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Our Blog: The Podium

Rewriting the Investor Day Playbook: Tips for Executing a Successful Virtual Event

By David Calusdian of Sharon Merrill, and David Fine of Fine Communications

Two investor day experts combine experience to deliver best practices on leveraging digital platforms to deliver a compelling virtual investor day.

The investor day is one of the most effective platforms for presenting your company’s strategy, outlining your long-term targets and showcasing the depth and strength of your management team. With the world moving to virtual formats for the foreseeable future, IROs are faced with a new task – mastering virtual investor day planning. This pivot presents new challenges as well as exciting new opportunities to engage and communicate critical messages with the investment community. 

The following are top tips for IROs to master to execute a successful virtual investor day:

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Investor Presentation, Investor Day, Investor Relations Agency, Investor Meetings, Presentation Training, Crisis Communications, IRO, Shareholder Communications, Investor Relations, Investor Relations Firm, IR Trends, Corporate Communications, Investor Event Planning, Event Planning

The Art of the Virtual Non-deal Roadshow

By Polly Pearson, Senior Vice President

5 Ways to Enhance Your Virtual Presence with Institutional Investors

In the coming quarter (and possibly quarters), the inability of your management team to travel during the pandemic should not derail your pending investor meetings and non-deal roadshow plans.  Virtual non-deal roadshows offer an easy, high-ROI means of positioning your company with receptive institutional investors. In fact, this is a real-time need. Active investors are in the market looking for stories and opportunities while market volatility is still offering favorable valuations. Help them help you. Consider putting your company out there to offer virtual (on-line), face-to-face investor meetings to best connect active investors with your refreshed story. With virtual meetings, both sides of the interaction are guaranteed to be more engaged in what is said. Use this moment of attention to build deeper and “real” relationships with existing and prospective investors to introduce your refreshed story. Virtually.

Following are five tips to help you conduct virtual one-on-one investor meetings and NDRs.

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Investor Presentation, Investor Relations Agency, Investor Meetings, Presentation Training, Crisis Communications, IRO, Shareholder Communications, Investor Relations, Investor Relations Firm, Corporate Communications

10 Tips for Executing a Remote Earnings Call

By Ryan Flaim, Senior Vice President

With most companies practicing social distancing, many management teams will be conducting this quarter’s earnings call remotely. For most, this will be a change from the typical in-office setting and it is important to think through logistics ahead of time to minimize disruption and allow management to remain focused on the important task of providing investors with a business update in the wake of COVID-19.

Following are 10 tips for executing an effective remote earnings call during this unprecedented time:  

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Investor Presentation, Investor Relations Agency, Investor Meetings, Presentation Training, Crisis Communications, IRO, Shareholder Communications, Investor Relations, Investor Relations Firm, Corporate Communications

Preparing to Deliver your Story on a Virtual Non-Deal Roadshow

By David Calusdian, President

Five Tips to Effectively Present to Investors on a Video Platform

Management teams of publicly held companies throughout the world are readying for a new phase of the corporate “new normal” in the COVID-19 world – the virtual non-deal roadshow. After the calendar Q1 reporting season ends, management and investors will be meeting via video platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts or Teams to discuss their companies’ prospects going forward.

In addition to figuring out the technological logistics that will allow management to tell their companies’ stories to investors in an online format, they will need to prepare to deliver corporate messages using a different medium than what they’ve been accustomed. There is an inherent difference between communicating face to face and through a video platform. In this blog, we provide five tips to help deliver a compelling story to investors during a virtual non-deal roadshow. 

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Investor Presentation, Investor Relations Agency, Investor Meetings, Presentation Training, Crisis Communications, IRO, Shareholder Communications, Investor Relations, Investor Relations Firm, Corporate Communications

Investor Relations in the COVID-19 World

By Maureen Wolff, Chief Executive Officer

5 Actions to Take to Earn Investor Trust and Confidence Through an Unprecedented Time 

The world as we all know it has changed -- drastically and quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic has moved fast, stocks have fallen sharply, and investor focus has quickly shifted from offense to defense. 

During times of instability like these, companies can earn a tremendous amount of equity and trust with their shareholders through open, transparent and proactive communications. While the decision on how to communicate through uncertain times is specific to each company’s situation, increased disclosure and transparency are usually the answer.

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Investor Presentation, Investor Relations Agency, Investor Meetings, Presentation Training, Crisis Communications, IRO, Shareholder Communications, Investor Relations, Investor Relations Firm, Corporate Communications

2020 Annual Shareholder Meetings: New SEC Guidance and Going Virtual

By David Calusdian, President

The option to hold a solely virtual annual meeting has been with us for several years now, but we certainly will see a dramatic increase in the number of companies using these purely online events this coming proxy season.  Broadridge’s virtualshareholdermeeting.com platform lists 140 virtual or “hybrid” (offering a virtual option to supplement the in-person meeting) events on its platform alone from now through the end of May. And we’ll be sure to see more of these events in the coming weeks as a result of the SEC’s new annual meeting guidance due to COVID-19 travel and gathering restrictions. 

