If your company is among those having recently gone public, you’re now likely starting to realize just how much harder it is to be public than it is to go public. That’s not to say that the latter is a walk in the park – far from it. But the regulatory and investor demands experienced by public companies are complex and unrelenting.
For most newly public companies, the Street will understand that your IR program is a work in progress. But, be advised: their timeframe of tolerance is measured in quarters, not years. To keep and build upon the goodwill you nurtured during the IPO, here are six essential steps for investor relations professionals to take once the dust from the offering settles – transition your status from “newly public” to “established public”.
1. Create structure
Design and implement formal disclosure policies. Know how you will manage material, non-public information as well as protocols for topics ranging from quiet periods and quarterly earnings to social media and training. Review your policies each quarter by the company’s Disclosure Committee and refine as necessary, ensuring you properly address evolving regulations and accepted best practices.
2. Be in the know
Conduct an independent perception study of investors. Learn to understand the various factors impacting your company’s valuation. The study – in concert with real-time, post-earnings investor sentiment captures – can identify ways to refine your messaging and communications channels. It’s important to compile and analyze a broad range of investor input at regular intervals as part of the company’s enterprise risk management.
3. Focus on your strategy
Examine your current investor base to understand how you may want to influence your shareholder mix to better align with your long-term business strategy.
4. Extend your reach
Your online presence is key to your success. Evolve from a (corporate) website to an IR web strategy. Share key facts about your company and how it operates and what drives success to help formulate investment decisions. Use your IR website to communicate with your investors and management team. Showcase your performance and make more of your annual, quarterly reports by making your content accessible online and easy to find. Use your site to enhance your corporate brand and communicate your story. Be sure to keep your IR website innovative, dynamic, secure and accessible – regardless of the device you are being accessed from.
5. Connect with your Investors
Deepen the engagement of your investor audience with a thoughtfully curated investor day that brings the company’s distinctive value proposition to life. This will enable investors to gain an appreciation for the breadth and varied experience of your executive team and business unit leaders. Incorporate webcasting and conferencing technology to ensure those investors who cannot travel for the event can still participate.
6. Keep your investors updated
Share trade media coverage and trade show collateral with investors as a way to help them remain close to end markets. In doing so you will broaden your audience reach, applications and improve ROI on media relations and marketing budgets.