Introducing the Market Impact Report – Revealing the Effect of News Releases on Stock Activity

June 15, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

Earlier today, Business Wire and News Quantified launched the Market Impact Report.  This groundbreaking new measurement tool allows communication professionals to track the impact their news releases have on publically traded companies’ stocks.

Although there are a lot of options for measuring communications efforts, there is a gap when it comes to attributing financial ROI to company issued news. Business Wire identified this gap and in News Quantified saw an opportunity. News Quantified, in partnership with Business Wire, developed a measurement system that will tie news release data with market trading behavior. Now, PR and IR pros will be able to track exactly how the market reacted to the issuer’s stock immediately following the release of company news. They will also be able to compare this trading behavior to that of other company stocks.

What’s the big deal about keeping track of changes to market behavior following the issuance of a news release? With the Market Impact Report you can achieve a deeper understanding of how and why your company stock moves when you issue a news release. You have a deeper view of what kind of investors your news is attracting and how your news is influencing their trading. The report includes 27 key variables ranging from volume and variability to ticks and block trading.

By understanding who your news is reaching, you can tailor your communication in the direction that best benefits the value of your company’s market presence.

Oliver Schmalholz, co-founder and CEO of News Quantified, has spent the last 15 years analyzing market behavior. It was during his time running a private trading firm that he recognized the benefits of an out-of-the-box product that could analyze news impact on stock trading behavior. “News and market data have historically been kept separate – our alliance with Business Wire will help to tear down that wall,” says Schmalholz.  “We are thrilled to partner with a company that has the reputation and expertise of Business Wire.

Business Wire is excited about the partnership and looks forward to the possibilities that lie in providing clients with the first ever financial impact tool. “Business Wire’s collaboration with News Quantified provides listed companies with a better understanding — and appreciation — of the relationship between news and share price.  To see how news is directly influencing market behavior is revolutionary,” said Gregg Castano, Business Wire President. “The Market Impact Report consolidates information from disparate sources into a convenient, user-friendly report that distills complex data into key findings. It is another example of Business Wire’s differentiating value proposition.”

Click here to learn more about the Market Impact Report:  http://bit.ly/1QrNSV8 or email us today to schedule a time to discuss this in greater detail.

Are you attending NIRI 2015 this week?  If so, Business Wire is offering sample reports for investor relations professionals that stop by our booth. The Market Impact Report is the first product in the industry that provides communications professionals with comprehensive stock impact data.

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PR Updates From Around the World – June 1-10

June 10, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire Nashville

Here are the latest changes and updates in the PR industry.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.  Have your own update to include?  Let us know!

PR Industry Updates

Austin
Independent agency Drumroll announced that it has named Andy Davidhazy as Creative Director. Article

Charlotte
French/West/Vaughan has been selected by the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau as its creative services agency of record following an 18-agency competitive review. Article

Chicago

Public Communications Inc. announced Craig Pugh will join the national integrated communications firm as president. Article

Cleveland
Crisis specialist Hennes Paynter Communications has rebranded as Hennes Communications following the departure of former partner Barbara Paynter, who is launching her own consultancy. Along with the rebranding, the firm has promoted Nora Jacobs to senior vice president at the firm. Article

Dallas
Furniture retailer American Signature has selected The Richards Group as agency of record. Article

DC
Purple Strategies has appointed Robert Fronk as managing director of reputation strategy. Article

Maroon PR is working with Big League Chew bubblegum, owned by Lincolnshire, Ill.- based, Ford Gum & Machine Co. Article

Highgate at Seven Oaks in Bakersfield, Calif. has selected Buffalo Brand Invigoration Group to direct a public relations program. Article

MediaDC announced the hire of Elizabeth Sheldon as National Account Director. Article

ConnellyWorks has announced the appointment of Margo Dunn as Director of Marketing. Article

Stratacomm LLC announced hiring Karyn G. Le Blanc as a Senior Vice President in its Washington, D.C. office. Article

TradeMark East Africa has selected Agenda as its North American public affairs agency to advance its mission of growing East Africa’s prosperity through trade. Article

Detroit
Eisbrenner Public Relations has promoted Tricia Marion from assistant account executive to account executive. Article

The 2015 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, is working up with digital and social specialist OTTO Detroit, Franco Public Relations Group and students from Wayne State University-who will elevate the social media discussion-to bring the race experience to a global audience through social media. Article

