Day 5 - "Finding Personal Finance Angles on Any Beat"


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Melissa Preddy presents "Finding Personal Finance Angles on Any Beat," a Webinar for business journalists hosted by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For more information, visit

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Day 5 - "Finding Personal Finance Angles on Any Beat"

  1. 1. Friday, May 14 Show them the Money! Finding personal finance angles on any beat
  2. 2. <ul><li>Today’s agenda: </li></ul><ul><li>Financial services </li></ul><ul><li>Storytelling methods </li></ul>Show them the money! Finding personal finance angles on any beat
  3. 3. The $even Dimensions of Personal Finance
  4. 4. <ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve been talking about the Seven Dimensions checklist for a few days now. Have any of you used it to come up with story ideas on your particular business beats? </li></ul><ul><li>Please answer Y or N </li></ul>
  5. 5. Finding consumer stories in the financial services sector
  6. 6. Show readers what their accounts cost <ul><li> </li></ul>
  7. 7. Financial services <ul><li>Earning </li></ul><ul><li>Interest-bearing accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards cards, rewards checking </li></ul><ul><li>Perks and protection from credit cards </li></ul><ul><li>Careers: Know the credentials ~ CFP, CFA, CPA, broker, planner, adviser </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales vs. expertise </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Financial services <ul><ul><li>Spending: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deposit account fees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Credit cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Types of issuers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Secured vs. unsecured </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gift cards, pre-paid cards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Credit card reform – statement formats, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li> </li></ul>
  10. 10. Financial services <ul><ul><li>Saving: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deposit accounts, institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online, alternative banks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promos and perks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fed and interest rates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low rates harm savers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Financial services <ul><li>Borrowing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Secured loans – home, car, HEL, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal loans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finance companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rent-to-own </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Payday loan / Cash advance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pawn shops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microlending </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Islamic lending </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li> </li></ul>
  13. 13. Financial services <ul><li>Investing </li></ul><ul><li>Again, sales vs. advice – much overlap </li></ul><ul><li>Markets </li></ul><ul><li>Buy-and-hold vs. trading </li></ul><ul><li>Types of accounts & hidden expenses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Annuities and insurance as investments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consumer protection </li></ul><ul><li>Non-securities investing – coins, metals, commodities </li></ul><ul><li>Beware dispensing investment advice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experts may contribute to special features, packages </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li> </li></ul>
  15. 15. Financial services <ul><li>Taxes </li></ul><ul><li>Taxable vs. non-taxable accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Employer-sponsored account policies, procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Converting taxable to non-taxable </li></ul><ul><li>Inherited retirement accounts </li></ul><ul><li>MRDs </li></ul>
  16. 16. Financial services <ul><li>Risk </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate or bad advice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Products such as cancer insurance, pre-paid legal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institutional failure </li></ul><ul><li>Investor education </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer protection </li></ul><ul><li>Death and divorce – pensions, SS, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Scams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elderly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li> </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Does anyone in the group currently write a blog, column, Q&A or other first-person feature? </li></ul><ul><li>Please answer Y or N </li></ul>
  19. 19. Big piece of art To readers, nothing is sexier than a dollar sign!
  20. 20. <ul><li>You’ll become a reader resource </li></ul><ul><li>Objective stories are helpful, informative </li></ul><ul><li>Other styles offer more leeway for advocacy and accessiblity – address the reader directly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Columns – watchdog, humor, umbrage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs – tips, quick hits, informal, interactive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q & A – access to experts, executives, gurus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Book, magazine and website reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diaries – readers share personal experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Infographics – digestible, clip-and-save </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calculators , quizzes, checklists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layer and link related coverage </li></ul></ul>Personal finance storytelling
  21. 21. <ul><li> </li></ul>
  22. 22. Personal finance storytelling <ul><li>Financial makeovers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Labor-intensive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strict methodology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond voyeurism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Snapshot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrative, personal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actionable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow-up </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. The $even Dimensions of Personal Finance
  24. 24. <ul><li>Thanks for participating! </li></ul><ul><li>Please feel free to e-mail me with additional questions and suggestions at [email_address] . </li></ul>Show them the money! Finding personal finance angles on any beat