Raise Your AFC® Voice!
For many Americans, finances are both intimidating and overwhelming, and too often, people turn to the web or the news for financial advice.
Meet them where they are. As an Accredited Financial Counselor, you can use media to become an accessible, trusted voice in your community.
This media kit is designed to support you. Browse through our impact library to learn ways you can share your expertise to help others gain financial freedom.
AFCs are frequently called upon by the media to share their expertise.
Nicole Dow, AFC®
Todd Christensen, AFC®
Jen Hemphill, AFC®
Brandy Baxter, AFC®
Not all people can share sound financial advice to help others – but you can! As an AFC, you are equipped with the knowledge and resources to provide financial education and insight on a variety of financial topics; and local, trade, and national media outlets are looking for your expertise!
Share your expertise on a variety of topics, including, but not limited to:
- Basic money management
- Behavioral issues/relationship issues around money
- Couples/family planning
- Debt management
- Financial issues related to aging or caregiving
- Financial issues related to disabilities or caring for those with disabilities
- Personal finance education
- Student loans
“I am Jane Smith, founder, and president of ABC Financial Coaching Group. My organization is focused on helping clients build a strong financial foundation, realize their goals, and achieve lasting financial well-being. The average American has $90,460 in debt, including all types of consumer debt products, from credit cards to personal loans, mortgages, and student debt. So many Americans are navigating the financial and emotional stress of debt and it’s important to know that this doesn’t have to be their story. As an Accredited Financial Counselor, I’m able to assist individuals and families in the complex process of financial decision-making, including creating effective spending plans, overcoming debt, identifying and modifying ineffective money management behaviors, and helping prepare and save for retirement. Would you be interested in writing a story on this topic? I’d be happy to provide unique tips and solutions on ways to overcome debt and achieve financial stability.
You can start by sending your pitch to any specific reporters who cover finance or consumer tips. You can find media contacts emails by visiting the outlet’s website on “contact us” pages or “staff directories” – or sending an email pitch to the newsdesk.
Do not just send out a mass mail to every journalist out there. It is best to pick a few reporters to start with to personalize your pitch and form relationships. Always send your emails out individually. Never copy another person or journalist into your email.
After you send the pitch, feel free to follow up via email on the pitch roughly two to three days after sending the initial communications. Your follow-up can be simple:
Hi – Just pushing this story idea to the top of your inbox around free financial resources available to local families. Looking forward to connecting with you and hearing your thoughts.
If the reporter is interested:
Congratulations on securing interest from the reporter! The next step would be to schedule a time with the outlet that works best for you for an interview. Or, if they would rather you send an article their way for review, that is great as well. At this time, feel free to loop in AFCPE for additional media support. We are happy to help.
- Research the reporter and read/watch recent coverage: Learning more about the reporter and how they have previously covered other stories will help you better understand how the interview could go and what to expect.
- Review talking points: Prepare by reviewing your talking points and adding your tips to help consumers with their finances.
- Create a memorable interview: During the interview, try to have an enthusiastic, actionable conversation.
- Speak in sound bites. Keep your answers concise, avoid jargon as much as possible, and speak in a list of threes when appropriate to help readers or reviewers remember your key points.
- Use real-life examples. Call upon your experience and expand upon your tips with examples that readers and reviewers can relate to. For example, if you are talking about budgeting, walk the reporter through a brief realistic budgeting scenario.
- Remain positive. Even though consumers face many financial challenges and seek financial advice for a variety of reasons, remain hopeful that arming them with tools and resources will help put them on the path toward financial freedom.
- Follow up on questions you are uncertain about. If the reporter asks a question that you would like to research or spend a little more time thinking about, feel free to ask if you can follow up via email with an answer. Consult your resources or AFCPE for support in answering any challenging questions.
- Nail the final question: Almost all reporters ask, “Was there anything I missed or anything else you wanted to add?” at the end of an interview. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste! Summarize your key messages, clearly, and confidently.
To build a relationship with the reporter, follow up after the interview to thank them for their time and get a status update on when the story will run.
- Ask to review the story
- Critique the reporter’s writing style
- Read the story right away
- Flag factual errors in the story
- Share on social media
The following information can help you explain your credential to others:
- As an AFC, you have a holistic perspective on a client’s financial well-being and the individual challenges they face.
- This allows you to meet a client where they are, providing financial education and guidance that is unique to an individual’s needs and goals. Not a prescriptive one-size-fits-all approach.
- No matter where someone is in their financial life, chances are they could benefit from financial education and support.
- An Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) is a fiduciary. This means that they are committed to doing what is best for you. When you work with an AFC, you receive financial education and guidance specific to your unique situation, goals, and needs.
- An AFC is the only financial counseling designation that is nationally accredited – showing your commitment to upholding high standards, ethical practice, and continuing education.
- An AFC Professional can:
- Address your immediate money challenge.
- Create a plan to achieve your unique goals and dreams.
- Build a sustainable foundation for long-term financial well-being.
- Find an AFC: Find your AFC professional.
Leveraging AFCPE as a resource
AFCPE is a national non-profit organization that certifies, educates, and supports financial professionals like you – who share a common passion to help people with their money to improve their lives. AFC professionals serve people of all backgrounds, regardless of race, income, or gender. They work for nonprofit organizations, banks and credit unions, the military, academia, private practice and more.
AFCPE offers an extensive network of professionals to support you in your work. We publish timely blogs, host a podcast, and offer professional development webinars to help you stay updated on trends impacting your work and those you serve.
In your work and outreach, feel free to call upon AFCPE’s studies, expertise, and programming. If you are sharing ways people can get free financial advice, direct them to AFCPE’s Pro Bono Financial Counseling Program, a financial counseling and education program open to anyone in the United States age 18 and older. If you are looking for stats or trends, visit the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. Or if you have a question you cannot answer, lean on the expertise of AFCPE Members in the Connected Community.
AFCPE loves to share the great things our AFCs are doing! When you have a media placement published, make a stellar presentation, or release a large blog or white paper – tell us about it. We’d love to share your work with our audiences to expand your reach!
Feel free to tag AFCPE with the news on social media. Click below for the various channels for AFCPE:
Engage AFCPE For Media Support
If you are interested in sharing your expertise, but have questions or would like to talk to a media relations specialist for 1:1 support, feel free to reach out to AFCPE’s team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is here to support your media efforts including talking points, interview preparation, sourcing additional resources, and more