Tag: covid

T. Rowe Price: 3 Publishing Strategies During the Pandemic

T. Rowe Price: 3 Publishing Strategies During the Pandemic

A video conversation between Imprint’s Andy Seibert and T. Rowe Price’s Gavin Daly

The current pandemic continues to demand that every company continually rethink their strategies, including planning, processes and communication—which is why we’ve made a point to explore what’s working for our clients.

For the third installment of our “Clients on Strategy” vlog series, T. Rowe Price’s Gavin Daly—Group Manager, Investment Editorial Team—sat down recently with Imprint’s Managing Partner Andy Seibert to discuss three key strategies T. Rowe Price has used to successfully pivot their investment editorial division over the last months.

T. Rowe Price’s communications divisions are particularly flourishing—while T. Rowe Price has moved thousands of employees to remote work, including their entire investment editorial division, the pace of their publishing has rapidly increased. Content that used to take 10-12 business days to publish is now getting through in 6 days or fewer.

Listen in to discover how, and more about:

  • What aspects of T. Rowe Price’s internal company culture were most helpful to build upon
  • The importance of having a plan, and communicating that plan, to your internal clients
  • How T. Rowe Price has responded to the technological disruption of the moment, building new infrastructure around video and social media.

What editorial strategies have you successfully adopted during the pandemic? Did your team have similar successes that you were able to build on? Let us know by reaching out to us on LinkedIn, or emailing us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Podcast Success in a Pandemic

Podcast Success in a Pandemic

A video conversation between Imprint’s Meg Staknis and FlexShares’ Laura Hanichak Gregg.

COVID-19 turned the business world upside down and demanded laser focus from companies across all industries. The crisis has highlighted the essential need for effective communication and staying connected, especially in times of upheaval.

For the second installment of our “Clients on Strategy” vlog series, FlexShares Senior Vice President and Director of Research Laura Hanichak Gregg sat down with Imprint Managing Director Meg Staknis in May to discuss business-building changes amid the current pandemic.

A big success for FlexShares has been a strategic pivot to podcasts — a platform that recent research shows has seen its share of challenges during COVID-19. 

Listen in to discover more about:

  • FlexShares’ podcast strategy with The Flexible Advisor
  • Why podcasts are still working (hint: speed, efficiency and adaptability are among the top reasons).
  • The key role empathy plays in this format (which we also dig into in our COVID-19 industry best practices blog series).
  • You can listen to FlexShares’ latest episode of their series, The Flexible Advisor, here, and check out the advisor diversity research Laura mentioned in the video here.

What podcast strategies have worked for you during the pandemic? Are there other media formats or platforms that have been surprisingly successful for your team? Let us know! Reach out to us on LinkedIn, or email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

3 Key Takeaways from COVID-19 Content Analysis

3 Key Takeaways from COVID-19 Content Analysis

We’ve been at it for eight weeks now: quarantining and working from home, but also assessing best practices for effective communications during the pandemic.

Imprint has analyzed marketing communications across five industries: insurance/annuities, banking, investments, healthcare and retirement, supplementing communications unearthed by our friends at Corporate Insight with our own research.

We’ve combed through hundreds of web pages, articles, videos and blog posts. When we took a step back to assess the five industries as a whole, these three common traits emerged.

1. They lead with empathy.

The best communications felt like one human was speaking directly to another. They acknowledged the people on both ends of the line—the senders and the recipients. And they recognized the severity of the issues that many people have been dealing with since February and early March.

That human, relatable tone is something a lot of brands try to deliver, yet few really succeed. Some of our standouts:

  • Chase: Their letter from Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, gives you a window into exactly who she is “a mother, a daughter, a banking executive.” And it succinctly describes the impact of the pandemic in entirely relatable terms: “COVID-19 has affected every part of my life.

A message from Thasunda Brown Duckett, (Chase)


  • State Farm: Their tone is simple and clear: We’re here for you. And their messaging reflects a business strategy grounded in today’s reality: fewer drivers on the road means fewer accidents, which leads to a return of premiums.

We’re Here For You, (State Farm)

Guiding you through turbulent times, (TIAA)

2. They’re credible and competent.

That sounds obvious, but let’s not take competence and credibility for granted. We’ve seen what can happen when they are.

