Are you communicating the right message to your stakeholders?
The Best Investor Relations Firms start by identifying your shareholder base to attain an understanding of who they are and how they feel about particular issues that affect your company and community.
Though shareholder identification has been a controversial topic in the IR community, it can help you make sure you’re talking to the right people about the right issues.
Have you been delivering it through the right channels? Make a mistake and, at best, you risk missing your audience. At worst—I’ll leave that to your imagination.
When markets are volatile and regulation continues to rise, the stakes grow even higher. Effective investor relations are critical in today’s economic climate. Naturally, the effort is complicated by risk management considerations, leading to the possibility of tension between the investor relations and corporate legal teams.
The key is to work together, following these steps you can make shareholder communications more effective:
Build relationships with your investors.
Shareholders don’t exist only during proxy season. You should invest in your relationships with them all year long. One idea is to create “a historical chronology of what you have spoken about with each investor that includes a few notes on each conversation.” You’ll have notes ready to go at the next meeting, even if it does come a year later.
Figure out who votes.
Identifying shareholders is only the first step—the next is to make sure you know who is actually voting those shares. (Don’t chase people who don’t have true voting authority) These are the people who will determine your company’s future.
One tip is to try and find one person, hopefully someone you can then leverage and work through whatever that particular investor’s organizational structure is.
Understand the right issues.
You need to set an agenda based on your audience of shareholders and voters. Take a look at your corporate governance processes with a critical eye. Prepare for any questions or concerns from your shareholder community. Anticipate needs rather than push your company’s agenda.
Determine whom you need most.
Issuers can make strategic errors when they target investors for communication. Set aside concerns of which shareholders have the largest stakes; it may be smaller groups of investors that have more pressing questions for you.
Focus on the concerns of your constituency; communicate with concerned shareholders with answers to what’s on their minds.
Seek out help.
Proxy advisers might be able to give you a hand in engaging shareholders in a variety of ways. These firms can do more than help you with a proxy campaign. Get them to help you identify the key people with each institutional shareholder, and to analyze voting result for trends and insights.
OTC PR Group combines public relations, investor relations and media relations into a powerful networking tool. We are an experienced firm with the financial knowledge as well as high familiarity and understanding of the investment community. Through our networks of dedicated and creative professionals, we provide a comprehensive social media marketing strategy that benefits our clients and their investors. Read more:
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