Comment: Why working in IR is really annoying

Nov 12, 2010
<p>Thirteen reasons why the investor relations profession can do your head in</p>

As a fitting tribute to you, dear reader, I thought I would draw up my list of reasons why working in IR can be utterly dreadful. This list is the result of countless conversations with IR people, some of whom have been wonderfully honest about the pros and cons of the role.

1. When people hear you work in IR, their first question is often, ‘Oh so tell me: how did you get your job in industrial relations?’ Or: ‘International relations – how interesting! What are your thoughts on the Anglo-French foreign policy agreement on aircraft carriers?’

2. You have to deal with investors and analysts... all the time.

3. You have to deal with some analysts who don’t understand your company because (i) they cover too many firms and (ii) they are about 12 years old.

4. Being in IR is repetitive: you have to say the same thing over and over again. Add too much color and you’ll get fined. Or fired. Or both.

5. The share price is all over the place, and 99 percent of the time you have no idea why.

6. Your chief executive always asks you why your share price is all over the place, and you have to tell him/her, again and again, that you have no idea why (see number 5).

7. Being on an investor roadshow is like being a jaded rock star on a world tour: after 50 meetings with severe jet lag you are exhausted and only capable of uttering monosyllables.

8. Being on an investor roadshow is not like being a jaded rock star on a world tour because there are no cool parties or groupies.

9. Your CEO/CFO has the charisma of a wet lettuce but insists on doing another meeting.

10. When your CEO sells his or her company stock, you have to send a press release.

11. When your CEO opens his/her trap too much, you have to send a press release.

12. Every time you send a press release, it costs you money.

13. Even if you are brilliant at your job and your investors love you, if your stock profile changes and your investors are overweight in value/yield/whatever you are, they will probably sell up.

If you have any more, I’d be glad to hear them!

This is an edited version of IR Insider, IR Magazine' weekly newsletter. To receive the newsletter, please register here.

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