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Deal-driven content: putting actions into words

Deal-focused content can send a powerful message about how financial institutions make a difference.

By Nick Evans

“Show not tell” is the cornerstone of effective corporate content.

Don’t just tell people what you can do. Show them what you have done. Nowhere is this more valid than in the growing area of deal-driven content among financial institutions.

When it comes to demonstrating what matters to you as a business, and what your purpose is, nothing shows this better than illustrating the innovative transactions that you have executed for your clients.

Not all of them, of course. But the ones that make a difference.

The ones that required special skills and insights to make happen. The ones where there is a bigger picture, ones that resonate with an audience beyond those involved in the transaction itself. The ones that have the potential to change finance, business, and society for the better.

It is a well-worn cliché that actions speak louder than words. Sometimes, but not always.

Putting actions into words can be powerful too. By showing people what you can do – and explaining why these deals matter to you as a firm, to your clients, and to the wider world – you can showcase your strengths in words and images that bring your abilities, values, and purpose to life.


What does good deal content look like?

Well, clearly it depends on what type of transaction you are dealing with. Are they public and/or private sector debt financings; IPOs and equity offerings; M&A transactions; private markets investments; financial restructurings; and so on?

For some of these – say M&A, restructurings, or private markets investments – a simple corporate announcement or press release is probably the best route to take. This is particularly the case if they involve public companies. There will be regulatory, stock exchange, and shareholder relations issues that limit the amount and type of information that can be disclosed.

But the area that offers the best potential for insightful and compelling deal-driven content, is in the field of innovative financings.

This is especially true in debt capital markets and corporate/investment banking transactions: public and private bonds or loans; project and trade finance; sustainable and green finance; securitisations and asset-backed financings; risk transfer transactions; and the like.

Every deal is different. So, it is hard to be too specific about a template for deal-driven content that applies across the board, or is appropriate for every situation. But it is vital to have a clear purpose – and a clear audience – in mind from the outset to achieve the best outcome.

Here are five short general pointers:

1. Outline the big picture

Audiences are more likely to be interested in a deal if they see it has relevance for them. So start with the big picture. Then drill down into the details. This could entail the specific issues the client was facing that required an innovative and imaginative response, or a broader business or societal need the transaction is meeting.

2. Accentuate the positives

It may sound obvious. But people like a positive story.

“Show the audience why the deal changes things for the better.”

This could be in terms of: sustainability, the ability of issuers and investors to access new financing sources and/or revenue streams, ground-breaking use of proceeds, or the opening up of new areas of finance and business that will benefit society more broadly.

3. Don’t be afraid of detail

Inevitably there will be restrictions as to what you can or can’t say about a deal.  This could relate to internal compliance or regulatory issues, or simply not wanting to reveal valuable trade secrets. But give as much detail as you can. Numbers and data add depth to a narrative. They help you to create a compelling story. If a deal is especially complex, show people why and how.

4. Focus on the buy-side

In all financings requiring investor or third-party distribution, nothing demonstrates a deal’s success better than the scale of market demand. Again, say as much as you can. This includes the overall size of demand, the breakdown in terms of geography and investor type, and the reasons why the buy-side was energised and attracted by the deal.

5. Add value for your clients

In any area of business, reputation and a sense of corporate purpose are important. Organisations care how they are perceived – and perception matters. By showing your clients in a positive light and highlighting their role, you can enhance their standing and their image. At the same time, you demonstrate the value of your relationship and the partnership that enabled the deal to happen.

As financial market specialists, we’ve been writing about deals throughout our whole careers. At Resonate, we can help you to add value for your business and for your clients, by using content to promote your most innovative financings.