Brands stand out from the rest when they differentiate through experience, insight, effectiveness or other credentials. A few of our favorites:

Insights on COVID-19, (New York Life)

  • Northwell Health: The largest healthcare provider in New York state, Northwell Health is at the epicenter of the current crisis. Some of their most effective communications are straightforward infographics, covering such critical info as how to properly wash your hands; comparing cold, allergy or COVID-19 symptoms; and ways you can prevent the spread of coronavirus. Communications heavy on visuals and short on text can be critical for under-served communities where English is not the primary language or literacy rates aren’t strong.

Coronavirus Digital Resource Center, (Northwell Health)

  • State Street: Like many investment providers, State Street is long on sophisticated thought leadership. They also shine with their perspectives on global business continuity, including summaries of the re-opening of their operations in China and India. And they are striving to take a leadership role to determine the industry’s future as a result of the current crisis.

An essential partner when you need it most, (State Street)

3. They pack an emotional punch.

We’re all feeling more frayed than usual. Throughout our assessments, the best communications touched and inspired us. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

  • New York Life: In the middle of the crisis, New York Life’s Brave of Heart Fund both sticks to its essence as a life insurer and supports healthcare workers and the families they’ll leave behind should they be lost in the fight against the virus.

The Brave of Heart Fund, (New York Life)

  • NYU Langone: On April 3, the NYU Grossman School of Medicine became the first medical school in the nation to graduate their fourth-year medical students early so they could join the ranks of MDs. It’s hard to stop thinking about the pride in the newly minted MDs’ faces seen on the screen capture of their Zoom graduation, and the contrast with a video message from their advisor on the hospital floor in full-body PPE. Their subsequent content connects with true emotion, like the video diary of a woman becoming a new mom during COVID-19 or the challenge of dealing with trauma in children as a result of the pandemic.

Early Graduation at NYU Grossman School of Medicine Sends New Doctors to Join COVID-19 Fight, (NYU Langone)

All of this is to say that yes—content marketing can be a complicated undertaking. But as with many aspects of our lives, this pandemic has forced us to look hard at the essence. To home in on the basics. And after our five-week comb through these industries, we learned the most fundamental ways to deliver effective communications in a crisis are these:

  1. Start from a position of empathy.
  2. Demonstrate your competence.
  3. Connect on an emotional level. 

Want more? If you’d like to see our full industry roundups of coronavirus content, you can click through each below.

Insurance / Annuities





Finally, even these sectors represent just a sampling of pandemic communications. What other firms do you think exemplify best practices at this time? Please let us know—you can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Healthcare

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Healthcare

The healthcare industry is so large and diverse that multiple content approaches are required to connect with B2C audiences about COVID-19. For example, hospital networks and other providers tailor their messages to connect with patients. Health insurers’ communications aim to address the needs of policyholders.

And while content strategies differ by firm objective and audience segment, the most effective content we’ve seen shares key qualities:

  • It aligns to the brand
  • It’s accessible and relatable to its target audience
  • It addresses that audience’s needs

To uncover effective examples, we turned to our friends at Corporate Insight, who track communications, products and the overall customer experience offered by leading companies in a variety of industries. A cross-functional team at Imprint reviewed what COVID-19 communications in the healthcare industry Corporate Insight has collected to date, and looked for examples for each of our four criteria:

  • Client-centricity: Are brands putting their audiences’ needs at the center of their content—or talking about themselves?
  • Tone: How are brands speaking to their audiences?
  • Formats: How are they packaging their content? Video, long form, visual storytelling?
  • Differentiation: Do brands’ communications stand out from competitors’?

Here’s what stood out to us this week. Click HERE for last week’s roundup of the investment industry.

Addressing a broad audience

Northwell Health is the largest healthcare provider in New York, with 23 hospitals and nearly 800 outpatient facilities. Its COVID-19-related content includes excellent, straight-ahead public health communications geared to reach a diverse B2C audience.

  • In particular, a suite of infographics effectively tackles key coronavirus topics in a highly visual way.
    • One offers an easy-to-read chart comparing COVID-19 symptoms with flu and cold symptoms.
    • Another offers five steps kids can take to combat “grouchy coronavirus germs.”
  • The infographics are well designed, and follow best practices for the format by economically using words to make their points.
    • These qualities make for strong public health communications, ensuring Northwell’s messages reach their diverse audiences. This includes often marginalized or under-served audiences such as non-native English speakers or those with weaker literacy skills, who need the critical info about how to protect themselves and their families during the pandemic.

