TrueLink/PR Case Study
True Link is a service that protects seniors from becoming victims of fraud, identity theft, and scams by providing financial tools for older adults and their families. True Link provides real time monitoring of seniors’ bank accounts to detect suspicious activity. The True Link prepaid debit card allows seniors or their adult children to place restrictions on the dollar amounts or types of transactions allowed on the card. True Link estimates that seniors lose $36.48 billion a year to elder financial abuse.
True Link had two primary goals for its PR campaign: (1) to raise overall awareness of the company and its services (2) to publicize the company and its executives as experts in the field of senior financial fraud. In particular, True Link wanted help promoting the results of the True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse, which revealed the true cost to seniors of financial exploitation.
A number of organizations had already published estimates on the size and scope of the senior financial fraud problem. One in particular, which estimated the problem at $2.9 billion per year, had been widely quoted in media outlets for years. Convincing media outlets that there was new and better data—but from a company they most likely had not heard of—was going to be tough.
“One interesting finding of the True Link study was that financial exploitation is typically progressive, rather than an isolated incident. In other words, once you trip up, all the sharks are somehow alerted and begin to circle.”
INK targeted media outlets and reporters that had covered the issue of senior financial fraud in the past. Those folks were most likely to be interested in new information on the scope of the problem and the latest scams and schemes designed to separate seniors from their money. We also approached leading personal finance and technology writers in major markets with a large senior population. And because we knew that media often prefer to write roundup stories on emerging trends rather than profiles on specific businesses, we took advantage of good relationships with other senior technology companies to offer them to speak to the media as well.
In addition, INK leveraged a report that was produced as the result of a survey conducted by a collaboration between the True Link data science team and Laurie Orlov. Orlov spent nine years as a leading industry analyst at Forrester Research before founding an independent research and analysis firm focused on aging.
Prior to this report, the most frequently cited estimate of the amount of money lost to elder financial abuse was $2.9 billion. In the fraud research community, it was long suspected that this was an underestimate. In fact, it is a dramatic underestimate: this research revealed that seniors lose$36.48 billion each year to elder financial abuse. This is more than twelve times what was previously reported. Approximately 36.9% of seniors are affected by financial abuse in any five-year period. This report generated a news hook that resulted in coverage in Forbes.com, Credit.com, the Huffington Post and several daily newspapers.
Technology for Seniors
INK pitched True Link as the New Technology for Seniors and Caregivers resulting in a story in TIME Magazine “Senior Startups Innovators are Targeting a New Demographic”. Additional coverage regarding “Senior Gadgets” was secured in The Senior Voice Newspaper and FoxNews.com.
Positioning True Link's CEO as a Credible Media Source
INK offered Kai Stinchcombe, co-founder of TrueLink Financial services, as an expert on identifying the signs of elder abuse taken from his own experience with a loved one, inspiring him to create True Link Financial. His tips on identifying the signs of financial elder abuse and the top scams elders fall prey to was featured in Forbes.com “Why elder Abuse is such a Slippery Crime“, and Vitality Magazine. INK secured media opportunities for Kai on KGO Radio and Sac & Co ., a Sacramento magazine-style morning talk show.
The research conducted by TrueLink Financial offered up some great statistics that senior financial fraud was a much larger economic loss then originally estimated. INK secured several top placements surrounding this data in key media such as Forbes.com “Have we Grossly Underestimated the Extent of Financial Elder Abuse?”, Huffington Post “Study Finds Elderly Scams Cost 12 Times More than Previously Thought”. The same study was covered in local newspapers across the country.
INK secured more than 25 placements in key publications using a variety of pitch tactics that would resonate with different media outlets.