Earnings season is heating up, and you are in the thick of earnings reports for your company. You have prepared your investor relations team for calls, press releases, and analyst meetings. But did you realize that there is a lot of play for public and media relations during earnings season? That’s right. Press and analysts are looking to speak with your PR team during earnings season. The challenge for PR pros is that announcements about earnings reports should be newsworthy and exciting enough to generate coverage, which is a tall order when the market has already digested the news by the time the report is released.
Reporters are stretched thin while covering earnings season. They are looking for a quick story idea that can be cranked out fast with the least amount of footwork. Quality is important, but it comes in at a distant second place to being able to get the story done quickly and efficiently. Given that most stories end up being merely fleshed-out versions of an earnings press release, getting a press outlet to bite takes creativity and some research into how they operate.
It is an iterative process of communicating and building up authority with journalists via small pieces of information that boils down to one overarching theme: What is your news story? To help you out, here are three things to do when you want to make the most out of PR earning reports.
You will want to add tension to the story.
When it comes to landing coverage in the media, the outlook can seem disheartening. Even if you have a great earnings report with impressive growth, you still need to find a way to get reporters interested. Do you have a new and exciting executive who is going to make waves in the industry? Are you gaining steam despite a downturn for the rest of the industry? Did your company experience turbulence in recent months and is now seeing impressive numbers?
These are all great stories worth telling, but it will be up to you to find a reporter who believes your story and also happens to write for a publication or blog that covers that industry. Getting your pitch to a reporter can be just as challenging as successfully preparing a great earnings report. But once it is done, this will not only help build your company up but could also do wonders for your SEO. Reporters are always looking for interesting stories and any post they publish will naturally help your rankings on search engines like Google and Bing.
Prepare quotes on reports that can be widely covered.
Any reporter who puts together a story on a public company’s quarterly earnings needs to nail down at least two things: an actual story and the primary source of information. If he or she does not get them right, then that person is likely to draw unwelcome attention from his editor or the company. To avoid that, reporters need to know where they can find trusted, timely information and learn how to use it appropriately in telling the story. This is why it is crucial that you prepare credible quotes that reporters can use.
Because journalists work on tight deadlines, they need to know exactly what you can and will say about a story. They want the facts, not just your opinion. As a result, it is important to be careful when speaking with the media. Remember that while you may be the expert in your field, you are a source for the reporter. Reporters cannot use every fact you present in an interview, but they can use quotes from what you say. So, always remember: proper quotes are vital to journalists when they report the news.
Collaborate with Investor Relations to understand earning reports.
Everyone knows a company is in trouble when it starts making business decisions that are out of character. If the company you’re considering investing in suddenly embraces a new revenue stream (such as venture capital), then this is definitely something to pay attention to. But just because the company has a great report for the quarter, it does not mean that everything is fine. Always look at balance sheets, operating cash flow reports, and of course, management recommendations before investing in a company. It pays to dig deeper when examining the financials of a company.
For this reason, it is important to collaborate with the investor relations team at your company. Working with the investor relations team is another often overlooked tactic. If your company’s earnings will be released in a month or two, you can work collaboratively with the investor relations team to ensure everyone’s on the same page ahead of time. This can be as simple as discussing and agreeing on what executives will say on the conference call the morning after earnings are released, and whether you want them to do any press interviews before they address analysts to help get more hype around top-line results.
The way press coverage is presented—looks and feel—will be the same as that which is presented in trade journals, magazines, or off-the-press books. It requires careful thought and consideration to write, design, and produce a publication that conveys the message correctly. If you follow the advice above and use it wisely in your communications arsenal, you will be able to get the press talking about your company—earning reports and beyond.