Below we have shared the SEC’s guidance around three major areas relating to annual meetings, including 1) changing the date, time and location of meetings; 2) holding virtual or hybrid annual meetings; and 3) providing flexibility regarding shareholder proposals.  We have also included links to helpful resources, and proxy and news release examples relating to virtual or hybrid annual meetings. Of course, since state law governs the conduct of annual meetings, please refer to those corporate codes as well as any limitations provided by your stock exchange. 

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Investor Relations Agency, Investor Meetings, Crisis Communications, IRO, Shareholder Communications, Investor Relations, Investor Relations Firm, Corporate Communications

COVID-19: A Guide for Communicating through an Unprecedented Crisis

By Maureen Wolff, Chief Executive Officer

The fast-moving COVID-19 outbreak is presenting many unique challenges for companies around the globe as they determine how to best manage the business impact, protect their employees at large, and communicate an immense amount of information and change effectively with their employees, shareholders, customers, the media and more.

The following are 8 tips for business practices and communications with core stakeholders as you formulate policies in the wake of COVID-19. 

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Investor Relations Agency, Investor Meetings, Crisis Communications, IRO, Shareholder Communications, Investor Relations, Investor Relations Firm, Corporate Communications, Employee Communications

The Sharon Merrill Approach

What makes Sharon Merrill Associates excel in the world of strategic communications? Trust. Experience. Resilience. Passion. Vision. Perspective. Partnerships. Take a look at our story and see how we leverage these qualities to help you build value.

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Succession Planning, Investor Relations Agency, Crisis Communications, Investor Relations, Corporate Communications

Sharon Merrill President and Partner Maureen Wolff selected as 2014 NIRI Fellow

Sharon Merrill Associates President and Partner Maureen Wolff was selected as one of five new National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) Fellows. NIRI Fellows are recognized leaders who represent the ideals of the investor relations (IR) profession, and have distinguished themselves on the basis of their integrity, leadership, involvement and contributions to the IR profession throughout their careers.

Sharon Merrill, Chairman and CEO of Sharon Merrill Associates said, “Maureen is extremely well deserving of this great honor by the National Investor Relations Institute. She has been a leader in the advancement of the investor relations profession for the past 30 years and an ardent supporter of NIRI. Congratulations to Maureen and the 2014 class of NIRI Fellows.”

In the NIRI announcement of the Fellows Class of 2014 , NIRI CEO Jeff Morgan said, “I am delighted to honor these five outstanding individuals who have been so important to the development of the profession and to NIRI’s success. NIRI Fellows are nominated by their peers, and represent the highest standards in the investor relations profession and in our community. We look forward to honoring them at the 2014 NIRI Annual Conference this June.”

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Awards, Sharon Merrill Associates, Investor Relations Agency, Crisis Communications, NIRI, Shareholder Communications, Investor Relations, Investor Relations Firm, Activist Investors

Sharon Merrill EVP & Partner David Calusdian Elected to NIRI Board of Directors

Sharon Merrill’s Executive Vice President & Partner David Calusdian has been elected to serve on the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) Board of Directors. David will serve a four-year term, which began at NIRI’s annual meeting on December 4, 2013. Calusdian continues a legacy of NIRI board leadership at Sharon Merrill as agency President and Partner Maureen Wolff served on the board from 2003 – 2007.

Jeffrey D. Morgan, president and chief executive officer of NIRI had the following to say of the four NIRI members elected to serve on the board: “These four individuals are representative of so many NIRI members in their interest in advancing NIRI’s mission and in their genuine passion for the investor relations profession.”

Sharon Merrill, Chairman and CEO of Sharon Merrill Associates, said “We are proud to continue our firm’s legacy of leadership on the NIRI national board. After Maureen’s tenure on the NIRI board, culminating in her serving as Chairman, we are delighted that David is sharing his investor relations expertise as a NIRI board member. Congratulations to David and the newly elected directors.”

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Investor Relations Agency, NIRI, Investor Relations, Investor Relations Firm

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No company is immune to shareholder activism. Sharon Merrill helps boards of directors and executive management teams identify the activist red flags lurking in your shareholder base, assess your governance risks and develop an action plan to prevent, detect and neutralize any threats. Download our free white paper, “Leveraging Institutional Shareholder Relationships to Reduce Activism Risk,” and learn how the best defense against activism is a strong offense.

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Perceptions Matter

How do you ensure that investors clearly understand your strategy, growth drivers and market position? The most effective way is through a perception study. By periodically taking the investment community’s pulse you can avoid the knowledge gaps and misperceptions that hurt valuation. Download our free whitepaper, Why Perceptions Matter, to learn more.

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