Coronavirus Digital Resource Center (Northwell Health)

Communicating clearly

NYU Langone Health runs several hospitals, hundreds of outpatient facilities and two MD programs in the New York City area. Its content about COVID-19 is unsurprisingly heavy on medical expertise, yet peasantly light on clinical jargon.

  • Podcasts and print pieces bring in different voices from the medical world, from doctors to first responders. These experts discuss such topics as the search for a coronavirus vaccine and what it’s like to be an ER doc on the front lines of a pandemic.
  • NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine held graduation more than two months early to add more doctors to the ranks of frontline health care providers. A moving video on NYU Langone’s site features faculty and mentors congratulating the 52 new graduates and offering emotional thanks for their willingness to join the fight against COVID-19.

Our Latest News (NYU Langone)

Tufts Health Plan, a nonprofit health insurer with more than a million members, is nationally recognized for its coverage. Its COVID-19 content rises to that level as well, tailoring clear, just-the-facts information to widely diverse audiences: members, providers, employers and brokers.

  • On its COVID-19 home page, Tufts Health directly address its audiences: You have questions, we’re here to help, with key topics ranging from help identifying symptoms to knowing your options if you’ve lost your job because of COVID-19.
  • Each of their distinct audiences has quick access to FAQs and resources targeted to their needs.
  • Notably, Tufts Health policyholders can learn about testing, costs and virtual health care opportunities.
  • Tufts offers easy-to-find tools, such as a symptom checker, and they provide outside links to additional support resources including state Departments of Health and food assistance programs.

    Coronavirus Updates (Tufts Health Plan)

Serving the range of customer needs


EmblemHealth, a nonprofit insurer serving the New York City area, takes a customer-first approach that goes beyond health tips to address the economic impact of coronavirus and the efforts to curb it.

  • The company greets visitors to its website with a front-and-center note explaining that members may be able to switch plans if their job or income has been affected by COVID-19.
  • Clearly defined sections on the EmblemHealth site tackle a range of customer-centric topics, from benefit and care questions to food resource guides for readers struggling to acquire or afford groceries. This well-organized approach provides clarity for users and makes it easier for them to navigate all of EmblemHealth’s resources.

Coronavirus Disease (EmblemHealth)

Taking the next step

Much of the COVID-19 content in the healthcare industry rightfully focuses on ways patients and policyholders can stay safe and healthy. Pittsburgh-based provider and insurer UPMC covers this ground well, and offers bold, hopeful and forward-looking content.

  • Several articles discuss the realities of developing a vaccine for coronavirus, including the efforts of UPMC scientists. The researchers are making great strides: In early April, UPMC announced a potential COVID-19 vaccine that is awaiting FDA approval.

Our Response to COVID-19 (UPMC)

Insurer Florida Blue goes deep with its coronavirus content, delivering a nicely curated menu of helpful topics, from reading symptoms to managing the financial impact of COVID-19. It also offers some outstanding COVID-19-related content:

  • A map of testing sites makes it easy for policyholders to figure out where to go for testing, and the specific rules at each site: For example, whether appointments or doctors’ notes are required, or if patients need to wear a mask.
  • In his weekly videos, CEO Pat Geraghty explains how Florida Blue is responding to the coronavirus crisis. In recent weeks, he’s discussed his role in a gubernatorial taskforce to address improving Florida’s testing capacity, and announced a health innovation collaboration that will fund pilot programs to generate ideas for creating home-based COVID-19 tests and reducing risks for health care workers.
  • Visitors to Florida Blue’s COVID-19 site are greeted by an AI-based chatbot offering a wellbeing assessment to help visitors gauge the severity of their symptoms and suggest appropriate treatment avenues.

We’re here for you (Florida Blue)

Let us know what you think, and please share pieces that you think apply best practices. You can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Here are links to the coronavirus microsites or information pages for each company featured above:

Northwell Health

NYU Langone




Florida Blue

Staying Creative In A Crisis

Staying Creative In A Crisis

In our latest video post, IMPRINT team members share the ways content has changed and how we’ve adapted to maximize collaboration and creativity internally and especially with clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. A brief look at what’s been learned and put into action includes:

  • Communication is everything, inside and out. Using technology that enables you to see your colleagues and clients is invaluable.
  • Getting back to basics and taking a truly empathetic approach to understanding and responding to a client’s urgent needs are musts.
  • Collaboration is key — and that includes you.

