Steve Casey on Protection on Platforms – MPAF48

It’s been flat for many years and individual protection providers are searching for new ways to grow the protection market.

Relying upon price competition, adding features and promoting claims statistics isn’t working.

Riding on the success of platform providers could be one way to find that elusive extra business.

My guest today is Head of Marketing and Propositions at AIG Life. Having just launched a protection proposition onto the Transact and Nucleus Financial platforms, Steve is best placed to explain the opportunity that exists.

Hear Steve explain how protection on platforms works and how it interacts with a client’s investment portfolio.

Listen as Steve talks about the innovative pay as you go feature which means clients only pay for the cover they need.

That’s all right here on Episode 48 of the Marketing Protection and Finance Podcast.

Steve Casey on Protection on Platforms - MPAF48

Who is Steve Casey?

Steve Casey joined AIG Life in November 2012 when they were known as Ageas Protect.

AIG purchased the company at the end of December 2014 and they have now successfully rebranded as AIG Life.

Other than running a wholesale fishing tackle and bait company when he was much younger, Steve has spent his career in Financial Services in the UK, Far East & European markets.

He writes and blogs regularly on the protection market although a little known fact about Steve is that he appeared in Money Marketing once not talking about the values of protection but how to actually make the best beans on toast.

Steve’s links:

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Peter Timberlake on How to Build a Successful Media Profile – MPAF47

Journalists require a constant stream of stories and content to satisfy 24 online demand for news.

Only a handful of financial advisers activity engage with the media to provide comment and material. So a huge opportunity exists for other advisers to build their own media profiles.

My guest has been doing communications and PR for over 30 years and you can benefit from his experience here. Peter’s interview is a masterclass in how to give journalists what they need and supercharge your media profile at the same time.

Listen to Peter talk about media commentating, being accessible to journalists, and how to deliver the Holy Grail – The Case Study.

You can also hear his valuable advice about blogging, LinkedIn Publishing and Social Media right here in Episode 47 of the Marketing Protection and Finance Podcast.

Peter Timberlake on How to Build a Successful Media Profile

Who is Peter Timberlake?

Peter’s communications specialist with over 30 years’ experience across multiple audiences and media including financial services trade press, consumer personal finance press, city/business media, specialist lifestyle publications, broadcast and digital media, political and policy makers, IFAs, lobby groups and worthy causes.

He’s an external communications leader with experience of managing combined press office, public affairs and corporate responsibility team and building the function from scratch.

He helps leading organisations manage and enhance their brand and reputation and achieve strategic communications objectives.

He’s held senior positions at Standard Life and Friends Life and currently works as Head of Communications for the Financial Reporting Council.

Peter’s links:

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One Crucial Tip to Make Your Business Writing Stand Out: Get Active

Why is so much business copy so dull?

Long sentences, jargon and clichés don’t help make it engaging. But it’s passive language which blights business writing.

Business Writing Stand Out

Which of these sentences reads better to you?

“The brochure was drafted by the marketing department and was sent out by the fulfilment house.”

or

“The marketing department drafted the brochure and the fulfilment house sent it out.”

The first sentence uses the “passive voice”. The second the “active voice”.  Businesses, especially big corporates, love passive language.

With the active voice, the subject and verb relationship is straightforward. The subject does the work and the verb moves the sentence along.

With the passive voice, the subject of the sentence doesn’t do anything.  Some other “agent” or something unnamed does the work. The result is weak writing.

Perhaps this is why Corporates like passive so much. It masks responsibility for example:

  • “Sorry but your cheque wasn’t processed on time by the accounts team,” sounds like buck passing.
  • “Sorry the accounts team didn’t process your cheque on time,” is better.
  • “Sorry we didn’t process your cheque on time,” admits responsibility and is the best of the lot.

So the one tip to make your business copy stand out is to get active. That’s all.

When I was a Marketing Director for a big corporate my policy was zero tolerance for passive language. People used to cringe when I wielded my red pen. But eventually passive became active. Copy went from tiresome to engaging. Dull to bright.

Here’s another example:

Passive: “There is a wealth of expertise shown by financial advisers when talking to their clients.”

Active: “Financial Advisers show a wealth of expertise when talking to their clients.”

And another example:

Passive: “The compliance computer based training must be completed each year by all members of staff”.

Active: “Each year, all members of staff must complete the compliance computer based training.”

You don’t have to seek out and cut all passive language. But in business copy, where most writing is passive, someone who takes time to get active will stand out from the pack.

If you need help with your business copy, or would like more tips like this, please get in touch.

A Question for you: What’s your best example of awful passive language? Please share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn.