May 2010

AFM Media Report

In its first four months AFM has seen a significant volume of press coverage. The media has shown an increasing interest in the mutual sector in general, and this has combined with specific issues for mutual insurers and friendly societies to produce a depth of press coverage.

The report at the bottom of the page was presented to the AFM Board in April, to summarise coverage achieved in Q1 2010. In all twenty-two articles referred directly to the trade body and/ or covered our views- we also spotted a number of indirect references to our PR lines which aren’t included here. This is an impressive achievement for a new organisation, and owes much to the enthusiasm and commitment of our PR agency and AFM Associate member, Penrose PR.


We have split coverage into different tiers- Tier 1 are national newspapers, Tier 2 are key regional and trade papers and online media, and Tier 3 are more specialist but still important journals, mainly online. Reassuringly we have seen good coverage across all three tiers, and in a wide variety of publications.

The coverage we have achieved owes little in itself to the launch of a new trade body, but reflects broad trends in the mutual sector as a whole. Compared to the nature and volume of media coverage from our predecessor bodies, there is a significant upturn and this is coupled with a better and more balanced coverage. Further, our positioning as a part of the wider mutual sector has meant that we are often referenced in broader articles.

In Quarter Two we have continued to see a good volume of coverage and are regularly asked to contribute to articles and meet journalists. The broader AFM strategy, as summarised briefly below, shows that this is a core activity for AFM. It also reinforces that this is best achieved by producing firm evidence of the value and effectiveness of the sector.

  • Demonstrating the value of the mutual sector to consumers
  • Better political and regulatory understanding
  • Encouraging positive media stories about the sector as a whole
  • Encourage Government policy initiative to identify role of mutuals in core issues
  • Growing the influence of AFM
  • Effective Management and administration

So with mutuality being increasingly seen as a route to improving the accountability and effectiveness of both financial services and public services, it seems the interest in AFM and the sector is here to stay.

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