The end of January not only signals the beginning of the dog days of winter in most of the country, it is also a time when companies release their earnings. These releases can signal the future success or struggles of a company or its industry for the rest of the fiscal year.
Public relations and communications departments within these companies are put in high gear as they try to spin the direction and image of their company in a positive direction. Companies try to relate their success with the customer and continue to enhance their brand within the public light. In 2011, the industrial and IT sectors exploded based on strong holiday sales.
Apple products jumped off the shelves during the holiday season and, as a result, its earnings increased 11.9 percent from last year. These increases were primarily a result of the expansion of the iPad sales throughout the holiday season.
For the financial industry, the earnings season resulted in a mixed bag of results. Wells Fargo reported record income of $4.1 billion for the fourth quarter. Bank of America also posted positive earnings for the fourth quarter. Bank of America and Wells Fargo stock decreased after the earnings were published, but rallied for several days after. Despite both companies’ positive earnings, their public perception hindered the potential success of the company’s stock.
The public perception of earnings season puts public relations departments on the hot seats as they try to show the public the potential success of the organization. It is difficult to portray companies in a positive light that have been viewed so negatively over recent months. Wells Fargo continues to be the financial darling of this earning season, and their communications department is one area that can be thanked for its success.
Do you feel that a company’s communications department can truly have an impact on the company’s public perception based on the objective nature of earnings season?