Los Angeles
Global nutrition company Herbalife has named Ric Hobby as senior vice president for global government relations; Megan Jordan as senior vice president for global corporate communications; and Randall Popelka as vice president, government and industry affairs. Article

Joanna Massey has been named to the newly created position of vice president, corporate communications and investor relations at Lionsgate. Article

Miami
rbb Public Relations has been named agency of record for Sawgrass Mills. Article

Liquor marketer Bacardi is reviewing below-the-line marketing duties, including PR, across its North American brand portfolio, after a similar exercise consolidated creative and media with Omnicom Group agencies earlier this year. Article

The Buzz Agency has added new clients including the US Immigration Fund, Habit Burger, Boca West Country Club, Sunflower Creative Arts, Aviation Week Events and Clive Daniel Interiors. Article

Minneapolis
Nicki Gibbs has been promoted to senior vice president, strategy at Beehive PR. Article

Beehive PR has added three new communications strategists to its team. New hires include account director Abigail Greenheck, account director Ericka Webb and account coordinator Maggie Pendleton. Article

Nashville
Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations has named Rebecca Frazer the 2015 Guthrie/Mayes PR Student of the Year. Frazer, a junior at Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky., was chosen among a strong group of applicants from Kentucky colleges and universities who were nominated for this position. Article

Newport Beach
Global Results Communications (GRC) announced the addition of several new technology companies including mGage, CellTrust and Numerex to its list of clients. Article

ASICS America Corporation today announced it has named United Entertainment Group its new US public relations agency of record. Article

New York
APCO Worldwide and Text100 have launched a joint offering focused on digital healthcare. Article

Kathy Cripps, longtime president of the PR Council, will step down from her position by the end of the year. Article

Ruder Finn announced that John McInerney will assume a new role as Director, Healthcare Digital Strategy. Article

Utilidata has hired Global Strategy Group as its agency of record for communications and public relations. Article

Samsung Electronics has extended its relationship with FleishmanHillard, handing the firm a US corporate PR brief following a review that took place earlier this year. Article

Jesse Comart has been named vice president, global head of communications, at MediaMath. Article

Turner Public Relations had added vice president of tourism Emma de Vadder. Article

R&J Public Relations has added John De Bellis as director of business development. Article

The Halo Group has hired James Best as senior vice president, marketing and business development. Article

Coyne has been selected as agency of record by global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland to provide public relations strategy, ideation and program activation in North America. Article

Finn Partners has been retained by Cinnabon as agency of record following a competitive review. Article

United Entertainment Group has been selected as the communications agency of record for Speedo USA, a division of PVH Corp. Article

MWW Public Relations announced the addition of U.S. Bank to its client roster. Article

The Halo Group will be launching international beach chic Spanish accessory brand Flossy Shoes into the US marketplace with an integrated social media program. Article

Turner Public Relations has added Waldorf Astoria Park City to its client roster. Article

Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR has added a new client, Dr. Joshua Perlman, co-founder of the NYC Smile Spa in midtown New York. Article

Glass Lantern Public Relations has been named the public relations agency of record for CORAnet Solutions. Article

Wearable maker Polar has brought on Max Borges as it looks to gain US market traction in the popular activity tracker space. Article

Ogilvy PR has hired Robyn Massey to the newly-created role of global chief communications officer. Article

June marks the 14th anniversary of the launching of M&A/consulting firm Gould+Partners. Article

Finn Partners announced it has been retained by Cinnabon as agency of record following a competitive review. Article

Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR has added Z Skin Cosmetics to its client roster. Article

Philadelphia
Brian Communications announced four new senior leaders to the team who bring extensive communications and business experience to their roles at the agency. Article

Flackable has been selected as the integrated communications agency of record by Vesticor Advisors. Article

Flackable Promotes Hailey Lanier to Account Executive Article

Swordfish Communications has launched a new service that will help organizations reach out to journalists important to them, and perhaps even generate their own press coverage. Article

Flackable has promoted account coordinator Hailey Lanier to account executive. Article

Phoenix
In business for more than 17 years, Off Madison Ave continues to experience tremendous growth and is poised for another successful year with the addition of eight prominent client accounts and seven new staffers. Article

San Diego
Elevator announced it has acquired Copper Blue Creative effective June 1. Article

San Francisco
OutCast’s Helena Maus has been named North America CEO of sister agency Bite as it continues to recover from a bout of management shakeups and financial turmoil. Article

