Digital Assets Report


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Edelman – Best North American PR Firm

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Edelman is one of the highest profile PR agencies in the world. With 65 global offices, Edelman is uniquely positioned within the communications marketing arena. 

Edelman's Financial Communications & Capital Markets' global team focuses on reputation management, executive positioning and thought leadership development, strategic investment communications, financial media relations and communications planning and implementation. The team also supports a range of clients on special situations spanning shareholder activism, transactions, litigation and regulatory matters. 

With respect to alternative investment funds, Edelman has an impressive roster of clients including Citadel, Highbridge and AQR, to name but a few. At the heart of Edelman's value proposition is the ability to develop and execute strategic communication programmes that "raise visibility and enhance reputation".

"We are starting to see a shift in the mentality investment managers take towards communications. Institutional allocators are demanding more transparency, and in some cases a better understanding of a fund's value proposition," says Mike Geller, Executive Vice President & Head of Alternative Asset Management, Financial Communications & Capital Markets. 

"We have created a specialised practice that has strong expertise and experience working with investment managers of all shapes and sizes."

Rich Myers is General Manager, Edelman Financial Communications and Capital Markets. In short, he says, the last year has been about helping firms "own and control their own narrative, their own story. Hedge funds want to establish a real brand identity for their firm and they are taking a more strategic, proactive approach towards communications." 

"Firms more than ever are willing to look at non-hedge fund types of communication tools such as social media channels (Twitter and LinkedIn), as a way to improve the dialogue with investors. 

"However, there's always going to be compliance risk when using social media channels. You can't have an off-the-shelf social media agency because you need to marry the social media expertise with financial industry and regulatory expertise, which we provide, so that there are no trip wires," explains Myers. 

For managers that want to portray their value proposition and reach the right audience, reliance on old fashioned methods such as print media is starting to shift; far better to host digital content on the firm's website, or on third-party thought leadership platforms, to pique the interest of stakeholders.

"Alternative asset managers are beginning to get more comfortable with new communications channels," says Geller. "Today, firms might choose to use LinkedIn to micro target certain stakeholders that they are trying to reach or leverage Facebook to complement and enhance their recruitment initiatives. 

"Firms are starting to explore and adopt on a selective basis innovative tools to help further burnish their brands and raise visibility in the right ways," highlights Geller. It is leveraging digital and social media as an amplification tool."

Edelman is the world's largest social media agency with upwards of 250 people in New York alone. Having the resources and expertise to deliver an effective strategy is critical. 

"The way we look at digital and social media, we want to provide our clients with strategic platforms that expand their reach to key stakeholders. The overall goal is to develop the right digital content that helps clients to further communicate their strategic rationale or particular viewpoint. Clients hire us to align communications objectives with business initiatives. That underpins everything we do in respect to helping clients build their brand," concludes Myers

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