February 2011

AFM Media report, Q4 2010

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In its first year AFM saw a volume of press coverage that far exceeded our predecessor organisations, and which has proved the value of speaking with a clear voice on the value of the sector and the issues affecting it. Our media report for Q4 shows that the momentum has been maintained and we are now seen as a credible voice for the financial mutual sector.

The report below was presented to the AFM Board in January, to summarise coverage achieved in Q4 2010.

In all twenty-four 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 shows that the early burst of interest we had at the launch of AFM has been sustained throughout the year.

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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.

AFM gains significant support on our media work from our PR agency MHP Communications (formerly Penrose), and we were particularly pleased that the press appear increasingly keen to adopt the key messages in our press lines.  This included our work on financial education, our work on championing corporate diversity, on FSA’s approach to with profits, the Retail Distribution Review, and the Junior ISA.  The coverage included print, online and a couple of video interviews.

In the current quarter 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 continuing to gather momentum.

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