11 September 2009

Sometimes things go wrong.

Dell is getting a lot of attention in IR land this month because of an accidental leak of their quarterly earnings release on their website.

Putting aside the fact that over 23 million shares of Dell were traded between the time of the leak and the eventual release over a newswire, what is also damaging is the hit to the IR department’s reputation.

Analysts and institutional shareholders make a living out of analyzing (some may say over analyzing) companies, situations, and scenarios.  As the investment community looks at the leak they will undoubtedly question the competency of IR management.

Believe it or not, I get asked a lot about the true need for a formal IR plan within a company.  Many believe that running an IR department in an ad hoc fashion has worked in the past, and therefore, will continue to work in the future.

This is true…until a mistake happens.

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