Wearable maker Fitbit has brought on FleishmanHillard and Burson-Marsteller as the company prepares for its IPO while also facing legal troubles. Article

Glass Lantern Public Relations has been named the public relations agency of record for CORAnet Solutions, Inc. Article

Glassdoor announced Dawn Lyon has been named vice president of corporate affairs. Article

Seattle
Beauty and grooming retailer Birchbox announced the promotion of Claire Paull to Chief Communications Officer. Article

Waggener Edstrom Communications has appointed Kass Sells as the agency’s president of North America (NA). Article

Silicon Valley
Relypsa has appointed Charlotte Arnold as vice president, corporate communications. Article

PayPal has consolidated international PR duties covering EMEA and Asia-Pacific to Edelman, the Holmes Report can reveal. Article

eBay head of comms Alan Marks is stepping aside for Dan Tarman to take over as chief communications officer as the company prepares to split with PayPal and readies for a new CEO to take the helm. Article

Atlanta & Nashville
Ignite Creative Group announced its new office location in downtown Cumming, Ga. along with the expansion of a second office in Birmingham, Ala. Article

Chicago & LA
Porter Novelli announced two new managing directors in its Southern California and Chicago offices. Linda Martin, partner, will lead the Porter Novelli team in Southern California, while Adam Scholder, senior vice president, takes on leadership of the Chicago team. Article

DC & NY
SKDKnickerbocker has added former congressional reporter Kate Nocera to its Washington public affairs team and political and communications veterans Jaclyn Rothenberg and Maureen Shanahan to its New York office. Article

New York & San Francisco
Global Gateway Advisors and LyonSHARE Communications Group have announced the formation of a strategic alliance to expand each firm’s resources to better support their clients. Article

Seattle & Toronto
Waggener Edstrom Communications and Canadian-based independent Environics Communications have forged a new partnership. Article

Hong Kong
Following a six-month project, British retailer Jack Wills has engaged AKA Asia on a retainer basis for media relations, influencer relations and partnership management.  Article

London
Following a competitive pitch, Fishburn has been appointed by joint venture partners Lend Lease and LCR. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has hired public affairs specialist Henry Groundes-Peace as an associate director within the financial and professional services team. Article

Chris Lawrence has joined Bite‘s leadership team as creative director. Article

Colgate-Palmolive has selected Cohn & Wolfe for its new Dutch Sanex PR campaign. Article

Greene King has chosen Hudson Sandler to handle its trade media relations programme. Article

Broadgate Mainland has appointed Gareth David as executive director. Article

Pop Brixton has appointed agency W to handle its launch. Article

PROI Worldwide has added KISS Communications of Cambridge as its fourth partner agency in the United Kingdom. Article

Live and on-demand TV service enabler TV2U has appointed Babel PR to drive a multi-market brand awareness and media relations campaign for both its B2B and B2C offerings. Article

Hunter Public Relations is expanding internationally with the opening of its first office outside the United States. Article

H+K Strategies has brought together 15 media players, including LinkedIn, BuzzFeed, Twitter and Brandwatch, to form the first in a series of publishing boards. Article

A new association has been launched to accompany the increasing convergence of marketing and technology in the UK. Article

Group managing director David Wilson is leaving Bell Pottinger after 15 years with the UK PR firm. Article

Paris
To increase its presence on the African Continent, PROI Worldwide has added Levanter Africa in Kenya to its partnership. Article

Business Communications Agency has opened a new office in Israel, offering marketing and communications services. Article

Edelman has hired FleishmanHillard’s Esther Busscher to lead its Brussels office. Article

WPP PR firms H+K Strategies and Buchanan have joined forces to launch a corporate and financial comms consultancy that focuses on the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Article

3BL Media announced the acquisition of Dunstans Publishing Limited. Article

Sydney
Nestle has appointed APCO Worldwide to help it recover from reputational damage incurred in a recent crisis over the company’s Maggi noodle brand, according to the Economic Times of India. Article

United Spirits Limited has named Abanti Sankaranarayanan as business head for luxury and corporate relations, India. Article

SPAG Asia has added an office in Mumbai to its headquarters in Gurgaon. Article

Sony India has awarded PR duties to Avian Media following a competitive review that featured a number of competing firms. Article

Sharif Rangekar has moved into a chairman role at Integral PR, after serving as CEO for more than a decade. Article

Cohn & Wolfe India CEO Rafi Khan is stepping down from his role, with the firm promoting Megha Sharma to lead its operations in the country. Article

Tokyo
Ogilvy & Mather Japan announced the appointment of Abi Sekimitsu as Content Director of OgilvyOne K.K. Article

Toronto

Lifestyle Delivery Systems has named Tim Hamilton as corporate communications executive. Article

OneUp Sports announced that it has hired John McCauley as Vice President, Content and Strategy, a new role for the company. Article

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When Posting Financial News to an IR Site, Risks Are Not Acceptable.

