Ask the Expert May 2014
Q: Aside from reporting my company’s interim and annual results, what else can I do to effectively engage with current and prospective investors?
A: Going beyond basic financial reporting requirements and increasing engagement with investors is a vital strategy for any publicly-listed company looking to increase its valuation and enhance corporate reputation. Best practices in this area combine a variety of important investor relations initiatives.
First, it is critical to create a well-rounded corporate narrative.
It is important that you create a strong narrative about your business – one that is factual, transparent, and differentiates your business and investment proposition from others. To do this, you must describe your financial track record and goals, but also go beyond this and include important points about your brand strength, market position, senior management team and growth strategy.
Second, focus on developing a dialogue with the investment community that leverages diverse communications channels.
Once you have crafted the best possible corporate story to share, employing diverse communication initiatives will ensure that you are effectively reaching your targeted investors.
- Create pristine documents that tell a comprehensive business story and ‘speak for you’. A strong set of wellarticulated messages and visually appealing communications materials, including well-written press releases, investor presentations, investor newsletters, corporate fact sheets, and corporate announcements, can work together to articulate your investment proposition and build consistent visibility with your targeted audiences.
- Leverage your investor relations website to reach and engage remote investors. A sophisticated investor relations website that includes a good deal of information and uses creative design, video and other modern tools is an important initial channel that will help you engage virtually with investors who may be far removed from Hong Kong and your business.
- Organise in-person meetings and events between results announcements. Rather than just conducting regularly scheduled results announcement events and roadshows, your company should consider hosting site visits at key facilities, executing company-sponsored investor days in different locations, and conducting periodic calls or meetings with key shareholders and targets throughout the year.
- Use media relations as a communications tool. Financial and business media, as well as trade media, are proven channels that help expand and amplify the delivery of important corporate information. It is also one of the most efficient ways to reach a wide audience quickly. A company’s investor relations and public relations communications teams should work closely together to identify opportunities to use the media to widely disseminate key aspects of both the corporate and financial story.
- Bring others into your dialogue by integrating social media. Utilising digital channels can extend your reach and deepen your interaction with the investment community. Social media and the use of apps are becoming increasingly common ways of providing accessible information to stakeholders and are worthwhile additional channels to broadcast corporate news.
While there are a number of ways to engage with investors, a company must be aware that there is no simple ‘off-the-shelf’ solution for how best to reach its current and prospective shareholders. Each company needs to develop an engagement programme to suit its own needs and meet the increasingly stringent demands of the investment community.
Cara O’Brien Senior Managing Director in the Strategic Communications practice of FTI Consulting. FTI Consulting is a Computershare partner. firstname.lastname@example.org