A press release distributed in connection with corporate financial disclosure, such as a quarterly earnings submission, typically includes a significant amount of financial information. Earnings releases, for example, often include pages of heretofore, confidential financial statements and discussion that are put on the wire to update analysts, exchanges, shareholders, media reps, journalists, and others anxiously awaiting important news from the corporate world.
As part of this process, the financial press release should be distributed in line with relevant securities regulation and guidance: fairly, widely, simultaneously一and securely. But there are other reasons why the security of the dissemination process is vital.
Let’s take a closer look at the importance of security in financial press release distribution.
Compliance With Securities Law
For investor relations pros (IRs), managing the disclosure of company financial data is a complex and essential part of the job. And as aforementioned, IRs must ensure certain types of information are communicated in compliance with securities regulation.
The primary U.S. securities industry regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), provides specific provisions for releasing material nonpublic information, in particular.
The SEC considers information material if there is a substantial likelihood a reasonable investor would attach importance to it in determining whether to purchase a given security. Furthermore, information is deemed nonpublic if it hasn’t been distributed in a manner making it available to investors generally. Subject to some exceptions, then, the intentional release of material information must be fair and simultaneous, consistent with the provisions of the SEC Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD).
An unintentional leak of material nonpublic information must be rectified promptly, whereas intentional violations of Reg FD, again with some exceptions, can be subject to significant injunctions, fines, and other enforcement actions.
Essentially, financial press release distribution to the public must occur without leaks or diversions to comply with securities law.
Corporate Brand Protection & Enrichment
A brand is one of the most valuable assets a company can hold. As the primary link between corporate leadership and the financial community, IRs are on the frontlines of communicating the company’s value and its brand promise to these key stakeholders. This is done through providing traditional financial data and other important ways.
For example, beyond the data itself, the act of consistently communicating accurate, understandable data that is timely and equitably distributed goes a long way in building trust. When people know they can rely on equal access to company information, brand reputation and company credibility benefit.
The press release distribution process is integral to this value proposition. If information is distributed unevenly or includes errors or omissions, company standing will suffer. A secure release distribution process that protects against these mishaps can help significantly.
How Most Companies Distribute Financial Press Releases
As they have for nearly 70 years, many companies use wire service companies (newswires) to distribute their financial press releases. A newswire is a service that digitally posts and simultaneously distributes releases to subscribing media outlets, search engines, journalists, and others.
While often drafted by the IR, a financial press release is usually subject to the review and approval of several internal stakeholders before being shared externally for distribution. This often includes C-suite regulars such as the CEO, CFO, CCO, CMO, and others. Collaboration, version control, and workflows can go off the rails quickly, with the confidentiality of pre-market information potentially at risk.
Once the financial press release is finalized, when using legacy wire services, it’s forwarded to a human editor who reviews and reformats much of the tabular financial data to conform to the newswire software platform. Yet another series of review cycles between the IR and external editor typically follow after each change and/or reformat. This back and forth with an editor adds yet another potential opportunity for data leakage – inadvertent exposure to others in their office or remote work environment.
Overall from start to finish, preparing and distributing a financial press release is a highly inefficient and insecure process providing ample opportunity for error, omission, and even theft.
News Direct Offers Better, Safer Financial Press Release Distribution
News Direct is a top-tier news and content distribution service designed to provide IRs with the financial disclosure tool they’ve been waiting for. This self-directed, state-of-the-art platform streamlines the distribution workflow and helps secure pre-market data from hacks, data breaches, and leaks一from start to finish.
IR pros can create, collaborate on, and fully control their content from a single, secure self-directed platform with best-in-class protection supported by cloud isolation technology and advanced encryption protocols.
And with News Direct’s proprietary SimpliFi™️ feature, users can now simply cut and paste their earnings release text and tabular data into the News Direct Content Studio. All tabular data retains its original format一and no human, third-party intervention is required.
Distribution preferences are selected in the same workspace from a premier, worldwide network of financial media agencies, news outlets, trade press, exchanges, targeted lists, and others. The user then simply schedules the release for distribution.
Finally, News Direct uses an asset-based, flat-rate model that’s simple, clear, and fully transparent一for a fraction of the cost of mainstream newswires.
Take the first step in transforming your financial disclosure workflow to include industry-leading security, unsurpassed efficiency, and predictable flat-rate pricing. Contact News Direct for a demo today.