Welcome to an exclusive, new communications toolkit specially developed for PFP section members! This kit is provided free of charge to PFP member firms. The toolkit includes necessary tools that a CPA firm can use when communicating with reporters in the local community about Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness, a collaborative project of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), the American Red Cross and the AICPA. The guide is offered as a public service of the AICPA, AICPA Foundation, American Red Cross, and NEFE.
This Toolkit contains basic, factual information about the strategic partnership with the AICPA Foundation, American Red Cross, and NEFE, the contents of the guide and the role CPA financial planners can play for ways to help people with disaster preparedness. These documents contain pertinent background information for use when talking to the media (as well as community leaders and other organizations) about the program. These materials include:
- Disaster Preparedness Guide
- Fact sheet
- Official press release from the three partners in the program
- Q&A With Meloni Hallock about how CPA financial planners can work with their local American Red Cross chapters in disaster planning and recovery efforts
The Toolkit also contains media relations tools and customizable templates to assist a CPA firm in communicating with local news media about the disaster preparedness guide and the firm’s involvement in the program. Specific instructions on how to use each tool are included. These tools include:
- Do's and Don'ts of talking to the media. Easy-to-follow checklist containing guidelines to help CPAs better manage media opportunities as they arise. These tips are useful when responding to a media inquiry and when pitching the story to a reporter. Many of these tips are also useful reminders when speaking in front of a group of people other than the media (e.g., a community organization or civic leaders).
- PowerPoint Presentation. A slide deck presentation has been developed to assist CPA firms when talking to reporters or important community leaders about the program. THIS DOCUMENT IS NOT TO BE USED WHEN COUNSELING PEOPLE FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS. CPA Firms are advised to leave a hard copy of this slide deck with a local reporter or community leader after the discussion so they can understand the basics of the program. CPA firms can also customize the slide deck as needed (e.g., adding the firm’s logo, changing the background design template).
- Template Press Release. A template press release has been crafted that a CPA firm can send to the local news media about their involvement in this program. The purpose of this document is to inform the community about the disaster preparedness guide and the role the firm will play in this service to the community. It can be customized by the CPA firm as well (e.g., adding the firm name, dateline details, boilerplate information and firm letterhead).
- Template Media Alert. A template media alert has been crafted for a CPA firm to send to local media for disaster preparedness. The media alert tells news outlets that a member of the firm is available to serve as a news source on what the public needs to do to minimize financial loss by preparing for the possibilities of a disaster. It serves to position the member as a local disaster preparedness and planning expert and sets the stage for future calls from the media on this topic. This further helps to position the CPA firm in the local community as a thought leader and situation expert, helping to enhance the brand of the CPA firm among existing and potential clients.
- Template Bylined Article. A template bylined article (i.e., an article attributed to some author by name) has been written for a member of the CPA firm to send to local newspaper and magazine editors. Frequently, newspapers, magazines and business journals publish articles written by local community and business leaders on relevant topics for their readers. CPA firms should call the publication to find out the contact details for submitting the article to a business editor or consumer editor. This bylined article can be customized by the member of the CPA firm (e.g., adding their name as the author, as well as the name of the firm and any relevant credentials). Generally, bylined articles should not go beyond 800 to 1200 words. CPA firms should check with the particular publication to find out any limits they may have for bylined articles.
- Contact your local office of the American Red Cross and review current volunteer opportunities.