April 29, 2015

By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

Security of an investor relations (IR) website and news distribution is paramount to any public company. Ask the investor relations officer (IRO) who has suffered due to earnings information being released to the public prematurely.  If a company’s earnings news release is accessible too soon, it can move markets, and quickly. When this happens, expect heads to roll in many ways.

Although most IR site vendors state that earnings releases post automatically to the IR site service they manage, only a few can actually confirm that the posting of the news release happens directly from the distributor to the IR site. Some vendors utilize a third-party aggregator to obtain newswire-distributed news releases and then post the release onto the IR site service. Anytime an additional step like this is added to a workflow process, more time is needed, and the opportunity for something to go wrong is greater. Most experienced communicators are familiar with the concept of Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

At Business Wire, an earnings release is never staged onto an IR site before publication – hidden or not. When the earnings release is distributed to the desired outlets, it gets posted directly to the IR site at that time, not any sooner. This leaves no opportunity for Murphy to cause trouble. Once the news release distribution is ordered, the option to post the

Earnings news releases that are distributed via Business Wire post directly and simultaneously to the Business Wire InvestorHQSM IR site service.

Earnings news releases that are distributed via Business Wire post directly and simultaneously to the Business Wire InvestorHQSM IR site service.

release to the InvestorHQSM IR site is selected, as is the option to place the release in one or more subject matter categories. Sweet, simple, streamlined and secure.

As important as the technical dangers mentioned above, so are the internal workflow risks.  All internal procedures at Business Wire have gone through a rigorous audit. Departmental shields against unauthorized access to data can be attested to by the Service Organization Control [SOC] 2 Type II attestation engagement report that Business Wire received in 2014.This means that your news release (in text or PDF format) will not be posted to your InvestorHQSM site by a Business Wire product specialist to save time or effort.

So, when selecting an IR site vendor, do assess and compare the basic features and functionality of the service. Don’t forget, however, to pay close attention to the details of the IR site service when it comes to security of your financial data.

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…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Ibrey Woodall is Vice President of Web Communications Services for Business Wire. She is responsible for Business Wire’s InvestorHQ IR site and NewsHQ online newsrooms services. She can be reached via email Ibrey.Woodall@Businesswire.com or LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/ibreywoodall.


2015 Corporate Earnings Call Best Practices

April 15, 2015

By Farah Merchant, Specialist, Global Disclosure & Financial Reporting Services

Every year our team is asked to share best practices for financial earnings calls and webcasts.  So much has changed in recent years, that we decided to put together a short list of facts, figures, benefits and best practices for maximizing this crucial communications program.

irservices

NIRI’s recent Earnings Call Practices Survey shows some very interesting facts and figures. Did you know that in 2014:

  • 97% of responding companies held earnings calls versus 80% in 1996?
  • Almost 80% of companies that do hold calls do not utilize social media platforms during the call.
  • For the few companies that do use social media during the earnings call, the most popular medium was Twitter (5%), followed by StockTwits, podcasts (~2% each), and Facebook, LinkedIn, and SlideShare (each 1%).

Investors have emphasized the importance of quarterly financial calls and webcasts for some time as they provide listeners with the opportunity to make wiser investment decisions.  Some of the additional benefits include:

  • They provide analysts with the opportunity to ask questions of C-level executives, and base their research, valuation and estimates on the information revealed in the call that may not have been disclosed in the press release.
  • They provide an opportunity for the company to mention upcoming events, such as analyst days, annual shareholders meeting and investor conferences. Some even mention the company’s full calendar of upcoming events.
  • Calls and webcasts provide companies the opportunity to leverage social media messaging to increase visibility of the discussion. Home Depot is an excellent example of a company successfully tweeting live information.
  • Webcasts can be archived with replays accessible through company’s investor relations site.

