Let’s not confuse material disclosure with meaningful distribution

This week, I was forwarded a sales pitch that a competitor sent to one of our clients regarding news distribution. The point the sales person wanted to sell was they “were good enough.” That’s a “C” on a report card – and it brought to mind the difference between material disclosure v. meaningful distribution. In fact, if you want “good enough” for RegFD, don’t use ANY newswire. That’s what that sales person should have pitched.

Let’s not confuse material disclosure with meaningful distribution

In 2008, the SEC recognized that a corporate investor relations website is a recognized channel for material disclosure. The SEC proclaimed that companies are no longer required to use a newswire for RegFD. Just post your news on your IR website. The industry pundits went wild and, sadly, by the close of 2009, all the newswire vendors were out of business. Oh, wait – that didn’t happen.

What DID happen was that the investor relations departments themselves demonstrated their prowess for their external shareholder communications and their understanding that “good enough” may be a fair base for Fair Disclosure, but not for shareholder communications. Shareholder communications is a blend of sales, marketing and client service – all of which need to continually reach out to find new customers (investors) as well as reinforce the buying decision (hold!) of current clients (shareholders).

Fast forward to distribution 2013 and the vocabulary of what “news” distribution is. As far as the web is concerned, news is now “content,” and prevailing content marketing methodologies stress that corporate communications needs to go beyond the traditional online news portals and aggregator feeds and be targeted to pertinent topic and sector influencers: an outbound communications mosaic in concert with how the web works today.

Disclosure is for the SEC. Distribution is for growth. That’s the guidance we give our investor relations clients. We want their report cards to have all “A+” grades.

Have a great day.

2 responses to “Let’s not confuse material disclosure with meaningful distribution

  1. Pingback: February’s recap: Investor relations and SEC compliance posts | Building Shareholder Confidence

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