Posted by on October 9th, 2015

It’s good to be a bold-face, household name like Goldman Sachs (Goldman), when what you do and how you do it is followed by millions.  With the power of brand permission, Goldman has the latitude to do what they want and how they want.  So when I read today that Goldman plans to disseminate its quarterly earnings through its own website and Twitter feed (thereby forgoing traditional newswire services), I was not surprised.  As a bell-weather for the global financial markets, Goldman’s earnings attract the interest of thousands upon thousands of stakeholders eager to learn how the Company fared each quarter.  Goldman’s earnings even have the power to move markets and often set the tone for the financial markets for the days and months to come.  Accordingly, when Goldman says jump, everyone will eagerly jump to www.gs.com to read its earnings release.

At KCSA, we counsel our clients to communicate like the companies they aspire to be, not like the companies they are today.  That said, communicating like Goldman Sachs does not make sense for companies that lack Goldman’s brand permission.  The challenge for many of the thousands of publicly-traded equities is that as hard as they try (and try they do), they will never achieve the brand or shareholder recognition of Goldman Sachs.  Many of these companies struggle each and every day to gain traction with retail and institutional investors and are in no position to quickly follow in the steps of Goldman.  They rely—and rightly so—on the broad reach of wire services to share announcements with otherwise inaccessible audiences.  The idea that micro-cap or small-cap companies could have the power to dictate how investors receive their news is unrealistic.

One of the fears often cited as a reason not to use wire services is the threat of hackers.  While we have seen major cybersecurity breaches at a number of the major wire services, I contend that no business, large or small, is beyond the reach of hackers; just ask Visa, Target and former First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all about trying new things, but let’s not rush things.  First, one size does not fit all. What works for Goldman Sachs, at least in the near term, won’t work for everyone.  And two, security breaches today are as common as, well, the common cold.