitely recommend meeting with a PR expert or a consultant, plan it out, reading four or five books on the area and figuring out how you can position your firm in the industry maybe combine that with some authority positioning tactics and it can really go a long way for your hedge fund. The media is always hungry for real-time opinions, from real hedge fund managers. That’s something they see as kind of scarce because hedge fund managers don’t want to talk to the media. So if you speak with your compliance firm or your in-house legal counsel and figure out when it’s appropriate and what can be said, what can’t be said or if you respond only through e-mail interviews which are first written and then approved by your compliance counsel before being sent out.

There’s ways on working with the press and getting around or taking regulations into consideration while still speaking with them and benefiting from that exposure. Sometimes your hedge funds can be written about whether you respond to the press or not. So it’s better to have some control of that message rather than none. I have about four main tips if you want to implement some public relations strategies for your hedge fund. First and foremost definitely speak to your legal counsel on exactly what you can say, what you cannot and have a documented process in place that he has approved that you’re going to follow when you’re speaking with press professionals. You’re always on the record when you speak with the press and you need to know what you’re going to say beforehand or how the approval process works or if you can really respond in writing, et cetera.

Second, I would develop a list of 10 to 15 targeted publications you’d like to appear in, identify the editor of the financial columns within the publication or news source and then introduce yourself to them, tell them who you are, what you do, how much money your firm manages, show the full picture of your strategy, your challenges, your background and your pedigree so that you look like a valid source of information for him. Next, try to speak at public events, conferences, networking events and other places in the industry where you’ll be heard by others in the industry but also by members of the press. That’s going to help while pitching yourself to the press and it will help you get invited for other goals in different publications in the industry.

The fourth tip is to consider writing a book on your insights and experience. People who write books get invited more often to speak to the press, speak at conferences, to write articles, to write columns and it might sound really extreme to somebody who’s already working 50 hours a week to write a book but really just writing a couple of articles a week, it’ll turn into a book in just two or three years. You’ll have a book written just from those articles if you do a good job writing them. So it’s really not hard as it may seem.

So my fourth PR tips in managing a public image as a hedge fund manager would be, first, speak to your legal counsel on compliance and to find a process that’s going to work every time when you speak to the press. Next, develop a list of 10 to 15 target publications you want to go after and figure out who the editors are of those publications. Next, speak at public events, conferences, seminars, networking events and last, fourth try writing a book. You can do this through writing separate articles or just getting a book deal on writing a book. But I think with these four tips, you’ll be doing 10 times more than the average hedge fund manager does and you will realize some long-term benefits from that.

So thank you for your time and we’ll see you again soon.

I have spoken with thousands of hedge fund managers during my career in the hedge fund industry and I have only met one or two who really make a big effort to use public relations to help their hedge fund.  

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