Because earnings calls and webcasts are predominantly presented in a live format, here are a few preparation tips to keep in mind:

  • Present a cohesive message that communicates what your earnings results indicate for the future of your company.
  • Pick your presenter based on position in the company and speaking skills (usually CEO or IRO and CFO to present the financials).
  • Do a dry run of the presentation and potential Q&A topics.
  • Utilize visual components such as power point presentations, infographics and downloadable content to increase engagement with your audience.
  • Use multiple channels to announce the earnings webcast date/time, insuring the widest possible outreach. Most common methods of alerting audiences of the call are via press release, your company’s investor relations website page, and social media outlets such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Consider combining traditional earnings call and webcast methods with the power and reach of social media platforms the day of the event, to both increase the intended reach of the event and generate higher levels of engagement with investors, analysts and the media.

There are many companies consistently exhibiting ‘Best Practices’ through various mediums during their earnings calls. One company is FedEx (NYSE: FDX), and how they use Twitter and their $FDX StockTwits symbol to showcase their key headline numbers:

Fedex Tweets

As you can see, there are many components that go into a quarterly earnings call, and best practices are constantly evolving. Public companies should always be on the lookout for new trends and mediums for earnings calls as well as more ways to actively engage with their audience during these events.

Earnings calls present a valuable opportunity for public companies to communicate key messages to investors, analysts and the media. By following best practices for the call presentation and leveraging multiple distribution mediums (press releases, webcasts, social media), they can maximize their earnings call even further.

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The Role of Data in Today’s Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Programs

November 10, 2014

By Matt VanTassel, Global Disclosure Services, Business Wire Matt VanTassel

Last month I had the opportunity to attend a Sustainability Practice Network discussion at Baruch College here in New York. The topic, Under the Hood: Corporate Sustainability 2014 was a broad-based discussion of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) programs including their development, implementation and the data that is derived from them.

As someone still learning the intricacies of ESG, it was reassuring to note that this topic, or better,  this idea, is truly still a work in progress. Why? Because today’s corporations are implementing ESG-based programs differently across industries, and the data that is created is being used in a multitude of ways.

Citi’s Assistant Vice President of Sustainability, Davida Heller laid out an impressive array of information on Citi’s programs and how they weigh social and environmental concerns when making investments. Citi tracks risks associated with anything from social discussions to environmental risks, for clients and their internal initiatives. You can review their numerous programs and stances on each topic here.

As a former Bloomberger, I always like to know what’s brewing at Bloomberg. While the company has a long-standing environmental policy (their forks are made out of potatoes!), there is also a department and functions that cater to culling and analyzing this data. Senior ESG Analyst Su Gao provided interesting statistics on how ESG-related data is being consumed by Bloomberg terminal users. There has been a nice uptick in data usage (48%), confirming that analysts and investors are looking beyond balance sheets and cash flow statements when making opinions and investment decisions.  ({ESG } on the terminal)

Domini’s Tessie Petion, lead research analyst for the Funds’ social and environmental standards, introduced a novel point that not all data is relevant for each investment and Social Responsible Investing (SRI) can (and should) have very focused concerns (such as treatment of animals or energy usage, etc.). SRI data is also being consumed beyond the typical ESG investor. One example of this is the use of SRI data when analyzing CEO pay packages (Say-on-Pay rules under the Dodd-Frank Act).

Turner Construction’s VP & Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Deane gave an interesting narrative on how he made the business case for Turner’s decision to ‘go green’. As of today, 50% of the buildings constructed by Turner are LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and they had 364 LEED-certified projects and 261 LEED-registered projects completed or under way as of May 2014.

One of the most compelling takeaways from this discussion came from Lorraine Smith, Senior Director at SustainAbility. She explained that it is extremely difficult for companies to quantify the environmental cost of their business. To better visualize this difficulty, she asked the audience about the food we ate that day and how much it cost us out-of-pocket. She then asked us what it would cost the environment to provide us that same amount of food. For example, she mentioned Greek yogurt, while delicious, creates a serious environmental repercussion in the form of acid whey.  Acid whey as it turns out is a very difficult to recycle byproduct of making and consuming this yogurt.

Professor David Rosenberg, Director, The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity  added, “Nothing should be more important to today’s corporate leaders than understanding the impact their businesses have on the environment and on the communities that sustain them.  As speakers at our event demonstrated, to be good stewards of the planet and good partners to their various stakeholders, corporations first need good data.  That is why exploring the potential for better reporting on sustainability is central to our mission of promoting corporate integrity,” commented Professor David Rosenberg, Director, The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity.

