Integrate Investor and Media
Communications For Greater Success
by Hilary Kaye, Hilary Kaye Associates, Inc.
With every economic indicator sounding
alarms, it is critical for emerging technology companies to seek
new growth avenues. The need for new sources of capital investment
will continue to grow. One of the most cost-effective and results-efficient
ways to encourage this growth is to communicate regularly, consistently
and positively with key audiences.
Whether your company is public or private,
two of the most important audiences to target are investors and
the media. The need to integrate investor relations (IR) with public
relations (PR) is paramount because these disciplines are two of
the key shapers of corporate reputation. And many investment decisions
whether institutional investment for public companies or
angel investment for private ventures are based on corporate
Four reasons headline the need for IR
and PR integration:
First, earning positive press among
business and financial media builds corporate credibility. If
youre a rearelatively young company, media exposure can
help you appear "real," providing a third-party endorsement
of your company and ultimately leading to investment opportunities.
If youre a public company, existing investors feel validated
when credible business and financial press, such as the Bloomberg
Business News, Forbes and Wall Street Journal
cover their investments, and the positive exposure can attract
investors looking for new opportunities.
Second, there are cost savings,communications
savings, communications efficiencies,efficiencies and consistency
of message when IR and PR are married. Companies can leverage
communications materials and use them for multiple audiences.
For example, your PR department can use IR fact sheets and brochures
in its press kits, and your IR team can submit your companys
sell-side analysts as third-party media references. Small companies
can even utilize the same team for IR and PR for maximum cost
savings and consistency.
Third, investors today demand information.
The demographics of the American investment community are changing
and information resources are growing exponentially to keep
up with investors requirements. Over the past decade,
there has been a sharp increase in the number of individual
investors. Ordinary people control their own finances and invest
in the capital markets. Individual investors heartily seek information
sources and investigate multiple channels for data. In conjunction
with this swing in investor demographics are the seemingly overwhelming
sources of online media. Internet-based chat rooms, e-zines
and news organizations feed information-hungry investors information
minute by minute. These data-driven machines are the perfect
outlets for your combined IR and PR efforts.
Fourth, the passage last year of
the Securities and Exchange Commissions Regulation Fair
Disclosure (Reg FD) altered how public corporations disseminate
information. These changes call for a closer alliance of PR
and IR to ensure that federal stature is being followed and
all investors receive information simultaneously.
The key to successfully integrating IR
and PR at your company hinges on awareness, followed by cooperation
and resource planning.
The first priority is to view IR and
PR NOT as separate disciplines but rather two avenues of communication
meant to achieve the same goal: corporate visibility and strength.
The end audience is the same for both: the investor. To reach that
end, IR spreads its message via the professional investment community,
i.e. analysts, brokers, money managers, and PR (financial media
relations) sends its news via the business and financial press.
Whether you are contacting an analyst or a reporter, the means to
communicate and the messages to be disseminated are interwoven.
If appropriate to your companys structure, hold regular meetings
between those conducting IR and PR to determine how to handle recent
events as well as upcoming issues. Ensure consistency of message
so there is only one story circulating about your company and its
Second, look for ways to combine IR and
PR. Whether handled entirely in-house or through outside agencies,
the more the efforts are combined, the better the result. If your
CEO will be traveling in New York, San Francisco or Boston
media and analyst hot spots leverage his or her schedule
by organizing investor analyst and media briefings. Also, work together
to produce investor and press materials. For example, an investor
pitch could include recent reprints of favorable press, while a
press kit could offer an investor fact sheet that provides a quick
overview of the company's financial results, products and services,
recent achievements and management. Successes on one side should
always be extended to the other.
With such planning and commitment, your
IR and PR efforts can lead to enhanced corporate reputation and
Kaye is founder and president of Hilary
Kaye Associates, Inc., a 17-year-old firm that provides financial
media relations and other marketing communications programs for
public and private companies. The firm specializes in working with
emerging technology companies.)
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