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Announcing the Hearsay Summit 2020 Innovator Awards!

Drum roll, please!

We had over a dozen nominees for this year’s awards. This year’s winners had a very unique experience — they received their awards in the mail and we celebrated them virtually on Day 2 of the Hearsay Summit last week. We hope you were able to join and raise a glass to celebrate them during the awards ceremony.

Learn more about our six winners and the amazing accomplishments they’ve conquered over the past year with their Hearsay programs.

Greatest Compliance Efficiencies

This award recognizes the Innovator who has leveraged Hearsay Compliance to effectively automate compliance workflows while minimizing risk and enhancing communications across the entire agent/advisor-client journey.

Greatest Compliance Efficiencies Winner – Christy Zielinski, MassMutual 

Christy partnered with Hearsay’s Compliance & Supervision Advisory Practice to develop a secondary review process for monthly internal audits of supervision activities. This process enabled MassMutual to mitigate risk by monitoring its compliance admins through an audit feedback loop. This operational efficiency ensures the supervision review procedure is properly followed in order to adhere to industry regulations and best practices using social media. Christy’s leadership drove this initiative to completion and MassMutual is now averaging 3K automatically captured posts a month that will result in an expected reduction of 24K alerts annually!

Best Strategies for Improving ROI

This next category recognizes Innovators for each Hearsay product category (Social, Sites, and Relate) for establishing and measuring program ROI, increasing field agents/advisors adoption, and driving greater client efficiencies.

Best Strategy for Improving ROI – Sites winner – Wendi Phillips, The Co-operators

Wendi has launched over 600 fully custom-themed sites in two languages, English and French.

She has been working to harmonize advisors’ sites with the Social program team at the Co-operators, combining forces to roll out a smooth program for advisors. Wendi has been pushing Hearsay to the best of its abilities to roll out a customized Sites platform and to brainstorm ways in which the Co-operators can better integrate Social and Sites, all while demonstrating clear ROI to advisors.

Best Strategy for Improving ROI – Relate winner – Nicohle Schluender, Thrivent Financial

Under Nicohle’s direction, Thrivent is completely transforming the digital experience for its financial representatives and the clients they represent by creating a seamless client experience. Nicohle spearheaded the full field rollout of Relate to all 2,600 financial representatives during the COVID-19 crisis to make sure communication between financial representatives and clients never stopped. Thrivent has also greatly increased the number of leads they receive through their Advisor websites. Nicohle is a true visionary!

Best Strategy for Improving ROI – Social winner – Scott Carlisle, Kiersten Shank, Lincoln Financial Distributors

Scott and Kiersten have demonstrated a relentless pursuit of transformation. Over the past year, they have grown Lincoln Financial’s Social program at an unprecedented rate while establishing ROI benchmarks and catering to their wholesaler client on a daily basis. As part of their efforts, they’ve optimized LinkedIn profiles, doing a full audit of all 272 of their wholesalers and providing them with best practices to make their profiles go “from good to great!” Scott and Kiersten also created a digital resource hub with educational videos. They’ve seen an 85.5% increase from last year for wholesaler onboarding, a 74.5% increase in LinkedIn connections from last year, and continual organic growth for their LinkedIn and Twitter pages. Additionally, they’ve experienced an increase of 128.8% in creating and posting content on behalf of their wholesalers from 2019 to 2020 per business line.

Most Influential Insurance Leader in Transforming the Client Experience

This award recognizes the Innovator who has leveraged the Hearsay platform to effectively lead their organization through change management while increasing client transparency to transform the client experience.

Most Influential Insurance Leader in Transforming the Client Experience Winner – Erin Fenton, Allstate

Erin received two Innovators nominations this year and is this year’s winner for Most Influential Insurance Leader in Transforming the Client Experience. She has increased traffic to Allstate.com from the Agent Social program by about 1,400% since 2016. The agent active rate each month on social has grown by about 20% since 2016. The program adoption of agents has also increased by 22% since 2016. The total published content per year has increased by 164% since 2016. These are incredible wins for Erin and Allstate!

