San Francisco Disclosure Experts Discuss Guidance, Social Media in Today’s IR Landscape

June 25, 2009

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Business Wire San Francisco hosted a breakfast event June 11 at the historic Palace Hotel, where more than 30 area investor relations and media relations professionals gathered for a panel discussion on the most relevant and timely issues in corporate disclosure and investor relations.

The event, titled “An Investor Relations Survival Guide: IR Strategies for the New Age of Corporate Transparency and Accountability,” focused on a discussion of the changing regulatory environment, including how different companies deal with the issue of earnings guidance, compliance challenges and social media’s place in the IR landscape. It was part of Business Wire’s Spring Investor Relations Conference Series, which has also included events in New York and Boston.

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Don Clark (far left), Deputy Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal moderated a panel of disclosure experts and thought leaders, including (from left to right):

Among the key points discussed:

  • When discussing earnings releases, Mr. Clark identified comparisons as his pet peeve. Everything the media does is about comparing what happened to what happened in the past. He said it’s amazing how often companies will report the “net income of this or that,” but won’t have the comparison. Then the media has to dig to see the earnings drop. Mr. Clark thinks that everyone can see right through that because it’s obvious when a company is doing well since they’ll crow about it in the first sentence.
  • Mr. Schrader noted that the issue of confirming guidance is extremely sensitive and ambiguous. Once a company has issued earnings guidance, can they communicate with analysts to confirm later that the guidance is still current? Mr. Schrader believes confirming guidance is selective disclosure. Even though there’s a school of thought that says that if what you confirm is within what you’ve already put out, it’s already out in the marketplace anyway, to him, it’s a very risky policy. He believes the SEC will take action on this issue in the near future.
  • Commenting on using social media for IR communications, Mr. Hughes notes that, in his opinion, platforms like blogging make more sense on the corporate communications side. He believes financial information is too delicate to put on blogs. Additionally, because one of the great struggles in investor relations is getting investors to see the long-term business cycle and strategy, he isn’t sure that social media platforms, built for instantaneous communication, supports that goal.
  • Mr. Jelter says there’s too much “noise” in earnings releases. He says the best practice to have is to keep it simple and keep it clean. He listed what he likes to see clearly reported: “Net earnings, net loss, operating revenue, operating loss and guidance.” As Mr. Jelter put it, “write for your Aunt Virginia.” Make your release accessible and don’t bog down in a lot of terminology.
  • Mr. Schuman notes that Intel does not like using PDF for disseminating earnings releases. HTML is much more accessible, particularly with mobile devices.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Upcoming Business Wire Events – June 1 Edition

June 1, 2009

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Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

Breakfast with The South Florida Business Journal

Hosted by Business Wire Florida

Join Business Wire Florida for an in-depth discussion with Kevin Gale, Editor of the South Florida Business Journal. Enjoy continental breakfast while learning about the Journal‘s news operations in South Florida. This event is free for all attendees.

Tuesday, June 2 at 9:00am ET
Broward College
Willis Holcombe Center
111 East Las Olas Blvd. #1208 Boardroom, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
To register: Please RSVP to Claudia Perez-Bonilla at Claudia.Perez@businesswire.com or call 954-474-8833 with the subject line “Media Breakfast: Breakfast with The South Florida Business Journal”

Press Releases: The Road Not Taken

Hosted by Business Wire Nashville

There’s a whole new world beyond the text press release. A little extra effort may net you big media results. Join Business Wire Nashville in this enlightening workshop where we will show you how multimedia, stylistic elements and SEO techniques can breathe more life into your release. This event is free for all attendees.

Tuesday, June 2 at 11:30am CT
Chapple Building, Magnolia Room
5115 Maryland Way, Brentwood, TN 37027
615.377.0700
To register: Please RSVP  to Business Wire at na_sales_group@businesswire.com or call 615.661.6123

Business Wire Luncheon: Social Media and Journalism: How Does One Influence the Other?

