Earnings Call Events & Webcasts: Setting The Stage

April 9, 2020 11:11 am Published by
Over the last several weeks, technology has played a vital role in effectively connecting organizations with their audiences. This digital territory is familiar for veterans of earnings call events with webcasting. Now, a new wrinkle: Many teams are working remotely to coordinate plans to connect their CEOs and CFOs with shareholders and investors online.

Planning for Performance

A stellar earnings event starts with a strong blueprint for success. Getting a jump laying out your calendar and assigning responsible parties will spare headaches down the line. In order for your internal team to focus on the messaging at the heart of an earnings event, first it must secure the right webcasting platform.

The recent adoption of some brand name teleconferencing tools exposed vulnerabilities that allowed outside parties to hack into presentations. It’s imperative that a webcasting provider has the cybersecurity credentials to protect a company’s leadership and audience from intrusion.

For this reason, it’s essential you research vendors and demo their software.  Settle on a proven technology partner as early as possible. Once resolved, you can move forward with building the theme and content of your earnings event.

Defining the Narrative

As you build out the theme and content of your call with an earnings release and talking points, focus on what your investors and shareholders care about. Then, match specific business objectives to align with those interests. Craft the CEO’s message to communicate the vision behind the strategy.

Since traditional earnings events are largely one-way communications, it’s important that you maximize opportunities to engage stakeholders in this online setting. Be sure your investor relations website is updated with financial and company information for the quarter so that leadership can refer participants to these resources during the call itself.

Many investors and shareholders will take to social media during and after the call to report on the content and financial results. Be proactive by adapting key messaging from the call into snack-sized social media updates to share in real time and shape the narrative around your earnings call. Designate staff to track stakeholder sentiment on social media during and after the call.

Building an Audience

Spread the word about your event with an earnings release to efficiently announce the who, what, when, where and why of your event to the broader financial community. Beyond national or global news distribution, you can also get a greater return on investment through targeted distribution.

Your current investors and social media audiences will naturally expect to hear from you. Be sure that your IR website makes it easy for participants to pre-register with your webcasting platform. Link to this landing page in your press release and direct traffic there through your other methods of outreach.

Encourage employees, board members and partners to share company updates, particularly on LinkedIn and Twitter. Provide them with suggested text, link and relevant hashtags to broaden exposure to new audiences.

Setting the Stage

Now that you have your technology, messaging, and audience in place, it’s showtime. Expect the best, prepare for the worst. If you have considered every detail in your planning and preparation, the earnings call itself will be a breeze. Still, it’s prudent to have support staff walk through everything more than once in advance and be standing at the ready during the event should you need their assistance.

Familiarize everyone with the technology. Potential missteps can be avoided by taking plenty of time to practice using all the functionality at your fingertips, including features you don’t plan to use. A polished presentation depends on it.

Optimize the setting for sights and sounds. A smaller, carpeted room produces clearer sound than cavernous spaces with hard surfaces. Elevate that laptop on a stack of books to get the webcam at a 90’ angle to simulate broadcast standards.

Following Through

There are several ways to approach post-call outreach. At a minimum, most companies distribute a press release with highlights from the earnings call. Archive this release, the webcast and transcript in a “past events” section on your company’s IR website for stakeholders to consult for future investment decisions.

Amplify key messaging on social media. Extract highlights from the earnings call to build a follow-up email to registrants that guides them, along with social media followers, to the resources you’ve added to the IR website.

Review the analytics reports from the earnings call webcast and your multichannel follow-up to gauge how to refine your thinking around your next earnings event.

Adding It All Up

Give your team and leadership the confidence to focus on doing business in the quarter to come. By securing an earnings call webcast provider in advance, coordinating effective messaging, and providing easy access to company information after the fact, you can capitalize on this opportunity to build stronger relationships with your shareholders and attract new investment.