New class dives into language of Wall Street

From quarterly earnings releases to CEO annual report letters, Wall Street has a language and communication style all its own.

Students in the UO School of Journalism and Communication will learn that style in an upper-division elective being offered for the first time: J410 Strategic Business/Financial Communications dives into the world of 24/7/365 global financial markets, probing the psychologies and issues associated with communicating with Wall Street investors.

Call it “effective communication to the bulls and the bears”: The class, which will be offered in the spring term, covers everything about Wall Street communications, including writing quarterly earnings releases, CEO annual report letters, social media and crisis communications.

At the conclusion of the quarter, student teams will conduct mock financial conferences on behalf of Amazon, Nike, Nordstrom and Starbucks.

“The course is intended to elevate strategic business-related verbal and writing skills for those pursuing careers in advertising, public relations, journalism, marketing or business administration,” instructor Kevin Brett said. “At the end of the course, students should have a thorough understanding of the dynamics of global markets and the rules and regulations for corporate reporting of financial information.”

Students will become adept at planning and executing all phases of an investor conference, providing corporate financials and business plans to discerning target audiences. Upon completion of the course, each student will have a complete portfolio of real-world financial documents that can assist them in competing for public relations and investor relations positions with corporations, agencies or non-profits.

General areas of study include Wall Street and the burgeoning investor class; the weighing of market ethics and use of media relations techniques; and the impact of market-related digital media.

Brett will create a corporate atmosphere in the classroom, requiring of his students the same level of professionalism expected of advertising, public relations, journalists and business managers.

“What would not be tolerated in a corporate or agency environment will not be tolerated in our class setting,” he said.

The course is recommended for sophomores and above who have completed introductory public relations or comparable business writing, social media and finance courses.

Interested students, especially those in business, journalism, advertising, public relations, and political science, should contact Brett at

- from UO School of Journalism and Communication