Have you come up with great creative approaches to content? Or, are you struggling with a project? Either way, we are holding office hours and invite you to reach out to us and schedule a session.  Email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Investing

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Investing

Professional and individual investors are coping with historic volatility in the financial markets—and a lot of uncertainty about what the investment landscape will look like a few months or even a few years down the road. This means they need the best information they can get to make good decisions for the money they’re managing—whether that’s for their firms, their clients, or themselves. As a result, many investment houses’ content emphasizes market forecasts, in-depth analysis and actionable advice geared to the current environment.

We pored over market volatility-related communications precipitated by the current coronavirus pandemic. Our friends at Corporate Insight track communications, products and the overall customer experience offered by leading companies in a variety of industries. The Imprint team has leveraged their research, along with our own, to evaluate investment-industry COVID-19 communications against these four criteria:

  • Client-centricity: Are brands putting their audiences’ needs at the center of their content—or talking about themselves?
  • Tone: How are brands speaking to their audiences?
  • Formats: How are they packaging their content? Video, long form, visual storytelling?
  • Differentiation: Do brands’ communications stand out from competitors’?

Here’s what stood out to us this week. Click HERE for last week’s roundup of the banking industry. 

Giving clients what they need

Every investment firm offers market-related commentary. State Street’s content stands out from the pack with its communications detailing the ways the firm is keeping its own lights on around the world and, in turn, supporting its clients that need the company firing on all cylinders.

  • Video messages from State Street execs and white papers offer detailed takes on the firm’s operational response to COVID-19. Their takeaways: State Street won’t let its clients down.
  • CEO Ron O’Hanley weighs in with thought-provoking pieces on what governments and corporations need to do to get through this crisis—and avoid future disasters.

Your COVID-19 Resource Center

MFS’ Market Uncertainty Resource Center takes care to tailor content to different client segments.

  • Smart navigation neatly delineates content about MFS’ corporate COVID-19 response, provides commentary on market developments and delivers updates on its investment and portfolio teams’ tactical shifts.
  • The market and investment commentaries stand out. The content is insightful and engaging, and draws readers in with snappy, provocative headlines.
  • MFS also provides advisors with practice management resources on market volatility as part of their robust MFS Advisor Edge offering.

Market Uncertainty Resource Center (MFS)

Sharp thinking in a tough market

This historic time in the financial markets presents investors with both big challenges and big opportunities. Nuveen doesn’t sugarcoat the former and dives deep on the latter, offering particularly crisp, forward-thinking thought leadership and strategic advice for institutional investors.

  • Chief Equity Strategist Bob Doll’s weekly commentaries offer incisive observations. He recently issued a pragmatic warning to investors to prepare for a recession that’s uniquely deep but also short-lived.
  • Nuveen isn’t afraid to get granular, offering nuanced and detailed takes on topics such as bond market dislocation and the coronavirus’ disruption on the global supply chain.

Coronavirus: navigating the global economic impact (Nuveen)

UBS stands out for its smartly organized and always-fresh content.

  • Pieces related to COVID-19 are integrated smoothly into UBS’ regular menu of content offerings, from market updates to global risk analyses.
  • Regularly updated features include House View, a collection of daily, weekly and monthly publications providing UBS’ assessment of the global economy and financial markets and how they shape the firm’s investment allocations.

(UBS is an Imprint client.)

Market Insights (UBS)

 Keeping it simple…

Avoiding technical, jargon-heavy language should be a pillar of any investment firm’s content strategy. Franklin Templeton does a fine job keeping its language simple while taking a refreshingly human approach to communicating with financial advisors.

  • A message from CEO Jenny Johnson highlights the impact of the current crisis on advisors’ professional and personal lives.
  • Content is segmented and easy to find, whether you’re looking for take-home resources to calm anxious clients or detailed perspectives on Fed easing from Franklin Templeton’s CIO, Sonal Desai.

2020 Volatility Center (Franklin Templeton)

A multi-media approach

T. Rowe Price offers plenty of written material on the current crisis including white papers and articles. But it also stretches beyond print to deliver videos, infographics, e-books and other formats, particularly for institutional investors and advisors. And across those channels and formats T. Rowe Price is going deep on market analysis—well beyond volatility, into multi-asset investing, portfolio construction and asset classes.

