Publicly held companies have to announce financial numbers in a press release every quarter. Often, politicians have to release financial data in a press release. Privately held companies can keep their numbers to themselves, but they might want to send a press release with their financial information, especially if are listed in a business journal’s 100 best company lists. Although publicly held companies know how to write a press release for financial numbers, others might need a refresher. Read this article for general information about financial information releases.
By Louise Harris
The Securities and Exchange Commission requires all publicly held company to release their financial numbers every quarter. Most of them will release this information in several ways. They will issue a newsletter to their shareholders, publish investor reports on their Web sites and will send press releases to have the information published. Editors will choose a few key companies to mention or report. The rest will be posted on Dow Jones newswire or in the Wall Street Journal. The reason is limited space in publications and time on radio or television. While publicly held companies have to send out releases, privately held companies don’t even if they are worth billions. If you represent a privately held company, sending a release will attract the attention of editors and producers because it is rare. Here are some tips on creating your release.
- Mention Significance Up Front – The stories that fill the news holes are the ones with significance. For example, a company that has gained or lost a lot of money in the last quarter with always be mentioned. Therefore, you want to tell the editors and producers in the headline what is your significance. “Bealls Department Stores Reports Revenues Increased by 30 Percent in Second Quarter.” This jump in revenues means the company is doing well. People are buying their goods. Jobs are created. These are newsworthy topics. The same is true if the company has met with a huge loss in a quarter. It would mean the reverse is true. The company is struggling. People are turning to something new. People are losing jobs. The company could be on the auction block soon.
- Use Correct Format – Financial releases follow a format that is slightly different from regular releases. Public relations professionals have to put the increase or decrease in the headline. They have to have numbers in their lead and what they mean. They have to talk about revenues, shareholder earnings and dividends per share. If they are for public companies, they have to discuss price per share and how the change affects the price per share. If they are public companies, they have to discuss how the impact affects the employees and community, such as job loss. They also have to compare the current quarter to the quarter the previous year. Releases have to compare the previous quarter too. For example, “last year, in the first quarter, Company X had revenues of $1.5 million. This year, in the first quarter, Company X had revenues of $2 million. In the second quarter of this year, Company X reported $2.1 million in revenues compared to $2 million in the first quarter of this year. These flat earnings suggest a downturn heading into third quarter.”
- Must Add Table – In other releases, photos, graphs, videos, etc. are optional. In a financial information release, public relations professionals must include a table. This helps editors and producers see at a glance what is happening with the company. Also, shareholders, investors and regulators see at a glance how solvent the company is. Usually, a release will come with more than one table. The first will present the quarter-to-previous quarter and year-to-year earnings. The second will show the dividends and price per share comparisons. While most releases are one page, because of the tables required, these releases will be about three pages. Most P.R. pros know to keep them as short as possible.
- Review Before Sending – It helps to have your investor relations team and legal team review the release before you send to the media. This will make sure that all financial numbers are accurate and that you haven’t missed including something. If the numbers are reported inaccurately, it could cause problems with the company. Therefore, be sure you have everything correct the first time.
- Get Help – If you aren’t sure how to create your financial numbers press release, you should ask for help. Faselis has a program designed for privately held companies who want to present financial information. Their experts will guide you through the process. You will see success because of the company’s targeted marketing strategy.
Although private companies don’t have to send financial information to the press, they might want to do it because getting published in a list is good public relations for a company. Almost every city’s business journal will publish a Top 100 companies in the area list. Online publications will hold contests and create a list for best companies to work. Radio and television will talk about the best local companies with the highest revenues. It also is another way to continue to build a relationship with your local journalists for when you are ready to send another more important release.
If you are looking for a press release template to help you present your financial information, Faselis is a company for you. The company offers templates on many different specialties, such as financial information. It also targets specific journalists who understand stocks and dividends. You will have the latest contact information of the journalist.