Is your organization and predictability putting information at risk?

For public companies there are few public documents they create that have more immediate impact than their quarterly press releases announcing their earnings.

Casual followers of a company will perk up when they hear the earnings of the company they follow mentioned on the radio in their car, or when someone mentions the latest quarter on Twitter. Traders, pundits and armchair CEOs go a step further and are often waiting for the first posting of the press release to company websites and news services like PR Newswire and BusinessWire.

Seems that the Bloomberg service for which serious traders pay $1,700 per month per seat for the service are getting some earnings releases even earlier. How you ask?  BusinessInsider tracked down the story, and I found it first on Talking Biz News (which I love).

This is how BusinessInsider described it:

Humans are creatures of habit, and the humans who post earnings releases on company web sites are no different than any other humans.

Which means that if the web-page URL for a company’s second quarter’s earnings release was, say:

http://www.disney.com/earnings/Q22010release

It’s probably a safe bet that the URL for the third quarter’s earnings release will be:

http://www.disney.com/earnings/Q32010release

So the folks at Bloomberg just set their system up to ping the company’s server constantly in the hours before the press release is due to appear, in the hope that some dolt in investor relations will publish it before the market closes.

And as the past several quarters have shown, many companies are happy to oblige.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/bloomberg-earnings-news-2010-12#ixzz19UDDbZyw

So, remember making your life easier by having a process also makes it easier for those trying to find out information, you may not be quite ready to share yet.

 

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One thought on “Is your organization and predictability putting information at risk?

  1. I worked with a company who would post their monthly missive to the masses with something cryptic like http://www.ourcompany.com/May1999 followed by http://www.ourcompany.com/June1999.

    They would come UNGLUED when we would start talking about the /July1999 information in /May1999. We were told we weren’t allowed to have the information. (we needed it to plan, which they wanted us to do, but without the information to do so…) (yes, they’ve filed for bankruptcy once and are teetering on doing so again) (no, they don’t understand why)

    They couldn’t figure out how we were getting this information. Seriously. :facepalm:

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