The company with which you are currently employed is experiencing a financial crisis. The chief financial officer (CFO) has suddenly resigned and no one is discussing the reasons. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating your company’s accounting practices and, from the documents they have requested, the issue seems to concern revenue recognition. Rumors are beginning to circulate that suggest inappropriate behavior on the part of your company. The organization is a publicly traded company and, as such, the company is required to issue a public notice concerning the sudden vacancy of the CFO. As a certified public accountant on the team drafting the notice, you are involved in communicating the current situation to the general public.
Write a press release. You may research to find examples of public notices. Use the examples to determine how you will format your press release, and use the customary format for a press release. (Please also see chapter 15 of The Practice of Public Relations text. Go to Week 6 Required Reading. Click-on Chapter 19; Download the entire
e-Book. Go to the Table of Contents, and scroll down the e-Book and read Chapter 15.)
Write an accompanying internal memo of no more than 2 pages in length to your manager. Complete the following in your memo:
• Outline what your company is legally required to do.
• Explain the value of the public communication in this situation.
• Examine the balance between calming external stakeholders and the ethical considerations of providing all the information that is required by the SEC.
• Explain how the perception of the press release will affect public opinion.
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