Optimizing Webcasting Beyond Regulation FD Compliance

When it comes to getting out financial information, companies
can no longer operate without a net. The Regulation Fair Disclosure
(Reg FD), an SEC mandate that took effect on October 23, 2000, says
public companies must make their financial information available to
all investors simultaneously. To comply with the regulation the
vast majority of publicy-traded companies now webcast their
quarterly earnings conference calls. (Different rules apply for the
over-the-counter stocks). Webcasts are cheaper to broadcast than
leasing a conference call for hundreds of analysts and shareholders
four times each year. More important, however, is that they help
bring "transparency," the current mantra among corporate
communication executives grappling with IR. "[Webcasts] are an
accepted way of doing things," says David Jacobson, PR manager of
Shareholder.com, which manages thousands of webcasts each quarter
for its 700 clients, including FedEx Corp. Microsoft Corp and
Tiffany & Co. "If you don't do it people will wonder why." Some
companies are starting to move beyond garden-variety Webcasts to
include more information on their Web sites, such as company bylaws
and information on the board of directors. An increasing number of
companies are also starting to webcast their annual shareholder
meetings. The more features a firm can use, the more credible with
shareholders and Wall Street, says Jacobson. "Used to be you only
had to communicate what you wanted," he adds. No more. Following is
a series of recommendations created by Shareholder.com for PR NEWS
to make the most out of Webcasts divulging financial
information.