One eye on market volatility. One eye on post-pandemic survival. Investor Relations (IR) is meticulously fighting to preserve long-term confidence and resilience during times of uncertainty.
In light of this global pandemic, humans are leveraging tech in ways to connect with each other like never before. Making us wonder how the evolving reliance and capabilities of tech will change the way we do business and build relationships in the future?
Nurture relationships now, so stakeholders don’t feel shafted when the dust settles.
The coronavirus has rippled shockwaves across the world, forcing economists to contemplate the uncertainties of a declining economy and investors to scramble in gauging their financial fallout. As companies face travel restrictions, losses in revenue, and disrupted supply chains, preserving strong investor and stakeholder relationships has climbed to the top of the list of priorities. More vital than ever, management is required to focus on operations and reallocating resources in efforts to secure some form of stability in uncertain and volatile markets.
Be transparent. Communicate near-term challenges and enforce business’ long-term fundamentals.
Governments and organizations are using digital platforms to distribute live updates and information to the public concerning health and safety procedures, economic response plans, and virus statistics. In turn, just as the government has a responsibility to communicate with its citizens, companies are also in a position of accountability to their investors as they seek regular updates and assurance.
COVID19 has presented a unique set of challenges for companies and their Investor Relations (IR) departments to not only mitigate expanding fears, risks, and uncertainty, but to do so while also undergoing quarantine and isolation.
In efforts to mitigate fears, maintain prospective commitments, stakeholder risks, and ever-evolving uncertainties, IR professionals are tasked with the vital and complex mission to execute transparent, urgent, and consistent communications. Traditionally IR has nurtured relationships in the form of face-to-face marketing activities like conferences, roadshows, and investor meetings. However, since WHO declared a global pandemic, we are seeing an increased reliance on tech to sustain strong company relationships with investors, stakeholders, and the financial community at large.
So, how can we harness tech to develop new approaches to IR?
Virtual Meetings and Conferences
Cutting time and cost for executive teams to focus on sustaining the vitality of the business.
Holding “virtual-only” or “hybrid” board, shareholder, and roadshow marketing meetings present a viable replacement to physical meetings and can be utilized by public companies who have mailed their proxy materials prior. Implementing communications tech to connect with key stakeholders and financial communities does not only allow for companies to cut costs like travel and shipping material expenses, but it also provides the management team with something more valuable, time. Time that should be used for zeroing in on objectives, reallocating resources, and executing duties that advance the business.
IR Website, Social Media and Newsletters
It is crucial to develop an interface for stakeholders, potential investors, and the financial community to tap into the corporate message.
Reassuring investors during uncertain times is a challenging task. Providing an IR website, social media, and newsletter content that is user-friendly along with updated information on a live/hourly basis and content informed by strategic messages is critical to pulling the focus on business fundamentals, achievements, and long-term objectives. Overall, communicating with urgency and confidence speaks to the company’s values, credibility, and prioritization of its relationships.
Whether it be virtual analyst days or footage for marketing campaigns, camera drones give exposure to the ground-level facility and explorations operations.
Camera drones can capture high-quality aerial footage that previously was only accessible through expensive and resource-intensive methods like cranes and helicopters. Now, drones prove to be an excellent marketing tool that involves less time, effort, and capital to connect stakeholders with ongoing coverage of facility operations and explorations sites. Holding virtual investors and analyst days can allow companies to continue to be transparent, execute IR and marketing strategies, and reassure the financial community of steady operations when in-person visits are unachievable. In consideration of local laws, drones can fly just about anywhere, making them an ideal marketing tool to connect potential investors and stakeholders with developments on the ground level.
All things considered, what are some of the growing pains we should also consider?
Although tech will likely cut some expenses, we should also expect to reallocate budgets to prepare and absorb for rapid tech developments in communications and operations as well as organizational structure. This budgeting may include data protection efforts, new infrastructure, new departments, and even possibly a revitalized organizational structure. It is essential that the budget is under constant evaluation, measuring the impact of current social and economic fluctuations as well as tech developments and vulnerabilities to ensure that corporate structure and relations are kept intact in volatile markets.
Cybersecurity has been an expanding concern throughout the years. As the reliance and capabilities of tech grow, we should expect our vulnerabilities to intensify. Thus forcing us to question how our increased reliance on tech will change organizational structures, corporate governance policies, and the way we evaluate budgets.
International Tech Restrictions
Access to tech is not as universal as we’d like to think. Notwithstanding cultural barriers and geographic limitations on the use and implementation of tech (two glaring constraints), a number of governments restrict access to information. Not only does this present a substantial obstacle to companies looking to expand their international investor composition, but it also limits their potential to access intelligence around the world.
Although facing incredible obstacles across the medical and health industry, humanitarian efforts, and economic disruptions if history has taught us anything, we should know that strength comes in confronting our vulnerabilities.