Is Your Investor Communication Platform Dialed In?
How do investors reach you? How do you reach them? In this article we are going to explore some of the advanced technologies available to engage investors. Before we do, please be aware that if you are not getting the basics right such as providing:
- A direct contact and phone line for your investor relations,
- A dedicated investor relations email contact, and
- A modern mobile responsive website,
… then we would be happy to help you get your house in order before you read any further.
Rapidly Changing Environment
Investor communication channels are rapidly evolving. This article explores how your company can increase engagement with the capital markets through a modern investor communication platform.
Disclosure in the old days (three years ago?) meant transmitting a news release over the newswire, filing it with the securities commission, and then uploading it to the corporate website. While these actions still satisfy your regulatory obligations, if you stop there you will fail to fully engage your current investors and reach new ones.
Digital Content Platform
The success of your communications strategy will largely depend on which content management system you select for your website and how your newswire integrates with your secondary communication channels. Whether your platform supports rich content syndication to social and traditional media will determine the reach and effectiveness of your investor communications.
Content and News Syndication
Once your news release crosses the wire, its content should be populated into your communication platform and syndicated over the various channels that reach your target audience. These channels include:
- Email news alerts sent as soon as a news release crosses the wire;
- Weekly or monthly newsletters that aggregate your news alongside public information about the macro-economic drivers of your business;
- RSS/XML feeds; and
- Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Stocktwits, etc.
If you are not currently engaging these secondary channels, you should think seriously about adopting them.
Investor Relationship Management Systems
If you want your company to be successful in the capital markets, then you must establish and maintain the right relationships. An investor relations management system (IRMs) is indispensable when it comes to targeting and maintaining the right sell-side and buy-side relationships.
Basic IRMs Functions:
At its most basic it should provide the following:
- A sell-side research analyst database;
- A buy-side portfolio manager database;
- An integrated relationship management system (with email functionality);
- Targeting, tracking and measurement functions;
- Public company ownership information; and
IRMs vary in terms of their user interface and each come with a different set of bells and whistles. However, your most important consideration should be the accuracy and breadth of the basic IRM database and the quality of the IRMs public company ownership data. In addition, some IRMs have a better setup for investor relation workflows than others. If you would like access to my white paper evaluating various IRMs, then please contact me.
IRMs In Practice:
Ultimately, your IRMs should be the focal point of your IR team’s activities and an integral part of your company’s corporate memory. You will use your IRMs to:
- Target new sell-side and buy-side leads;
- Communicate via e-mail with your buy-side and sell-side contacts;
- Record your interactions for corporate memory;
- Track whether your leads convert to an investor or an analyst;
- Measure the outcomes of your investor relations efforts;
- Assist your broker-dealers in arranging roadshows with institutional investors; and
- Repel activist investors and hostile takeovers through immediate access and communication with your retail and institutional investors.
If you don’t have an IRMs, you’re missing one of the most important tools for targeting and nurturing analyst and investor relationships.
Public companies must ensure their communications reach beyond their current investors to a broader set of potentially new investors. In addition, the investor relations team must selectively target portfolio managers on the buy-side and analysts on the sell-side. To be successful then, the IR team will have to choose the right content management system, the right syndication technology to distribute content to email subscribers and social media, and the right investor relationship management system.
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