Good public relations works, over time, by building the public's or the targeted audience's perceptions of you. By positioning yourself well and being frequently seen in the public eye -- whether that's being quoted in the local newspaper, interviewed on the radio or hosting your own show, appearing on TV, writing a column with your own byline, serving on a foundation board, or hosting a charity event -- you will build the perception that you are a professional who can be trusted.

When there is negative press about your firm or the financial services industry (think Bernie Madoff and the Wall Street scandals of 2008/09), you can counterbalance potentially negative perceptions by being especially proactive in providing helpful articles and educational information to the general public and your consumer media contacts. It is essential to remember, though, that at all times the tone should be on helping the readers (or listeners or viewers), not pushing a purely commercial agenda or driving for an immediate result.

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