In his kiss-and-tell book, Lane points to at least two occasions where his words moved GE’s stock price. The first came about as a result of a Welch speech to analysts. The second followed a USA Today article that lifted key words and phrases from a Welch annual report letter. The speech and letter were written by Lane.
Claiming that PR moves markets is a slippery slope. PR certainly had a huge impact on day traders during those Wild West dotcom days. But, that was pure hype and, as we all know, pretty much a joke.
I do think public relations can have a profound impact on financial analysts’ thoughts and feelings about a publicly-traded company. And, those feelings could, in fact, result in a ‘buy’ recommendation that moves the stock. But, as Peppercom Editorial Director and former Wall Street Journal Editor Gene Colter is quick to point out, “It’s a company’s operational excellence (or lack thereof) that moves a market. Period.”
I’ll stick with Colter and distance myself from Lane when it comes to PR moving markets. Plus, I doubt any words I’ve written or will write will ever appear on an analysts’ radar screen.