Hosted by Business Wire Seattle

The coming of social media has caused significant changes in traditional journalism. Social media gives everyone a voice: both average Joes & journalists are talking about organizations online & in print. Join a savvy panel of communications experts, including Todd Bishop of TechFlash.com, Blake Cahill of Visible Technologies, Hanson Hosein from University of Washington and Colleen Moffitt of Communiqué Public Relations and author of Strategic Public Relations: 10 Principles to Harness the Power of PR for an exciting discussion about social media and its relationship to journalism. Learn how journalism and social media influence each other, how our panel is leveraging their online communications and how you can create relevant content online. This event is free for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members at the door.

Follow this event on Twitter! Hashtag: #bwevents

Thursday, June 4 at 11:30am PST
Union Square Boardroom
One Union Square Building, First Level , 600 University Street, Seattle, WA 98101
To register: RSVP to Lauren Linscheid at Lauren.Linscheid@businesswire.com

An Investor Relations Survival Guide: IR Strategies for the New Age of Corporate Transparency and Accountability

Hosted by Business Wire San Francisco

Today’s financial crisis is certain to lead to greater corporate disclosure and accountability standards. Ironically, the definition of transparency itself has become muddied as a result of considerable — and often deliberate — misinformation in the marketplace. This Business Wire Spring Investor Relations Conference Series event will focus on the changing regulatory environment, the role of technology in investor outreach, revisiting Regulation FD, and the compliance challenges ahead. Don Clark, Deputy Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal will moderate a panel of disclosure experts and thought leaders, including Jim Jelter, Corporate News Editor, MarketWatch; Peter Schuman, Manager, Investor Relations, Intel; Stephen Schrader, Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP; and Alex Hughes, Director of IR, Dolby Labs. This event is free for Business Wire members and $15 for non-members.

Thursday, June 11 at 8:30am PST
The Palace Hotel
2 New Montgomery Street, French Parlor Room, Second Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
To register: RSVP to Sandy Donnelly at sandy.donnelly@businesswire.com with the subject line: “Media Breakfast: An Investor Relations Survival Guide” or call 415.986.4422 x561 by Tuesday, June 9th

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.


Upcoming Business Wire Events – March 9 Edition

March 9, 2009

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Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

PR During Recession

Hosted by Business Wire London

This is likely to be a tough year for PR people. So how can PR rise to the challenge? Join PR professionals Tim Bishop, Head of Photography for Medialink; Paul Honey, Managing Director of Strange; and Marc Prema-Ratner, Managing Director at Z’est Corporate PR in a discussion about the best practices on client retention & acquisition, media relations, the use of photography, SEO and online PR in a recession-battered world. Our breakfast event is designed to provide you with insight and inspiration. This is a great chance to come and hear from the professionals in their field, and at the same time network with your peers and share experiences. This is a free event.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 9:30am GMT
Press Association
292 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1AE, UK
To register: Email uk@businesswire.com with the subject line “PR event.” Places are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Biotech Reporting: Meet the Media Covering the Emerging Industry

Hosted by Business Wire San Francisco

Join Business Wire San Francisco and a panel of biotech editors for our Conference Series Media Breakfast. Ian Malcolm, Head of Membership Development at BayBio, moderates a panel including Marcus Wohlsen, Biotech Reporter, The Associated Press; Ron Leuty, Biotech Reporter, San Francisco Business Times; and Andrew Pollack, Health Editor & Deputy SF Bureau Chief, Bloomberg News. The panel will share and discuss how they report on the players and the emerging industries in the Bay Area, and add their perspective on this important topic. Attendees will come away with an enhanced understanding of best practices in biotech media relations. This event is free for Business Wire and BayBio members & $15 for non-members.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 8:30am PST
Business Wire SF Headquarters
44 Montgomery Street, 32nd Floor Bay Room, San Francisco, CA 94104
To register: RSVP to Sandy Donnelly at Sandy.Donnelly@businesswire.com or call 415.986.4422, ext. 561 by Friday, March 20th.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.


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