IR pros work to calm fears in wake of market volatility

NEW YORK: IR pros took a cautious breather last week when markets rebounded following one of the largest point losses on record. But first, the volatility had IR pros on both the agency and client side scrambling to calm fears of a market collapse.

NEW YORK: IR pros took a cautious breather last week when markets rebounded following one of the largest point losses on record. But first, the volatility had IR pros on both the agency and client side scrambling to calm fears of a market collapse.

NEW YORK: IR pros took a cautious breather last week when markets

rebounded following one of the largest point losses on record. But

first, the volatility had IR pros on both the agency and client side

scrambling to calm fears of a market collapse.



IR pros representing tech clients seemed to be hardest hit. ’We received

quite a number of calls from journalists seeking market commentary,’

said Jim Brown, president of BergerBrown Communications.



Not everybody, though, was as nervous as tech investors, according to

Dix & Eaton SVP Mary Dunbar. ’A lot of the companies in this area (the

midwest) are old-line companies with positive earnings reports coming

out,’ she explained. ’So while they went down with everybody else on

Friday, they recovered quicker.’



Kurt Fawkes, VP of IR at Sprint, said he was ’swamped because of our

earnings,’ but said his internal team received few panicky phone calls

from stockholders. ’In terms of the market sell-off, our investor base

understood that it was based on broad macros trends,’ he explained.



And Michael Rosenbaum, president of The Financial Relations Board/BSMG,

described the drop as an opportunity for IR pros: ’When stock prices go

down, some companies slow down their IR efforts believing there’s

nothing they can do in the face of a weak market. However, there will be

someone there to quickly fill that vacuum, marketing to those investors

willing to listen.’



Meanwhile, PR pros at the New York Stock Exchange had their own problems

to worry about. ’Not surprisingly, the call volume has been greater than

usual,’ said NYSE spokesman Ray Pellecchia.



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