  • An interactive e-book combines punchy text and engaging graphics to convey T. Rowe Price’s detailed take on China’s economic recovery.
  • Content is leveraged across business channels but tailored to the audience. Example: A broad menu of advisor-centric content aimed at uncovering investment opportunities—and avoiding pitfalls—in the current environment.

 (T. Rowe Price is an Imprint client.)

Video Insights: China’s Road to Recovery (T. Rowe Price)

Columbia Threadneedle’s practice management resources for financial advisors stand apart in terms of their accessibility and actionable nature

  • Smart headers make it easy for advisors to see which pieces of content can be shared directly with clients and which are intended to help advisors manage their practices.
  • Advisors can access a number of concrete ideas for managing their practice (for example, how to effectively connect with house-bound clients) and guiding investors through this highly volatile period (tips to help calm anxious clients).

Latest Insights (Columbia Threadneedle)

Let us know what you think, and please share pieces that you think apply best practices. You can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Here are links to the coronavirus microsites or information pages for each company featured above:



Columbia Threadneedle

State Street


Franklin Templeton

T. Rowe Price


Journey Map Challenge: Transitioning to Work from Home

Journey Map Challenge: Transitioning to Work from Home

Here is Imprint’s…what is yours?

So many businesses — large and small — have had to migrate to a work from home (WFH) situation.

And it’s a journey! Bumps, laughs, mistakes, frustration—and, through it all, a lot of great work for our clients. Here’s my take on Imprint’s journey to date. I want to know what yours has been—I’m hoping you’ll share! (See how, below.)

Imprint’s Journey

We officially went to WFH status on March 12. While we made a “dry run” a few weeks earlier, we still had to deal with the reality of a new situation. It was a new experience for all of us—that meant lots of confusion and anxiety in an already anxious time.

Week one: Being remote is new, but we fundamentally know how to work this way. We’re getting into the groove of our daily 8:45 a.m. team video check-in, and half the guys are starting to grow facial hair. By week’s end kids and pets in the background are no longer the least bit distracting. The team is settling in.

Week two: Too many video calls! If we don’t have the commuting time, why are we working longer hours? Am I really needed for all these calls and meetings? Internal swirling ensues.

Week three: We establish “rules” for the length of meeting times, and further refine how our remote communications work. We’re enjoying our daily quiz game competition and hold our weekly Thirsty Thursday happy hour via video. We settle in, once again.

Week four: We might have fine-tuned our internal work process, but clients haven’t hit their strides yet. Alert: Clients swirling! Most are much bigger organizations than Imprint, and they’re understandably having trouble communicating with all their team members. We scramble to help them put the pieces together. By Friday, calmer waters prevail.

Week five: We’ve launched seven key initiatives since going to WFH, and we’re making significant progress on all. Some focus on improving our internal work flow. But most important, we’ve started to meet with clients and present our thinking on content their customers need when they reach the “recovery” phase. This means creating journey maps for key audience segments and mapping out the information and education they might need over the coming months.

Where will weeks six and beyond take us? That we’ll discover together. But what we do know is that it’s all about journey maps. What’s yours?

Email me your sketch, drawing or photo at aseibert@imprintcontent.com.

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Banking

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Banking

Like every other industry, the banking industry is figuring out how best to navigate the global COVID-19 pandemic. A customer’s relationship with their bank is especially personal — it is, after all, where they keep their money. And that intimacy presents unique challenges when it comes to communicating with them. The economic issues triggered by the spread of COVID-19 require banks to give careful thought to how they’re reaching out to customers and offering to help.

This week, we’re reviewing content produced by the banking industry to identify the work we think is most effectively connecting with customers. Our friends at Corporate Insight track communications, products, and the overall customer experience offered by leading companies in a variety of industries. The Imprint team has leveraged their research, along with our own, to evaluate COVID-19 communications in the banking industry against these four criteria:

  • Client-centricity: Are brands putting their audiences’ needs at the center of their content—or talking about themselves?
  • Tone: How are brands speaking to their audiences?
  • Formats: How are they packaging their content? Video, long form, visual storytelling?
  • Differentiation: Do brands’ communications stand out from competitors’?

Here’s what stood out to us this week. Click HERE for last week’s roundup of the insurance and annuities industry.

Deep resources from an industry leader

Bank of America’s COVID-19 website takes advantage of the bank’s institutional heft to deliver a wide variety of smart content that directly addresses clients’ most pressing issues and educates without overwhelming.

