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Newsworthy Reasons to Write a Press Release: Part 8: Financials

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The opportunities to promote your organization and get your brand in front of a new audience of potential customers can be found by discovering newsworthy reasons to send a press release.

While there are many reasons organizations may (wisely) choose to send a press release – to share exciting company news, shine a spotlight on employees, generate interest in an event – sometimes organizations need to send a press release out of obligation to a particular stakeholder. This is often the case when it comes to disclosing financial information.

Publicly held companies are required by the SEC to release their financial numbers every quarter – and issuing a press release is a fast, effective channel for such communication. But for privately held companies hoping to attract investors or file an Initial Public Offering (IPO), sending a press release with updates on your financial news can drive interest in the company.

6 Approaches to Sharing Financial News Via Press Release

1. Sharing impressive sales reports. While this isn’t a required disclosure, sharing a monthly sales result that was better than forecasted can generate interest and investment in your company.

Need an example? Look to these releases for guidance:

2. Announcing financial earnings results or forecasts. Public companies know this is an SEC-mandated disclosure. If your business is growing and considering filing an IPO, a positive forecast can drive up the IPO price.

Need an example? Look to these releases for guidance:

3. Announcing an earnings call. In addition to putting it into writing, your company may consider inviting audiences to their earnings call, for an added layer of context and commentary. A press release is a great way to spread the word.

Need an example? Look to these releases for guidance:

4. Announcing a new investor. Hearing a trusted investor has bet on your company might attract other investors to do the same.

Need an example? Look to these releases for guidance:

5. Issuing a letter to shareholders. Some companies’ annual shareholder letters are widely anticipated. Give yours a boost by sharing that it’s ready for primetime via a press release.

Need an example? Look to these releases for guidance:

6. Restructuring your business. Restructuring is a way to help your company clear the decks and find a path to a better future. Current and prospective investors want to hear this news.

Need an example? Look to these releases for guidance:

3 Best Practices for Finance-Related Press Releases: Lessons from Top Companies

What do the above examples have in common? With the exception of the shareholder letters (which follow a more conversational format), they follow many of the following best practices for crafting releases around their earnings that make it easy for stakeholders and shareholders to understand.

1. Pay attention to formatting: Good formatting can help ensure your audiences actually read and absorb information that can sometimes be complex and often dry. Use strategic formatting to keep audiences from skimming over information and possibly missing key details in the process. Consider the following: 

  • Break up long blocks of text into shorter (2- to 3-sentence) paragraphs 
  • Divide your release into key themes and topics and use bolded headers to ‘announce’ each topic 
  • Use bullets to outline key takeaways
  • Include graphs to help visualize trends or growth areas

2. Include executive quotes: Executive quotes are a way to provide context around the numbers and create a story around them. (Not to mention that reporters often lift executive quotes directly from press releases for their coverage.) Consider, for example, this excerpt from a recent InsurePro release: "Surpassing $3M in premiums sold to date is an indicator that our highly configurable, transparent, and customer-centric offering has been validated by the market," said Prakash Mohandas, co-founder and CEO of InsurePro. "To achieve this milestone in such a short time is really a testament to the engineering, product, design, and insurtech acumen of our team. This is only the beginning," said Mohandas.

3. Don’t shy away from visuals. For all the visual learners out there, including multimedia elements in your financial release provide another way to communicate – and help audiences understand – important financial information. Think outside of financial charts, too: Consider how DICK’S Sporting Goods and Mazda included product photos to break up formatting (see above) and increase audience engagement.

Photo courtesy of DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc.

 

Erin Payton

Erin Payton is an Integrated Marketing Manager for Distribution at Cision. In her role, she develops multichannel marketing campaigns, drives demand generation, fosters brand awareness and creates thought leadership. Away from the keyboard, she is an unabashedly enthusiastic cat mom to Mia.