Comms must play role in trust-focused regulations

NEW YORK: Improved and increased communications must be implemented alongside new regulations to restore confidence in corporate America, according to "Communicating with Investors and the Media," a recent survey by PR Newswire (PRN).

NEW YORK: Improved and increased communications must be implemented alongside new regulations to restore confidence in corporate America, according to "Communicating with Investors and the Media," a recent survey by PR Newswire (PRN).

The survey reviewed communications practices at public companies, as well as the communications needs of institutional investors, research analysts, and the media. Respondents included buy-side investors, sell-side analysts, corporate IR pros, and national business reporters.

Seventy-three percent of buy-side and 79% of sell-side participants said they'd like to see more comprehensive financial information in releases.

More than half of all respondents cited highlighting key financials at the top of an earnings release as important or very important, and 16% of IR professionals said they had recently changed their releases to include these. Michelle Savage, VP of IR services for PRN, said this was "the beginning of a trend."

While more than half of buy-and sell-side participants said they were interested in using video webcasts to obtain information about companies, only 7.5% of IR professionals said they were currently providing webcasts in video format. According to Savage, companies outside of retail have not considered themselves interesting enough to warrant using video, though she said this is changing.

Two-thirds of respondents felt that combining elements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act with better communications was necessary. Requiring an independent board, independent audit committees, and new regulations for auditing firms were recognized as important elements from the act for restoring trust.

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