How to Build an Effective IR Communications Strategy
Every investor relations officer (IRO) is faced with the important task of creating an intriguing corporate story that establishes effective communications between their company and its audiences.
Their story must incorporate finance, corporate goals and security compliance to ultimately achieve a fair valuation of their company’s worth and longevity within the marketplace.
In the past, these stories have been told through press releases, investor conferences, earnings calls and sell-side relationships.
However, an IRO now needs to convey their message to a much broader audience. This is an audience that yearns for more transparent and open communications.
The content IROs create needs to highlight not only their company’s financial position, but also present their company as a unique and successful entity.
Here are four ways an IRO can build a successful (and modern) IR communications strategy.
The life cycle and workflow of communications is about much more than just content.
Battling perspectives can be very difficult, especially if it’s an industry with a high volume of activist audiences.
Each industry will face this challenge in one way or another—and with the introduction of social media and opinion-based reporting, it has become much harder for brands to tell their stories.
The starting point for every IR communications strategy must include an understanding of where a company stands within the marketplace. How do they stack up to competition? How do analyst and investor communities perceive their industry? What are consumers saying about their brands?
Having insight into these points can help an IRO establish how a story should be told—but more importantly, who they should target in their outreach.
Every public-facing stakeholder must portray similar messaging to achieve the same goal; collaboration is the key to implementing a sound IR communications strategy.
Whether they are in marketing, PR or IR, each department must create meaningful content that communicates directly with their constituents. The content must address public concern, while positioning thought leadership and product innovation, to appeal to new investors and customers.
Where marketing might focus on the consumer and PR may target key media stakeholders, IROs need to convey the right messaging to financial analysts, investors AND the media.
At the core, most IR communications are based on press releases and earnings calls along with direct relationships to financial journalists.
But in the age of social media and the rise of on-demand content, investors and analysts are looking for more ways to research the topics that are important to them.
Regular content updates on an investor relations website or hosting live earnings webcasts promoted across company social media channels are just a couple of ways that the modern IRO can regularly communicate with their audiences—and continue to tell their corporate story in impactful and engaging ways.
Understanding how well a press release performed and measuring attendee registration on an earnings webcast is just the beginning.
While those metrics are very important, it’s also imperative that an IRO gleans insights based on context. Doing so across these types of events will ensure future success.
Each event should be benchmarked against others. It’s important to learn what works and what doesn’t, to recognize patterns and then improve the execution of your strategy.
Then, you can continue to evolve these strategies based off analyst and investor feedback.
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