Public Relations — Financial public relations

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文章分類 : Blog, News, 互聯網金融

By: Katina Tam (Centennial College Student)

There is a specific category in the public relations industry, called the financial public relations. Public relation is defined as a “distinctive management function which helps to establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding and cooperation between an organisation and its publics” (Harlow, 1976)  whereas public relations is defined as ‘a department for a company that attempts to portray the company’s investments and financial statements in the best possible light, or a public relations firm hired for this purpose’. The department aims at ensuring the company continues to meet requirements that prevent alternation of that positive perception by communicating with the financial public (Rogers, 2009). It provides information to investors and stakeholders in order to enhance goodwill and the image of the organization.

Role and functions

Financial public relations are usually employed by institutional investors, banks, investment counseling firms and insurance companies. They are playing an important role in the operation of a company (Teenanalyst, 2009). Service provided by them include fact-finding, passing judgment on the merits of securities and to conduct printed communications with shareholders. Some examples of documents that they responsible for conducting each year are (Slideshare, 2013):

  • Annual report
  • Interim reports
  • Shareholder magazines
  • Financial publicity
  • Notices and reports of shareholders’ meetings
  • Promotional literature

The responsibility of specialized financial public relations agencies

Specialized financial public relations agencies are responsible for maintaining the relationship with investors and dealing with public affairs. Besides, they have to do strategic consulting, restructuring and recapitalisation communications. They also have to look after corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. They are supposed to have effective communication skill so as to create investor awareness. According to Sam Black, a Financial Public Relations (FPR) practitioner must be familiar with the increasing number of disclosure regulations and insiders’ restrictions applicable to all deals affecting Stock Exchange (Tripod).

Financial public relations and connection with the brand building

Financial public relations is also contributing to the brand building of a company since they need to draft press release and deal with social media promotion in order to promote the products or services of the company. Besides, with the media devoting special pages, columns or introducing publications on financial activities, there is a need for financial public relations practitioner to explain the direction of the organisation and communicate with customers regarding the further development of the company (Slideshare, 2016). Therefore, it is significant for them to help to build up the brand.

Development of financial public relations groups in Hong Kong

Because of its advantage of unique geographical position, Hong Kong has been playing the role as a regional leader in the economic contribution which attracts some major multinational public relations firms to provide services (USC, 2011). Those public relations firms not only focus on the local market but also extend their business in mainland China and Asia-Pacific Region.

The case study of Strategic Public Relations Group (SPRG)

Strategic Public Relations Group (SPRG) is the largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong. It is a specialist in public relations, investor relations and financial communications. It was set up in 1995 which was only a small financial communications agency at that time in Hong Kong. SPRG has been working very hard to focus on specific accomplishments and its status in the industry has grown in recent years. There are fifteen offices in Asia with the setting up of two companies since 2016 (The International Business Awards, 2017). Besides, SPRG ranked 82nd in Holmes Report’s 2017 Global PR Report Top 250 in Gold Stevie® Winner.

SPRG provided a total of 28 kinds professional services in 3 major fields such as in the fields of media and communication, finance and hospitality. Examples of the services including IPO communications, banking, marketing, public affairs and community services. There are a lot of successful campaigns that SPRG cooperates with a variety of fields. In the field of hospitality and entertainment, SPRG assisted in organising masterclasses in Beijing with The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) winning casting director. Besides, SPRG contributed to the successfulness of Ciwen Strategy Development Media Conference by providing support. Apart from the field of hospitality and entertainment, the SPRG also expressed support for the event “Building Up Wi-Fi.HK Through Collaboration”, which was an event co-organised by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association. Hence, it indicates its competitive power in the industry of Public Relations in Hong Kong.

Conclusion

To sum up, financial public relations belong to the category of the industry of public relations. The practitioners are actually putting the focus on the financial matters of their organizations. They are responsible for enhancing company’s performance including all issues related to finance. In Hong Kong, the development of public relations firms is also becoming better with a successful example of the performance in Strategic Public Relations Group (SPRG). Hence, they are playing a significant role in the communication with customers and other leaders in the similar field. These actions greatly affect the sales revenue and the overall performance of the company.

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