  • The site leads with a link to its Client Assistance Program, which was expanded in March to support consumer and small-business clients affected by the pandemic. The program gives customers a direct way to reach out for help dealing with issues such as payment deferrals and recouping late fees.
  • The CAP site immediately allays likely customer concerns, announcing front and center that payment deferral won’t trigger negative credit bureau reporting, and that the bank has paused foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions.
  • Content is varied, and includes articles, video explainers and podcasts from Bank of America leaders.
  • The site goes beyond banking, linking to outside sources. For instance, parents homeschooling their kids can access lesson plans from Khan Academy.

Few banks have the resources to build such a comprehensive reservoir of content geared toward customers dealing with the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this is the type of crisis response one would expect from an industry heavyweight like Bank of America.


Coronavirus: Latest Updates from Bank of America (Bank of America)

We’re all in this together

It can be tough to make a meaningful connection with customers when communicating about dry topics like loan deferrals and interest rates. The best bank communications these days break through with a collaborative and empathetic approach.

Take Chase:

  • Chase’s COVID-19 website gets personal right from the start—and that’s good. CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett’s open letter begins, “As a mother, daughter and banking executive, COVID-19 has affected every part of my life.”
  • The effect isn’t cloying; it feels real and vulnerable, and sets the tone for the rest of Chase’s messaging.
  • The site’s other content sticks with that personal and human tone, even while delivering humdrum how-tos for tasks like mobile check deposits and handling billing disputes for cancelled travel.

Chase Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources (Chase)

News you can really use

Clients don’t want to wade through pages of content to figure out how to defer a car payment or fight an overdraft fee. Ally Bank’s communications put the client’s needs first:

  • The bank’s online COVID-19 response delivers easy-to-find answers to clients’ urgent questions, like how to defer this month’s auto or mortgage payments.
  • Direct communications to clients via email offer short and clear explanations of new policies such as waiving overdraft fees.

Coronavirus Response (Ally Bank)

TD Bank executes a nifty client-centric content feat, delivering a thoughtful explainer about how the Fed’s recent rate cuts affect individual clients.

  • The tricky subject is handled in plain language.
  • The content is broken up in scannable chunks so readers can easily focus on what’s relevant to them, including topics such as credit card interest and student loan debt.
  • Bonus points for giving COVID-19 a supporting (rather than starring) role here: The piece pivots quickly from explaining the connection between the pandemic and the Fed’s rate cuts to what a 0% federal funds rate means to the average reader.

What the Federal Reserve Interest Rate Cuts Mean for You and Your Family (TD Bank)

Truist has the added complexity of communicating to two banks’ worth of clients. The company is the product of last year’s merger between BB&T and SunTrust, and its content needs to relay different information to each group of legacy clients. It pulls off this trick neatly, focusing its COVID-19 information on making sure each type of client gets to the right place. Well done for any company, but especially one that hasn’t yet hit its six-month birthday.

COVID-19 Help Center (Truist Bank)


Let us know what you think and please share pieces that you think apply best practices. You can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Here are links to the coronavirus microsites or information pages for each company featured above:




Bank of America

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Insurance / Annuities

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Insurance / Annuities

Companies across economy sectors are scrambling to provide helpful content centered around the ongoing pandemic –– financial services and healthcare firms included. Each week we’re reviewing the content in one industry, highlighting the work we think is rising to the top.

Our friends at Corporate Insight track communications, products, and the overall customer experience offered by leading companies in these industries. Our team has leveraged their research, along with our own, to evaluate COVID-19 communications against these four criteria:

  • Client-centricity: Are brands putting their audiences’ needs at the center of their content—or talking about themselves?
  • Tone: How are brands speaking to their audiences?
  • Formats: How are they packaging their content? Video, long form, visual storytelling?
  • Differentiation: Do brands’ communications stand out from their competitors’?

This week, we’re diving into insurance and annuities companies. [We’ll add links to the others as we add them.] Here’s what stood out to us from this week’s collection of content.

What’s in it for me?

It must be tempting for insurance companies to remind people how good coverage can offer certainty through uncertain times. But the most effective content we’ve seen is less product-centric and more client-centric.

Take Nationwide:

  • Nationwide is offering helpful messages that are subtly related to insurance and especially relevant now. For example, an engaging infographic offers sheltered-at-home readers tips on making their homes safer. Tasks like cleaning out dryer vents can give restless adults something to do and may result in fewer insurance payouts for Nationwide. We’d call that a win-win.
  • The company is addressing its retirement plan participants directly, walking them through the specific fees and penalties waived as part of the CARES Act.

