Financial public relations firm Thompson Becker International has augmented its Web site to include tips and sample letters for companies that may be overburdened with investor communications in the wake of the attacks on New York City and Washington D.C.
The idea is to provide companies that have small PR departments or none at all with a way to communicate effectively with the financial community during tough times, said Ann Becker, a principal at the firm. In addition, she said the site is intended for use by firms that lost public relations employees and office space in the attacks.
Many executives weren't in the business during the market crash of 1987, she said, and don't have experience communicating with investors during times of crisis. She said the firms that consistently reassured their investors during the 1987 debacle were rewarded later with the loyalty of their clients. Firms that didn't got burned, Becker said.
"We feel the lack of information is dangerous," she said, adding that she owns "many" mutual funds and not one of the companies that manages those products has contacted her.
The site encourages firms to reassure investors that their assets are secure and to "empower each advisor to better communicate with their own clients" by sharing knowledge and current information with intermediaries.
Becker said she has "no idea" how many companies have used the site because she hasn't bothered to check the number of hits. She hopes the site will generate interest through word of mouth.