Most Influential Wealth Management Leader in Transforming the Client Experience Winner – Chris Johnson, Janney Montgomery Scott

The next award recognized someone who has leveraged the Hearsay platform to effectively lead their organization through change management while increasing client transparency to transform the client experience.

Chris has been managing the Hearsay program since its inception in 2015 across Social, Sites, Relate, and multiple integrations, as well as dealing directly with the field for training and communication. He has spearheaded unique integrations with Hearsay including threaded archiving for Relate and third-party site integration to the Hearsay publisher. He also led beta testing for any new features that Hearsay develops. Under his leadership, yearly adoption of the Hearsay Program at Janney Montgomery Scott has grown over 280% in users since the start of the program in 2015. In the past year there were thousands of visits to the teams’ financial advisor sites. Hearsay Social was the top referral source for traffic and third in total acquisitions, directly behind organic and direct referrals for Hearsay Sites. Hearsay Sites has also generated over 650 leads in the past year.

Congratulations to all our winners and nominees this year!

Safeguarding Social during COVID-19

We’ve all seen the myths – many of us (author included) have fallen for them. Hold your breath for 10 seconds and you don’t have the coronavirus. Hand dryers kill the virus… garlic kills the virus. So many that the WHO has a dedicated myth-busting page.

In highly fluid, turbulent times, the risk of misinformation is heightened. We’re increasingly susceptible to both consuming and spreading content with misinformation. Social media and other client engagement channels are the front lines of this issue. For our customers, it’s critical to be proactive and provide a steady drip of updates to keep clients continuously informed. However, financial institutions need to ensure what goes out is both accurate and representative of a firm’s view.

To address these challenges, Hearsay’s compliance team has proactively built protective measures. For one, we’ve built a lexicon designed to identify, prevent and track particularly sensitive communications related to COVID-19. This offers a scalable, intelligent defence layer for your teams on the front lines of compliance, so your supervisors can focus on the highest-risk violations. And by capturing this information, business and compliance leaders can better understand how their field is operating amidst the pandemic and better assess the overall impact their efforts may have on policies, accounts, holdings and more.

Beyond suffering reputational and firm risk, spreading misinformation can put your clients and professionals at risk and contribute to broad hysteria. So how can we defend against this while keeping critical channels like social open to engaging clients and prospects?

  • Implement Safeguards. Leverage a dedicated lexicon in your supervision process to quickly identify and review client engagements that focus on COVID-19. This will help surface the most sensitive of communications, and offer your compliance teams the chance to review and remediate if necessary. We’ve built a COVID-19 lexicon that amplifies our Risk Meter and AI-powered alert system to surface and remediate risky posts for our customers. Together these tools offer better coverage and defense against digital risk while reducing the risk of misinformation on social, websites, and texting by focusing supervision on the most critical areas.
  • Stay on Top of the Data. By tracking COVID-19 communications, leadership has a direct view into field engagement insights in this environment. The information being shared can have material impact on their business going forward – it could impact renewal rates, coverage terms, portfolios, and client satisfaction. This is a time to dig deeper into the data to facilitate best behaviors and practices that drive loyalty.
  • Promote Trusted Sources. In addition, we recommend organizations build out their social content libraries with easy-to-share, trusted content with messaging from the corporate team or from a trusted senior official. Since this is the primary news topic, it’s also a great time to source third-party content from trusted industry sources. Hearsay offers curated content to our customers as well as offers the ability to “whitelist” – or trust – specific domains so you can more effectively source accurate, reliable content.
  • Adapt Quickly. Developments – both market and cultural – are extremely fluid during these times. Content that was suitable yesterday may not be today, and may even appear out of touch or insensitive. For instance, customers of ours had March Madness and spring break vacation posts planned. Hearsay’s Dynamic Campaigns allow for content to be quickly removed, affecting all subscribers and ensuring inappropriate content is removed.

Overall, encourage your teams to communicate openly with clients. It’s critical for advisors to proactively and immediately reach out to reassure clients that they have a firm grasp on their financial goals and are monitoring the situation. But protect them and your firm – ensure you have the tools and processes in place to quickly identify and effectively remediate any problematic communications.