Every quarter, public companies around the world craft and distribute earnings releases. These releases are extremely valuable to both the issuing companies and their recipients as they have the power to impact not only one’s stock price, but an entire sector or even the entire market.
For those tasked with creating and delivering this critical messaging, consider the following advice to help your next earnings release stand out.
1. Be consistent.
- Do not make audiences dig for information. Consistency in reporting allows audiences to track results quarter by quarter. Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for audiences to see your content and act upon it.
- Before crafting your earnings release, sit with your C-suite to discuss the wider story being told. This type of additional context provides audiences with a more transparent view of how your company sits within its competitor set.
- Changes in reporting happen, but if you are making a change, let audiences know what they are. Clarify the changes, why they are being made, and where to find the new content to maximize earnings day coverage.
- Stay true to your tone and message. Reporters and journalists are not just looking at your words, machines are too, thus placing emphasis on tone and message. Ensure that your earnings release contains the same tone and messages as your non-financial news. Creating a single brand voice for your entire organization ensures information is delivered and received in the same manner.
2. Be organized to maximize your audience’s time.
- Be clear, concise and thorough. Present your earnings release in an easy-to-read manner with bullets at the top and newest numbers in the left-hand column of your earnings table. Don’t just state your results, explain what happened and what you are doing next.
3. Write a good headline.
- Maximize your earnings release headline by adding context to it, such as the impact of your news on your industry, and the direction your earnings numbers reveal. The more context you can provide, the more likely you are to activate your true audience.
4. Lead with your release.
- Distribute a complete news release. Do not link to your website for more information. Each of these steps adds time and effort to the process reporters and analysts must go through to act upon your news.
- Include all interesting metrics, like net EPS and revenue, in your earnings release. Don’t split your news into separate documents and don’t wait to share it during the conference call.
- Amplify your earnings on social channels to maximize reach.
5. Timing and distribution matter.
- Want to increase earnings release coverage? Consider issuing your earnings release at a slightly off-hour time. Most earnings releases are distributed right before or right after market hours. To maximize your visibility, move your distribution to avoid these busy times.
- Distribute your news broadly. Do not make audiences look for your financial news. Earnings releases should be accessible to all appropriate audiences, including media and shareholders.
An earnings period is a busy time for all audiences and stakeholders. Take the above steps to maximize the impact of your news and to create the best experience for all interested parties.
Looking for additional ways to increase ROI while reducing stress on your earnings day? Download our Five Essentials to Investor Relations Guide, or our guide to Best Practices for Enhanced Earnings Releases.
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