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Introduction to financial communication. From public disclosures to interpersonal relations


"The course offers a first overview of the realm of financial communication through the lens of communication theory, exploring its multiple forms ranging from mass communication to private conversations.
Communication is crucial in finance mostly because it enables the diffusion of information that financial players, first of all investors, need to construct their evaluations and decisions. Listed companies depend on effective communications to communicate their value to stockholders, to other investors and to a variety of stakeholders. Public communications from listed companies to the markets, often referred to as “disclosures”, impact stock price and are highly regulated. Central banks use communication, e.g. in the form of press conferences, as one of the key instruments of monetary policy. Financial analysts function as information intermediaries between listed companies and investors by taking part both to public and private interactions, from “conference calls” to “roadshows”. Business and financial media, from newspapers to the social media, also function as “information intermediaries” disseminate financial communications from a variety of sources to a variety of publics involved in the financial markets, including individual retail investors. Financial intermediaries, such as banks and asset managers communicate both publicly and privately with their client-investors, in particular private investors. Here, communication becomes a key element in building trust and solid relationships that often encompass a variety of domains and interests beyond finance proper (e.g. ethical investment, philanthropy).
The communicative practices connected to transactions in the financial markets will be described using a discourse approach to communication theory."




Introduction. What is finance? What is communication?


Information and Financial Markets


Information and Communication


Signalling and Disclosure: Overt and Covert Communication in the Financial Markets


The interaction field of the Financial Markets and the Discourse System of Financial Communication


The Financial Communication of Listed Companies: Storytelling in the Financial Markets


Listed Companies talking to the Financial Community and with Shareholders. The Case of Earnings Confernce Calls


Listed Companies talking to the Media. The media coverage of CEOs.


The Business Media as Information Intermediaries. The Enron and HSBC cases


What Drives the Media. The Media Ownership


Communication and the Media Coverage during IPOs


Communication and relationship in the wealth management industry


The Intertwining of Mediated and Interpersonal Communication in Financial Communication


Wrap-up session

Teaching method
Besides attending classes regularly, students will be expected to take part in a series of exercises, designed to help them practise their communicative skills in writing and speech. In particular, extended role-playing simulations of a private banking dialogue will be held. Course activities will amount to 30% of the grade, while 70% will be attributed through a final oral exam.


Key References:

Jack, L., J. Davison & R. Craig (eds.). 2013. The Routledge Compainion to Accounting Communication. Routledge: Abingdon (Oxon)/ New York.

Palmieri, R.and C. Palmieri (2012). Text types, activity types and the genre system of financial communication. In: L. Gautier (Ed.), Les discoures de la bourse et de la finance. Forum Für Fachsprachen-Forschung. Berlin: Frank und Timme, 85-105.

Rigotti, E. & A. Rocci (2006), Towards a definition of communication context, in Colombetti, M. (ed.) The Communication Sciences as a Multidisciplinary Enterprise, Studies in Communication Sciences 6/2 (Anniversary Issue), p. 155-180

Rocci, A. 2014. The discourse system of financial communication. In M. Burger, (ed.) L’analyse des discours de communication publique. Cahiers de L’Institut de linguistique et des sciences du langage (CILSL, Lausanne), 31

Westbrook, Ian. 2014. Strategic Financial Communication. The Stock Price Story. Routledge, London


Further Reading:

Bargenda, Angela. 2015. “Sense-Making in Financial Communication: Semiotic Vectors and Iconographic Strategies in Banking Advertising.” Studies in Communication Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.scoms.2015.01.001.

Ehrmann, Michael, and Marcel Fratzscher. 2009. “Explaining Monetary Policy in Press Conferences.” Inernational Journal of Central Banking June: 41–84.

Koehler, Kristin. 2014. “Dialogue and Relationship Building in Online Financial Communications.” International Journal of Strategic Communication 8 (3): 177. doi:10.1080/1553118X.2014.905477.

Laskin, Alexander V. 2014. “Strategic Financial Communication.” International Journal of Strategic Communication 8 (3): 127–29. doi:10.1080/1553118X.2014.915659.

Leibbrand, Miriam Paola. 2015. “The Language of Executive Financial Discourse.” Studies in Communication Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.scoms.2015.03.006.

Lynch, J. 1996. Psychology of Relationship Banking, Gresham Books, Cambridge,.

Resche, Catherine. 2015. “Hedging in the Discourse of Central Banks.” Studies in Communication Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.scoms.2014.12.008.

Rocci, Andrea, Rudi Palmieri, and Laurent Gautier. 2015. “Introduction to Thematic Section on Text and Discourse Analysis in Financial Communication.” Studies in Communication Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.scoms.2015.04.002.

Whitehouse-Furrer, Marlies, and Daniel Perrin. 2015. “Comprehensibility and Comprehensiveness of Financial Analysts’ Reports.” Studies in Communication Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.scoms.2015.03.007.



Rocci A.

Docente titolare del corso

Raimondo C.


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