Which apps do IROs find most useful to have on their smartphones and tablets?
It’s hard to imagine working in investor relations without a smartphone these days, and a few people are starting to say the same thing about tablet devices, too.
But which mobile apps do IR officers find most useful in carrying out their day-to-day jobs?
While Apple and Google have done a sterling job with their respective app markets, a quick browse of what’s available shows there is as yet no category targeted at the IR professional.
Here at IR Magazine we’ve decided to set matters right by bringing you our very own investor relations app hub, packed full of recommendations from top IROs.
One of the pioneers of tablet use for IR is Nestlé. The company’s head of IR, Roddy Child-Villiers, started using an iPad for work in 2010 and found it so useful that he kitted out his whole team with the tablet.
According to Nestlé’s IR department, the app it finds most useful to collaborate with is Team Room. It’s a free app for the iPhone, iPad or Android that allows you to access team rooms and data on the move in a secure and reliable fashion.
‘This is a confidential app for storing relevant information for IROs, more or less to replace the files they used to carry around,’ says Peter Warne, head of IR communication services at Nestlé.
It’s a question most of us face: how to monitor Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all the other social media channels out there. Do we get one app for each, or install a hub app to manage everything?
Rhonda Bennetto, vice president of corporate communications at Great Panther Silver and a keen user of social media for investor relations, says she likes the new and improved HootSuite for Android app (as well as the desktop version of HootSuite) for social monitoring and data aggregation.
The app allows you to manage Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare accounts in one place.
Described by the company as ‘the dashboard in your hand’, HootSuite’s mobile apps run across all the major mobile platforms and include a wealth of useful tools such as URL shortening, message scheduling and even translation.
Bennetto also heaps praise on the StockTwits mobile app that allows users to keep up with the investor-focused microblogging community.
Warne has a further social media suggestion: Instapaper, a simple app you can use to bookmark online content to read later offline. This popular product has a 4.5-star rating on Apple’s App Store from more than 1,000 reviews.
Market news and data
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to getting your timely doses of market news – all of the major and most of the minor financial news services now have apps on the market.
Unsurprisingly, the apps from Reuters and Bloomberg are among the more popular choices in this area.
Looking at other options, one US-based tech IRO regularly uses the CNBC Real-Time app for up-to-date stock quotes.
In addition, he often opens up FactSet’s mobile app to access estimate revisions and more detailed market data. This app is free to download but requires a FactSet subscription to use.
Finally, Andrea Wentscher, IR manager for retail investors at BASF, says the Thomson Reuters Marketboard app comes in handy for looking up buy-side profiles on the road. Again, a subscription is required to use this service.
Games cornerWe’ve looked at productivity-boosting apps, so now let’s consider their opposite: games. Perhaps wisely, most of the IROs polled for this article steer well clear of mobile games – or at least, that’s what they say.
A few did admit to the occasional bout of mobile gaming, however. Turkcell’s head of IR, Nihat Narin, says he enjoys a game of Monopoly, as well as playing Smurfs’ Village with his kids.
BASF’s Andrea Wentscher, meanwhile, says she plays whatever games her seven-year-old son has downloaded. The current favorites include 3D Mini Golf, Cat Physics, Paper Toss and Rat on a Skateboard.