On the beat: financial

The financial beat I've been covering since this September is not the same beat I took on when I first began this position in the summer of 2007.

The financial beat I've been covering since this September is not the same beat I took on when I first began this position in the summer of 2007.

While Wall Street had steadily been making its way to a meltdown, the news that Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy and Bank of America would purchase Merrill Lynch landed with a heavy and dreaded thud.

Since then, financial communicators have been on edge, unable to make solid predictions about the future. Still, communicators tell me it has been a busy time, as they struggle to detail their companies' and clients' exposure to toxic investments, keep time with the constant stream of news, and adjust their tactics and strategies.

As the reporter on this beat, it's been a great opportunity to cover a tremendous and ongoing story. The articles have run the gamut from insurance to internal communications, all reflecting the trends that have emerged as a result of the recession. As we move into 2009, the full impact on financial communications has yet to be seen.

A changing market

The products and services sector is another one undergoing change.

For months, the SEC has moved toward a wider definition of “full and fair disclosure” that would allow corporations to publish information on their corporate Web sites without the use of wire services. Newswires repeatedly and steadfastly asserted that the spirit of Reg FD would only be upheld in the accepted standard of distribution.

Now, with calls for increased transparency in the wake of the financial crisis, the conversation seems to be on temporary hold. Leaders in the newswire sector sense that things will likely stay the same for the time being.

Across other parts of the products and services sector, this time of uncertainty is a chance to show how they can help PR pros demonstrate the ROI of their efforts. These areas continue to develop new technologies, particularly with digital media, to acclimate to the evolving landscape.

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