Check and Protect Your Home (Nationwide)

Connecting on a human level

We like the decidedly human approach annuity provider TIAA is taking in its communications with clients during these challenging times. (Full disclosure: TIAA is a past Imprint client.)

  • TIAA’s coronavirus content pairs a warm tone with practical advice geared to its clients.
  • It’s offering both highlights of government stimulus as well as relief packages and deeper dives into these topics.
  • TIAA is also providing investment-related content—served up in a range of formats, from articles to webinars—about smart ways to navigate difficult markets.

The result is a clear emphasis on the client’s well-being both now and in the future.

CARES Act Summary (TIAA)

We’ve been here before…

Few companies can say they were around during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Insurance company New York Life can—the company turns 175 this year. A recent open letter from CEO Ted Mathas made it clear to audiences that New York Life has helped clients through the 1918 flu pandemic as well as two world wars, the Great Depression and recessions big and small. We like how the company’s communications lean into its nearly two-century history of stability, which immediately differentiates New York Life from many of its peers.

Then there’s the breadth and depth of the company’s coronavirus communications, which includes:

  • Mathas’ letter as the cornerstone
  • Practical FAQs
  • Articles offering tips to quarantined families
  • Strategy pieces that ever-so-gently push New York Life’s suite of insurance products.

The takeaway: New York Life has you covered this time around, too.

COVID-19 Resource Center (New York Life)

Delivering on the Good Neighbor promise

State Farm has taken advantage of a host of formats for its coronavirus-related content, including:

  • Quick-hit videos
  • Bite-sized infographics
  • Social media content, all geared toward the current environment.

We like the variety, but the real draw is State Farm’s empathetic tone. Its opening message to readers of its coronavirus page acknowledges that clients may be running into financial issues, and says that its agents are there to help—whether that means assisting in filing a claim or discusings payment options. Like a good neighbor, indeed.

COVID-19 Resource Center (State Farm)

A simpler approach

You don’t need dozens of pages of unique content to get your message to clients. Case in point is insurer Progressive, which greets mobile app users with a simple popup letting clients know they’re here to help. The message directs clients to a splash page that is sparse but effective. An economy of words clearly conveys what readers need to know about important issues such as Progressive’s coverage assistance and billing leniency.


COVID-19 Mobile App Pop-up (Progressive)


Let us know what you think and please share pieces that you think apply best practices. You can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Here are links to the coronavirus microsites or information pages for each company featured above:

New York Life

State Farm




3 Things We’re Focused On During The COVID-19 Crisis

3 Things We’re Focused On During The COVID-19 Crisis

Like most of you, the Imprint team has begun working remotely. Luckily, two weeks prior we did a “dry run” for a day to test our technology and communications with everyone working from home. This helped make our move to remote pretty seamless.

The other thing we did at the outset was clearly define our focus and make sure all our team members know our priorities. As the news swirls around us, having a shared sense of purpose gives us all some much-needed stability:

1. Family first. The health and safety of the Imprint team and our families is our most important priority. Plus, if we’re not healthy, we can’t fulfill our obligations to our clients.

2. Clients. We’re focused on being both proactive and protective. Imprint’s core strength isn’t creating content during a crisis—it’s strategic, ongoing communications. So as a valuable partner we’re busy creating journey maps, walking in the shoes of our clients’ customers. By understanding and anticipating what these customers need and want, we’re helping our clients think two steps ahead in creating the right content, in the right format, to protect the valuable relationships they’ve built with their customers.

3. Morale. In the time of confusion, when your work family is suddenly not around, it’s incredibly important to be there for each other. To keep spirits up and keep our team moving forward together, we’ve established a morning video huddle. Starting each day at 8:45 a.m. checking in, listening and sharing has helped everyone maintain a routine—which we know is crucial in times of dramatic change. We have a “know your role” policy, which helps for effective and efficient meetings. And now we’re encouraging “know your role, plus.” Bring a story, a joke, an insight into how you and your family are coping. It helps bring some fun and much-needed humanity to each encounter.

Find your points and be laser-focused on them. They’ll help your team, your clients and your business push through this challenge.

Stay safe, stay healthy – and stay home.

We’re here to help, and to listen. Please always feel free to reach out to me at aseibert@imprintcontent.com.

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