Ensure your message “gets down the road” to stay connected with your long-term investors and that your IR strategy is recalibrated to be effective in the current market turmoil. Engagement is the most important tool in the IR toolbox and can be easily monitored through technology.
These were all tips provided by a panel of industry experts in a webinar hosted by IR Magazine, now available on-demand.
Panelists said that despite the market downturn, companies overall remain very engaged with investors, whether through AI or website communications, virtual investor days, video earnings calls or virtual roadshows. But market volatility means messaging needs to be reconsidered, and as investor and analyst decision criteria adjust, communication tactics need to evolve.
Shari Bento, Head of Global Corporate Access at Capital Group, urged IR teams to be more transparent in their communications with the investor community. “Perhaps it’s time to take a look and reevaluate how to be more open with investors so that everyone has a chance to really learn about the company and what’s going on,” she said.
Bento emphasized that in the post-Covid-19 world, it is important to prioritize face-to-face meetings so long-term investors can better understand companies’ products, services and culture. She added that IR professionals can measure the success of a recalibrated communication strategy that prioritizes quality over quantity.
Mike Coffey, vice president and head of global partnerships and alliances at Q4, said that for effective targeting, it’s important for the senior management team to understand where they are in the business cycle and ensure their targeting efforts are “fine matched”. is of the utmost importance.
“In order to manage the right investors, it’s important that senior managers – given the rate of inflation and the possible recession – have financial profiles that are consistent with the different portfolios out there,” he noted. “They should look at what their core holdings are, consider average sales growth and ensure they are using management time most effectively by targeting the right investors who fit those profiles.”
Coffey also urged the IROs to update their senior management team on the company’s economic conditions and their actual impact on the business.
As part of their revised strategy for maintaining good exposure, IROs should leverage available technological platforms. Managing and updating their company’s website, making sure they host investor days, exploring new technologies like video calls to bring their financials to life, and hosting ESG days with investors – all of these should be high on the agenda stand.
Checking whether your message is working starts with checking whether targeted investors are responding to the new strategy. This can be measured by website traffic or the number of users opening emails, or even whether the company’s last video view gained a new audience.
For Karl Mahler, former head of IR at Roche, the key to the success of an engagement strategy lies in benchmarking with colleagues: “I always thought that you had to measure yourself against your colleagues. You can only learn if you have open feedback and adapt your strategy. What you learn from the outside might be different from your perspective.”
Click here to watch the IR Magazine webinar – Proactively Managing IR through a Volatile Market: Your IR Toolkit, in partnership with Q4