Judge: New awards process ‘broadens pool’ of potential winners
This year, for the first time ever, the IR Magazine Awards – US include five awards-by-nomination categories, which are open to submissions by or on behalf of outstanding IR professionals.
Mickey Foster, vice president of investor relations at FedEx Corporation, is a serial winner and nominee at the IR Magazine Awards – US and a member of the inaugural judging panel this year. We caught up with him to hear what was on his radar when assessing submissions, and what he’s learned from reviewing them.
What were you looking for in the award entries you reviewed?
I was looking for creativity, innovation and state-of-the-art programs. When it came to the individual awards, I was looking at the passion people have for IR. Obviously I was looking for leadership and particularly how people collaborated within their organization or externally with analysts and investors.
It’s always good to have an IRO of a company successfully conquer the problems or issues he or she has. It was neat that some of the submissions were about how the nominee had a problem and how he or she solved that problem.
What do you think awards by nomination bring to the US Awards?
One thing I learned this year is that there are many exciting and interesting programs that are missed by the analysts and investors, so having this nomination process opens it up to anyone to make a nomination. It really broadens the pool of people who can win and includes programs you may not even know about. It was very tough to choose some of the winners. I noticed incredible resourcefulness and dedication to the practice of IR.
What have you learned from reading the nominations?
I really learned how investor relations officers can be teachers and role models. Some of them are teaching academic courses or studying for qualifications and really giving back. One thing that was apparent from all of the nominations was how the nominees had overcome adversity and were very resourceful with their solutions.
As a former IR Magazine Award winner and nominee, what tips do you have for running an effective IR program?
Number one, you really have to be open to new ideas and technology. You’ve also got to do the blocking and tackling day to day. And you really do have to think outside the box and not just do things the way they’ve been done. You’ve got to be very flexible and passionate.
Click here to find out more about the IR Magazine Awards – US 2018.