As ESG initiatives become more and more prevalent in corporations, the amount of data generated continues to grow. How the data is measured or interpreted and then utilized to build successful ESG programming continues to be the largest hurdle for both the companies and their investors.  Companies who take the time to analyze their data will be able to build the groundwork for successful ESG programs.

Interested in reading additional corporate social responsibility related news?  Follow us: @BWCSRNews and @BW_CSR.

 


Time It Right: The Importance of Financial Calendars

September 25, 2014

By Hannah Kelly, Business Wire Paris

What is a financial calendar?

A financial calendar (also referred to as an economic calendar) is used by traders, shareholders and the media alike, in order to track the important events of the economy. The majority of the time, this is to check for market-moving events, such as monthly jobless claims, factory orders and debt auctions which are all found in the economic calendar. Several high-profile sites such as Bloomberg and Forex publish release dates for forthcoming economic reports each week.

Bloomberg Editorial Calendar

Each audience segment utilizes this information in a different fashion. A trader for instance, may implement a specific strategy based on the proposed outcome of a report, while a newsroom will adjust their coverage and focus, based on that same report.

Why is the calendar important for public companies?

Companies use the economic calendar in order to avoid scheduling conflicts with their conference calls, investor days, and other important events. The calendar is vital in anticipating workload, keeping to a schedule and keeping everyone up-to-date and informed.

However, in addition to following the economic calendar, companies should also be aware of the dates and times of companies within their respective industry – you wouldn’t want a top analyst to have to choose between your company and your top competitor. Best practice is to try and schedule the event close enough but not so close that an analyst or reporter cannot cover both.

How should the calendar be used as a tool when a company is setting up their next event?

Press releases:  Many traded companies choose to note key dates in certain press releases, which works excellently. Those who read your first quarter results will likely be reading the next quarter, so why not quickly mention their publication date?

Investor HQ:  Here at Business Wire, we offer InvestorHQ, a web-based content management system that allows clients to manage a search-engine optimized online newsroom. Since InvestorHQ  is a CMS (content management system), events can be posted simply by entering the date, time and location. Audio and visuals can be also be added to the calendar, and email invitations can be sent with a link to the Event page, through which investors can register and receive reminders for that particular event.

No more excuses – no matter how big or small your company is, the financial calendar should play an essential role in scheduling your next event!


Updating Your Earnings Release: How to Maximise the Readability of Earnings Press Releases

August 12, 2014

By Hannah Kelly, Editor, Business Wire Paris

With the earnings period once again upon us, investor and public relations professionals are coming together to publish what is often considered the most important release of the quarter: the earnings release.

Quarterly earnings releases are a reflection of the financial health of an organization and are most frequently read by the financial community, shareholders, customers and employees.

Earnings releases, which must succinctly showcase this extremely important information, are often a cause of stress and anxiety, particularly in terms of readability.  Today the average news consumer reads only around 20% of provided text, leaving today’s communicators asking how they can optimize the impact of their press releases.

  1. Write your company name in the headline
    Including your company name in your press release headline is the quickest and easiest way to associate your company with its earnings release, and yet it is overlooked time and time again. Furthermore, the inclusion of the company name often leads to a higher SEO ranking – ideal for your annual results!earnings
  2. Ensure the most important information is at the top of your release
    Readers spend 80% of their time reading information found above the fold[1] , so this is where your most important information should be. An operating highlights summary in the form of a bulleted list, positioned just after the first sentence of the release, can greatly improve adoption and understanding of your news.
  3. Include financial tables in your release

    The importance of including complete financial tables within your press release cannot be stressed enough. Financial tables serve as a visual, simplifying wordy paragraphs and allowing quick and relatable comprehension of a company’s situation. In addition, many analysts utilize models to predict company health. Financial tables provide all the detail needed to update these models. And of course, don’t forget to include the reporting currency.

