Announcing a company’s quarterly earnings is often a stressful endeavor for most investor relations (IR) teams. Not only do they need to ensure their mandated quarterly news release is accurate, thorough, timely and SEC-compliant, they are also under pressure to share the news in a way that captures the attention of key stakeholders. But just because sending a press release to announce financial results each quarter is required by the SEC, it doesn’t mean public companies can’t get creative with how they share this news. (After all, you don’t want someone falling asleep in the middle of reading your latest earnings release.)
In the past, earnings announcements primarily served to inform the broader institutional investment community, but with the rise of retail investing, public companies need to do more to attract the attention of these new investors. But how? After all, with so many guidelines to adhere to, there isn’t much wiggle room to get creative. Unless, of course, you add visuals.
Read on to see how visual elements can increase engagement with your earnings release and make it stand out among those who matter most.
Retail investors need easily digestible information
Retail investing recently gained popularity with the onset of easy-to-use trading platforms like Robinhood and Webull. These platforms are intuitive and provide seamless trading, multiple services (such as stock and crypto trading) and stock research. Increasingly, investment platforms are trying to capture retail trading demand by introducing new apps or acquiring competitors. As more retail investors pay attention to a company’s financial performance, news and valuation, the information you share must be clear and digestible to all audiences. In addition to being easily consumable, companies must not forget that reaching the retail investor is as crucial as speaking to the institutional investor.
Visuals make an earnings release stand out
The best way to make your release easier to read and grab your reader’s attention is to add a multimedia component. According to Cision’s 2021 State of the Press Release report, readers are twice as likely to engage with your content if you include an image with your press release than using text alone and are six times as likely to engage if you include multiple images. While including multimedia is a best practice for crafting any release, it’s also true that visual components are a useful addition to an earnings release.
Tech licensor CEVA recently put out its third quarter earnings release, which included a detailed infographic outlining its significant accomplishments. Even if a retail investor isn’t familiar with CEVA’s business, this infographic is straightforward and will help any investor learn more about CEVA’s business model. For institutional investors, CEVA deftly illustrates its investment thesis by using easy-to-understand metrics and quantifiable measurements. Infographics are a fantastic tool for public companies to outline key metrics, growth statistics and performance data, particularly in technical industries with unique terminology.
Your competitors are using multimedia
Cision’s State of the Press Release also noted that 63% of companies surveyed plan to incorporate multimedia in their releases within the next 12 months. If your biggest competitor is using multimedia in their earnings releases and your company is not, they’re likely receiving higher engagement with their content. This could impact who your potential investors are. If retail investors are not engaging with your brand, they’re less likely to invest in it. Even worse, if they’re engaging with your competition, they are possibly throwing their dollars to them.
The bottom line
While most companies clearly understand the value of adding multimedia to a press release, investor relations teams need to be mindful of making their accretive information comprehensible to a lay audience. Rather than merely mentioning growth statistics in your release text, communicating important data through an infographic provides easily digestible content for retail investors while also capturing the attention of the institutional investment community.