Posts Tagged ‘Year’

Let’s think about year-end

July 1, 2010

Arrival of the second half, naturally I think, sets investors and investor relations people to thinking about year-end. We’re halfway through 2010, so we begin to ask, “What will the outcome of this year be, in earnings and other accomplishments? … or in disappointments?”

As an IR person in the US, I’ve always seen Fourth of July weekend as a kind of pivot for the year. Whether it’s the start of third quarter or the holiday picnics and fireworks that punctuate this time for you, here are some questions to contemplate:

  • What kind of year will 2010 be in your memory, and that of your shareholders, 2 or 3 years from now? Do your communications now reflect that tone?
  • More immediately, when you report second-quarter earnings in the next few weeks, how will you answer questions about full-year 2010 prospects?
  • What do the first-half trends tell you about likely sales, costs and earnings in the next 6 months?
  • Does your outlook include a second-half turnaround, and what evidence can you offer of its probability?
  • What accomplishments has management promised for 2010 that need to get accomplished in the second half? Or do you need to soften those projections?
  • Do the CEO and CFO plan any mid-course corrections? If so, when is the appropriate time to begin to disclose those to investors?
  • What tone and messages will your audience get in the 2010 annual report? Time to get started is coming – whether your “annual” is a robust piece full of image, strategy and performance, a plain 10-K, or something in between.

Sure, we have a few weeks to relax – except for reporting Q2 results and all the interaction around earnings time – before the real rush to year-end begins. But the onset of second half is a good trigger for starting the thought process.

© 2010 Johnson Strategic Communications Inc.

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Happy 2010!

January 1, 2010

Just about everyone is happy to see 2009 fading into history and brighter prospects dawning with the new year. I share the enthusiasm for a new start, not to mention more favorable year-over-year comparisons. And I wish you personally a healthy and prosperous 2010.

The first question we confront, as communicators who will often cite the year in presentations and conversations, is how to say it – 2010, that is. People have been chattering on Twitter and other forums about whether “two thousand ten” or “twenty ten” is the way to pronounce 2010. I’ll put my vote in for “twenty ten.”

This view finds support from a New Year’s Day column in the San Francisco Chronicle, which cites a grammar zealot who “cringes” at  hearing two thousand ten after a century of nineteen such-and-such. Then, more moderately, a linguist:

“It’s not wrong to say ‘two thousand ten,’ ” [noted UC Berkeley linguistics Professor George] Lakoff said. “And it’s not like ‘twenty ten’ is the right way.” … Nevertheless, Lakoff predicted, ” ‘Twenty-ten’ is gonna take over. It’s shortest. It’s easiest to understand.”

And there’s something to be said for short. Maybe you don’t care, but if you’ve been wondering, there it is: Twenty-ten has arrived.

I hope your new year is a good one!

© 2010 Johnson Strategic Communications Inc.