TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In its newly updated "Standards and Guidance for Disclosure and Model Disclosure Policy," the Canadian Investor Relations Institute [CIRI] provides a 'best practices' resource for reporting issuers and industry professionals that reinforces the central role of a simultaneous, broadly disseminated news release in achieving full and fair disclosure.
The fourth edition of the CIRI guidelines, last updated in 2006, takes into account regulatory and accounting changes, social media, and other factors that have changed the investor relations landscape since its most recent revision. The guidelines encourage issuers to go beyond minimum legal requirements and to promote effective disclosure that meet the needs and expectations of the investor community, notes Tom Enright, CIRI president and CEO, in his preface to the report.
According to the timely disclosure policies of the TSX Exchanges and the CNSX, a full-text news release that is broadly disseminated via a sanctioned news service is the only acceptable method of disclosing material information. Business Wire is one of several approved news dissemination services in the Canadian marketplace.
Citing regulatory criteria, the report specifically notes that standalone web postings, conference calls, and other complementary communications channels do not meet Canadian disclosure requirements. Issuers, however, are encouraged to use additional delivery platforms to augment a simultaneous, widely disseminated news release.
CIRI's Standards and Guidelines Report notes: "As material information should be released in a manner designed to reach the widest public audience possible, including individual investors, companies are encouraged to use various technologies to supplement the news release. Some of the most obvious technologies include conference calls, webcasts, email, fax, video conferences, company websites, and more recently, corporate blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, and social networking sites. While new technologies are important and useful ways to disseminate information, they are not substitutes for a broadly disseminated news release."
In a cautionary note, CIRI reminds issuers not to post news releases on to their web sites until after confirmation that the release has been disseminated by a news wire service.
CIRI also spotlights practices that while acceptable in other jurisdictions, are viewed as selective disclosure under Canada's regulatory framework.
"Members of the media should not receive material information on an exclusive, embargoed, or selective basis and should receive material information at the same time as everyone else: when a full public announcement is made. A broadcast or print interview where a company discusses previously non-public material information is not considered adequate disclosure in Canada."
Copies of CIRI's "Standards and Guidance For Disclosure" are available for purchase through the organization.
Full Disclosure: Business Wire is the sponsor of CIRI's Standards and Guidance for Disclosure. However, Business Wire's involvement in the project came after CIRI completed its revisions. Business Wire had no role whatsoever in influencing CIRI's research and conclusions.
About Business Wire
Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011 as the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure. Public relations and investor relations professionals rely on Business Wire for both broad-based and targeted market reach. A recognized disclosure service in the United States, Canada and a dozen European countries, Business Wire handles XBRL tagging, document formatting and regulatory filing into EDGAR, SEDAR and other systems. Business Wire provides online newsroom hosting and integration services as well as search engine optimization, mobile distribution and detailed measurement on every press release. Its patented NX delivery platform provides simultaneous full-text posting of Business Wire content to news systems and websites in virtually any country or language. With 31 bureaus worldwide, Business Wire offers local service and global reach.
CIRI is a professional, not-for-profit association of executives responsible for communication between public corporations, investors and the financial community. CIRI contributes to the transparency and integrity of the Canadian capital market by advancing the practice of investor relations, the professional competency of its members and the stature of the profession. With 600 members, CIRI is the world’s second largest society of investor relations professionals. For further information, please visit CIRI.org.