Beneficial State Bank is a purpose-driven community bank with a triple bottom-line focus on social equity, environmental sustainability, and prosperity for all. However, having never had a concerted public relations function or partner, the bank’s values were not known broadly. This presented challenges when the bank’s co-founder, Tom Steyer, ran for president and the political opposition came out of the woodwork, looking to discredit anything even remotely tied to the candidate. The bank needed crisis communications management, a concerted thought leadership effort, and a PR campaign to bring the bank’s tremendous good work into the spotlight.
Results So Far
- Crisis communications training and protocols for executive leadership, including a handbook the bank uses as a guide whenever necessary
- More than 100 media hits in seven months
- A significantly raised profile with regional and national media, which now come to the bank for expert comment on issues surrounding small business lending, values-based banking and more
- Development of numerous spokespeople for the bank
- A more streamlined, efficient process for both internal and external communications
- A measurably enhanced brand image for the bank via prolonged, proactive PR with consistent messaging targeting each key audience
EMC Communications provided crisis communications support and instated a proactive public relations campaign, boosting the bank’s brand affinity with customers, potential customers, partners, advocates, it’s community stakeholders, and the media.
Running multiple simultaneous campaigns, we zeroed in on messages that highlight the bank’s real-time work to address three overlapping crises in 2020: climate, racism, and Covid-19. From Paycheck Protection Program lending to BIPOC and women-owned small businesses, to divestment from extractive industries, the campaigns each showcased elements of Beneficial State Bank’s brand value through the strategies it employs to meet its racial, economic, gender, environmental, and social justice goals.
EMC Communications’ intervention transformed Beneficial State Bank’s public relations approach, moving it from a defensive stance to a proactive and strategic one. This shift not only helped the bank navigate a challenging political and social landscape but also significantly enhanced its brand image and media presence, aligning its public profile with its core values and mission.