Two Years After First Direct, HSBC UK Launches its Social Media Newsroom

A few minutes ago, I received an email from Betony Taylor – Media Relations Manager at HSBC to inform me of the long awaited launch of HSBC UK’s social media newsroom.

The newsroom consists of two sections: ‘Personal Finance’ and ‘Business Banking’.
Basically both section share a similar layout with a main section with the relevant news and on the right handside:
* the latest news of the other section,
* the youtube videos from the HSBCUKPress channel,
* the flickr pictures from the HSBC UK Press Office photostream,
* a very useful Tags section and
* a twitter feed (respectively from @hsbc_uk_press and @hsbcukbusiness.

About the Social Media Newsroom
This is how Betony introduces the concept in the official press release:
“More and more news agencies and journalists are depending on the immediacy of online content. This is a great opportunity to get closer to the people making the news, from the traditional media to freelance bloggers, and to make our content more shareable and relevant to our UK audience.”

“The HSBC social media newsroom is designed to be a central hub for all bank announcements, staff activity and community events, but this is just the start. We will also be inviting staff to blog on the site, giving a view into the inner workings of the bank and telling the stories that can get hidden in the modern media melee. It’s exciting to be able extend our traditional media relations in a more interactive and engaging way.”
My Take
First of all, congrats to Betony and her colleagues from the PR department to make this happen. It has been a lengthy process which required a lot of effort to reassure all the bank key stakeholders (in the UK and abroad) and their colleagues from Legal & Compliance, Risk and Corporate Affairs. It surely involved endless internal meetings and excellent negotiation skills.

Having actively evangelized social media and digital engagement in financial services for over four years now, I must admit I’m still amazed with the internal struggle faced by the advocates for social media, especially in PR and Communications.

Launching such a social media newsroom presents virtually no reputational risk and offers no technical challenge. indeed, it is merely an aggregator of content from the bank’s official social media assets which by essence went through the compliance process, with no user-generated content.

And in HSBC’s case, first direct has long confirmed the PR value of such an initiative when they launched their own social media newsroom more than two years ago. Back in 2009 it was an innovative initiative and first direct has been rewarded with a significant press and blog coverage. It was a great success in terms of earned media.

It is not innovative any more. Since then, many financial institutions all over the world launched similar initiatives with the likes of More Than (Newsroom) in the UK and abroad with BBVA (sala de Prensa), Banco Sabadell (BS en las redes sociales), Deutsche Vermogensberatung (DVAG), Standard Bank, SEB (Newsroom)…

So if it takes two years for HSBC UK to copy first direct’s – risk free – social media newsroom, I can’t help but wonder how long it will take them to launch their own crowdsourced HSBC Innovation Lab “a la first direct Lab” which in just a month generated over 3,800 comments and suggestions…
Any guess?

10-Step Strategy to Sail Through a Crisis Thanks to Social Media
Please find below the slides I used earlier this year in Hong Kong, as well as the links to the initiatives mentioned.
I invite you to read my comprehensive blog post which includes some context and the links to the initiatives mentioned in my presentation.

Working Together
We at Visible Banking would be delighted to help you and your team better UNDERSTAND and LEVERAGE social media in a strategic yet pragmatic way. So please don’t hesitate to call me, send me an email or DM me (@Visible_Banking) to book a meeting and talk about twitter, facebook, crowdsourcing, customer reviews, social media & social commerce in banking, financial services and insurance.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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