What to do if an inaccurate or misleading story is published about your company

Dec 15, 2020
In this regular article, we ask contributors how they would respond to an operational issue. This time we asked how to respond to inaccurate news reports

Erik Randerson, vice president of investor relations at Revolve, says:

I won’t hesitate to request a correction when I see inaccurate information published on my employer. My experience is that outlets truly want to get it right and when presented with the facts will update their articles accordingly. For instance, a recent article on my employer, Revolve, referenced inaccurate metrics. The journalist (who I knew from a prior life) appreciated me setting him straight and updated the article immediately.

Most of my experience requesting corrections has involved quarterly earnings reports, which is understandable considering that earnings reports can be confusing – and given that journalists tend to be busy people who often don’t have a financial background.

My advice to other IR professionals is to reach out immediately to request a correction because one inaccurate story on earnings can easily lead to several others. For example, in the earnings cycle just before I joined Revolve, the company had a complicated post-IPO accounting situation that led some journalists to incorrectly report that Revolve had recorded a large net loss for the quarter (when, in fact, the company’s quarterly net income was at record levels).

Unfortunately, because no one from the company reached out to journalists to seek corrections, the inaccurate ‘company reports a Q2 net loss’ headline became the narrative online. I believe it is critically important for IROs to always be proactive in addressing inaccurate information and situations like these that can affect the market perception of their company.

 

This article appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of IR Magazine. 

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