From Ronnie Corbett to Prince, trending topics have primarily centred on a string of high profile deaths this year. But change was afoot on Monday morning and it was less #Bowie and more #AndrewBailey – as the financial sector grabbed the limelight. From 8:30am to mid-morning, the talk of the town was #CityWeek – a three-day conference bringing policymakers and industry experts together to discuss the future of financial markets in London.

It’s not hard to see why there was such a buzz. With an EU referendum just around the corner, there’s no shortage of issues to get a financier’s fingertips firing. However, with businesses publishing posts faster than a high frequency trading platform going into overdrive, what’s the best approach to stand out from the crowd?

As with any successful comms campaign, it all starts with having a well thought through strategy. Now into its sixth year, firms should know what to expect from City Week. Therefore, it is important to set time aside in advance to work out how the week aligns with the broader marketing/comms plan. Do any of the topics discussed at the conference provide a timely opportunity to engage with your target audience?

If yes, the next stage is thinking about how to engage – which has to involve creating sharp content that links the burning issues of the week with what you do as a business. There is every chance that one of the conference speeches could spark an idea for a quick blog, for example. It is safe to assume that topics such as Brexit and MiFID II will always be high on the agenda, and articles can be developed for the media with this in mind. Yet, in order to maximise your presence, this content needs to be supplemented with an agile approach. Key to this is responding quickly to live conversations. A good examples was Monday’s speech by the new FCA chief Andrew Bailey’s “tone from the top” on changing the culture of banking. With influencers such as @LucyMcNulty from @efinancialnews taking to Twitter, firms need to share their opinion as well – the quicker the better.


Responding to conversations like this not only helps businesses engage in the debate, but it could also lead to them being quoted in a piece. The key is adopting a flexible approach and being prepared to engage in as many live conversations as possible – without going down any paths you don’t want to.

So as City Week draws to a close for another year, now is the ideal time for firms to reflect on the attention it has received and how they can get in on the act next time around. One thing is for certain, any successes will be built on a strategy that clearly defines what you want to be famous for, underpinned with compelling content and which, of course, is executed through a proactive approach to media across all relevant channels for maximum exposure.

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