Investor relations professionals spend a good portion of their time communicating with external audiences – buy-side analysts, portfolio managers, sell-side analysts, retail investors, proxy advisory firms, media and more. And rightly so, since they are tasked with telling their company’s investable story and managing relationships with the Street.
At the same time, with the competition for capital increasing and activists becoming more numerous and aggressive, IROs are being additionally challenged to keep their key internal constituencies up to speed regarding investor engagement and sentiment. We are working with more and more of our clients to implement best practices for communicating with their internal audiences – particularly the senior management team and board of directors.
Maintaining a regular stream of communications with these key internal stakeholders is essential throughout the year and not just during proxy season or surrounding specific investor events. Here are some tips to ensure the continued delivery of relevant, timely and valuable intelligence from the Street to these stakeholders:
1) Understand how – and how often – your team and board prefer to receive information.
Are they visual? Are they digitally savvy? Do they prefer hard copies? Would they like an update as part of the quarterly board meeting, or do they expect more frequent reports? Establish a process so they know when and how they will be hearing from you.
2) Develop a standard report format.
Try to keep it simple and cost-effective. Create concise and informative board presentations, fact sheets or newsletters that are easy for the audience to digest and can be updated on a timely basis.
3) Participate in the discussion.
In addition to presenting information via these channels, it is important to be present when the information is shared (whenever possible) as an opportunity to answer questions and provide greater detail.
4) Share Street sentiment.
Summarize the latest reports from analysts and feedback you’ve received from investors, detailing both the bull and bear case from the Street. If possible, sharing verbatim comments from the investment community is an effective way to provide insight.
5) Share media/social media sentiment.
In addition to sharing feedback from the Street, providing media/social media sentiment can also shed light on how current themes and key messages are resonating with the public and also show your share of voice in the conversations taking place.
6) Highlight notable moves.
Provide a list of your top investors (fund name, type, etc.) and highlight notable moves (top buyers/sellers). Keep tabs on activists in your stock, the companies and issues they are pursuing, and the tactics they use.
7) Monitor actions of proxy advisory firms.
Provide updates on policy changes, review recommendations and discuss current issues that are driving their decisions.
8) Recap investor marketing activities.
Make sure your stakeholders know who the company’s representatives have been meeting with, where these meetings are taking place and who is participating.
9) Compare your performance.
Review your stock’s performance versus select peers and key indices.
10) Share relevant news about your peers and industry.
Include commentary from your peers and industry observers to provide perspective on key trends and hot topics.
We would welcome the opportunity to share additional best practices and discuss how we can help you enhance your internal reporting strategy. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-241-4633 to start the conversation.