Our Blog: The Podium

Grab the Tiger by the Tail in 2010

Earlier this week I moderated a NIRI webinar with three senior-level investor relations officers representing the finance, real estate and retail industries. The panelists highlighted some new initiatives that IROs should consider in 2010 which, according to the Chinese calendar, is The Year of the Tiger. This just might have been the world’s only “Tiger”-related discussion in the past few weeks that had nothing to do with a certain golfer with a PR problem.

Within Chinese culture the number six is auspicious and considered good for business. So in keeping with this theme, here are six ideas that arose from the panel discussion that are worth considering as you develop your investor relations plan for the coming year.

1) Provide deeper context for your guidance: The age-old debate on whether companies should provide quarterly, annual or no guidance rages on, but one thing is clear. If you do provide guidance, make sure that you provide the assumptions underlying that guidance. This not only helps investors and analysts get a better sense of how you derived your estimates; it also provides a layer of protection if any of your assumptions do not materialize.

2) Post quarterly prepared remarks online: Try posting your prepared remarks for quarterly conference calls on your company’s website either in advance or immediately after the call. This way, analysts won’t have to ask as many of the “housekeeping” questions that typically crowd out the more desirable strategic dialogue during Q&A sessions and the follow up calls. Adding supplementary tables and data to the quarterly press release can reinforce this effect.

3) Consider recording prepared remarks in advance: Companies that pre-record their management team’s prepared remarks for quarterly conference calls are convinced that this not only reduces management’s stress level the day of the call, but also eliminates last minute wordsmithing, allowing the team to be more prepared to tackle the important Q&A session.

4) Harness the power of your website: The buy-side wants to see more information posted on companies’ IR websites. One of the IROs on the panel said they are embarking on a complete overhaul of their site to ensure that it remains fresh and appealing. Another panelist noted that her company is now posting virtual facility tours on their IR website – thus eliminating travel costs for the Street and saving management’s time. Thus far, these online tours have been very well received.

5) Maximize the value of your marketing outreach: Some IROs believe that participating in investor conferences where management delivers a standard 20-minute IR pitch is not the most effective use of their time, especially since most companies post their investor presentations on their IR websites. A better alternative is to attend conferences with a “fireside chat” format. Fireside chats are often more valuable for both management and investors because they facilitate an interactive dialogue. Another way to maximize management’s time in one-on-ones is by thoroughly screening meeting candidates. Make sure that the sell-side or your IR firm is putting you in front of investors who are most likely to take a position in your company.

6) Get in front of your board of directors: The more you interface directly with your board of directors – by providing them a quarterly IR update, for instance – the more you will amplify the value of your position as IRO. Update topics could include competitive intelligence, industry trends and analysis, investor feedback and concerns, share price performance and shareholder identification and trends.

Wishing you good fortune in the coming year.

Maureen Wolff
President & Partner

Subscribe to our weekly email: Investor Relations Around the Web

Board Packages, Board Communications, Conference Calls, IR Website, Guidance, NIRI, Speaking Engagements, Shareholder Communications, Investor Relations, Earnings

Subscribe to The Podium!

Connect with your Investors

Establish a sincere connection with investors to communicate key messages during your Investor Day. Download our free e-book on effective presentation habits, and learn to deliver ideas with confidence and clarity.

Delivering Effective Presentations

When it's time for a change

Whether planned or sudden, it is crucial to communicate the succession of high-profile positions effectively. Download our three-part e-book and learn the best way to craft a plan for CEO, CFO and Board of Directors transitions.

Download Your Free eBook: Communicating Management Transitions 

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

With our new Proxy GamePlan, we create a year-round, data-driven strategic roadmap for effective shareholder engagement. Implement a best-in-class program rooted in a deep understanding of your company’s proxy practices, shareholder voting trends and peer landscape.

Learn More About Proxy GamePlan

Find Effective IR Counsel

Whether you’re seeking external IR counsel for the first time or evaluating your current provider, you need a firm that understands your strategy, adapts to your culture and tells your story. Download our free guide on how to assess the effectiveness of an investor relations firm.

How to Assess  an IR Firm

Activism Defense

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.

Download Activist Defense White Paper

Captivate your Audience

Speaking persuasively is critical in today’s competitive business environment. Effective speakers use voice techniques and body language that project authority and credibility. Download our free e-book, “A Guide to Delivering Captivating Presentations,” for insight into good -and bad- presentation habits, and learn how to improve your skills.

Become a Persuasive Speaker 

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.

Download your free copy of  'Why Perceptions Matter' 

Common Topics:

More topics