Communication Matters - our blog on trends and events


4 steps to creating a digital communications strategy

Creating a digital communications strategy doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these four key steps and you’ll be on your way to success.

1. Start by identifying your business goals. Some example business goals you might be trying to achieve are:

  • Demonstrate innovation
  • Grow brand awareness
  • Increase lead volume
  • Improve shareholder value 

2. Understand the situation. Whether it’s related to reaching investors, managing through a crisis, marketing a new product or communicating internally – identify the current state you’re working within. By focusing on the situation at hand, you’ll stay grounded as you develop your digital communications strategy. Some examples include:

  • Communicating through a crisis
  • Losing market share to a key competitor
  • New entrants…
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Why communications audits are just what the doctor ordered

Anyone who’s a fan of medical shows is probably familiar with the concept of triage. When patients arrive at a hospital, their condition is quickly assessed in order to prioritize who to treat first, especially when resources are limited. The word derives from the French verb trier, which means to sift or separate.

In communications, we’re regularly asked to do more with less. We don’t always have the budget or manpower to take on everything we want to do all at once. In addition, we’re not always sure how we can improve our communications in the first place. Where should we start and what should we wait on?

At Dix & Eaton, we’re big fans of communications audits. Audits can be large or small, fast or slow. They can take many forms and examine focused areas of…

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Improving your proxy statement’s reader experience

Proxy statements have emerged as a key channel for telling a company’s story to shareholders and are a valuable tool for management and Boards. And proxies continue to become more robust – getting longer with more detailed disclosure; and the inclusion of infographics, charts and checklists are making key information more scannable and prominent. 

Content and design improvements are also being made to the shareholder letter, table of contents, company overview, and the proxy summary. Seventy-nine percent of companies included a proxy summary in 2016 (up from 39% in 2012) and 77% used color in their CD&As (up from 48% in 2012) based on Equilar’s 2017 Innovations in Proxy Design study, which examined proxies from the S&P 100. Companies are also increasing their use…

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5 changes in shareholder activism

Shareholder activism isn’t going away any time soon. In the first nine months of 2017, we’ve seen a similar number of campaigns and a few less proxy fights compared with 2016. But all signs indicate that the tide of shareholder activism continues to rise. While the majority of targets have been small or mid-cap companies, the recent fight between activist investor Nelson Peltz and Proctor & Gamble demonstrates large cap companies are also vulnerable.   

Activism in a company’s shareholder base is more the norm today than the exception. The need to ‘think like an activist’ with a preparedness plan in place has become increasingly more common with boards of directors. We recently hosted a webinar, along with Kai Leikefett and Lawrence Elbaum of Vinson & Elkins, and

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Want to communicate with the media better? Practice, practice, practice

Organizations that want to have effective communicators that can ably deal with the media in the course of normal business as well as in crisis situations should conduct communications training for selected executives annually. These training sessions should help create confidence in organizational spokespeople and induct the ability to deliver messages in all kinds of situations and to a wide variety of audiences. Additionally, it’ll help your spokespeople communicate better with employees as well.

Here are five components we suggest including in a media training session:

1. An overview on how the media operates.

Participants need to understand the types of people who work in the media, what they care about, how they view the world, and what their days are like,…

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