  4. Quote a company executive
    Ideally, the quote accompanying your earnings release will be provided by the company’s CEO[2]. A comment, no matter how long or short, goes a long way toward the personalization of your company and presentation of your key message. This comment can provide a justification, explanation oract as a written pat on the back. Either way, a comment from an executive provides true context of the quarter’s financials – particularly useful given that a large majority of readers of this release will be your shareholders.
  5. Subtitle your sections
    Earnings releases are notoriously difficult to read and comprehend, making subheadings the perfect solution. Included just below the press release headline, sub heads should indicate the type of information to follow, allowing the reader to easily navigate the different categories of information.
  6. Group together similar information
    When possible, similar content should be written consecutively, or as close together in the release as possible. This keeps repetition to a limit, and again, allows the reader to navigate your release more easily.
  7. Be succinct
    There is an unavoidable need to include certain information, for regulatory reasons, but this doesn’t mean that your whole release should follow a lengthy, wordy pattern. Be as concise as you can be[3], but take care to include all the necessary information.
  8. Keep historical information towards the end of the release
    Readers look for the most current and important information first. This goes back to readers spending most of their time above the fold. Historical information, although useful, is not the most relevant in these types of releases. If it is essential – for example, year-on-year comparisons – this ideally should be included within the financial tables or near the end of the press release, below the fold.
  9. Enhance your earnings release with multimediaAce Hardware
    The fastest way to increase effectiveness of news consumption is to include additional visual content. An infographic of your financials, such as the one created and distributed by Ace Hardware, is an easy way to represent your quarterly results.  Or use  video from your CEO or division head, like ARC Resources’ Myron’s Minute, to explain, in plain language, the story behind the data.
  10. Use numbered footnotes – and group them together!
    There is nothing worse than having to match up symbols, and to guess where they are inside the release. A nice, neat, numbered footnote list, found at the very bottom of the release, makes everyone’s life easier. In addition, consider hyperlinking to footnoted information to provide easy access when needed.

The combination of these techniques will improve your earnings release’s readability and ensure that the most important information is found and read by the majority of desired readers. In addition to increased comprehension of your financials by your core audience, you may just get more coverage as your target reporters and shareholders find it easier to digest the news.

How to Write a Compelling Earnings Release

With regard to the information that should be included in terms of structure and content, companies will inevitably vary in the type of information provided, but should try to keep to consistent and complete information in plain English. Here are a few helpful guidelines[4]:

Structure:

  • The date of release and city and state of headquarters should be at the beginning of the release
  • The most important news should be summarised in the first paragraph
  • Subheadings should be used to further clarify and highlight important corporate developments
  • The last paragraph should include a business description, with the company’s complete name, ticker symbol and equity market
  • Media contact information and a website address should always appear at the end of the release

sample_snr_ENContent:

  • Changes in disclosure from quarter to quarter, or year to year, should be specified and explained (sales, revenues, net income, diluted earnings per share and percentage change for each section)
  • Observations should be made only between comparable periods – for example, it is better to compare a third quarter of year N to the third quarter of year N-1, rather than year N’s second quarter
  • Key value drivers and other important line items should be clearly noted
  • Charges/gains/losses should be included if they contribute to the results, and it is advisable to explain how and why they have had an effect (eg. extraordinary gains, losses, equity losses and accounting changes)
  • A consistent format should be used throughout the press release (this is particularly important when reconciling GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures)
  • It is prudent to mention key events and changes, such as government practices and changes to the Board of Directors, plus any steps being taken to address these changes
  • Information on gross profit and margin (plus percentage change), cash flow, share repurchase activity and other measures of performance (capital expenditures, R&D expense and nonfinancial measures) should be included where appropriate
  • Provide forward-looking insights when possible, for the next quarter and/or year, and how the previous forecast has measured up to the current results

Financial statements should always be labeled as audited or unaudited, and can include: complete income statement (with current and year-ago quarter numbers, current year-to-date and year-ago year-to-date comparable period numbers, outstanding shares – both fully diluted and basic), balance sheet (current quarter numbers and end of prior-year numbers), plus cash flow tables, current quarter numbers and year-to-date.

Interested in learning more about increasing the impact of your financial press releases?  Let us know! With more than 50 years of news distribution experience, we have quite a few tips and tricks to share.

[1] http://www.nngroup.com/articles/scrolling-and-attention/

[2] http://www.whitecase.com/files/Publication/60516433-ff3f-444c-8e7d-a5cdcdc84c82/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/be3b92fd-aa2d-45f2-8c4b-ae6486778b0b/article_Earnings_Releases_and_Earnings_Calls.pdf

[3] http://irwebreport.com/20020513/preparing-earnings-releases-for-the-web/

[4] Standards of Practice for Investor Relations, Earnings Release Content (NIRI, page 7)


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