If you want to excel at startup marketing, you must have deep domain expertise. Knowing exactly what messages will resonate, which channels are influential, and where the potential landmines are hidden, is crucial if you want to be both efficient and effective.
So when we began the search for a financial services expert to support our growing roster of fintech clients, we set the bar pretty high. “Find me a person who knows banking, insurance, investing, mortgage lending, payments, accounting and financial literacy,” we said. “Oh and they should be able to write, pitch media, and run multi-channel campaigns.”
Frankly, we thought it was a longshot. Then Heather McElrath walked in (or, rather, Zoomed in).
It turns out that Heather has spent a career accumulating PR and marketing expertise from pretty much every corner of the financial services industry. As senior director of communications for Nacha, Heather was responsible for raising awareness of the ACH network, the ‘rail’ upon which all Direct Deposits and many electronic payments are made. Before that, she led PR and communications at the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. Heather has also managed external comms for a division of Rabobank, worked with the in-house communications team at the American Bankers Association and held communications roles at Freddie Mac. And, yes, she can write, pitch media and run multi-channel campaigns too.
In Firebrand, Heather found an opportunity to marry her financial services knowledge with a long-held passion for tech. A self-confessed nerd based in Virginia, Heather claims her spiritual home was always Silicon Valley. Heck, her Slack profile is an image of the original computer whiz kid, Penny from Inspector Gadget.
Heather’s expertise will be a huge asset to our clients, both fintech startups and tech companies targeting the financial services sector. She’ll be building awareness for disruptive technologies shaping the way consumers and businesses spend, save and manage their money. And, as the red hot fintech ecosystem continues to grow, she’ll be ensuring our clients stand out in the crowd.
Lucy Allen is a Principal at Firebrand with two decades of technology communications experience. Lucy leads client operations, from executing programs that help clients grow their business, to developing Firebrand’s team and services. Prior to joining, Lucy held leadership roles in global agencies including US tech sector chair and Bay Area GM at Edelman and chief strategy officer at LEWIS.