Investor relations experts know that transparency and consistency are key when it comes to delivering essential information to a vast audience and getting that message across effectively. How do the most strategic communications professionals reach disparate audiences – internal stakeholders, investors, analysts, media focused on the markets, current customers and future consumers – with consistent messaging and content that resonates?
Consider the press release: the workhorse of the PR industry. Strategic IR professionals not only understand how to craft press releases that get attention, but also know the right channels and tactics for getting the most mileage out of those releases. Here, I’d like to focus on three pieces of advice for creating and distributing your IR messaging most effectively.
Capitalize on all available distribution channels
Beyond meeting SEC requirements for communications, IR teams can build positive brand reputation by thinking outside standard press-release distribution channels.
For some IR messaging, collaborating with one’s in-house social media team is a no-cost or low-cost win. TikTok and Instagram may or may not attract audiences interested in earnings reports, but LinkedIn, X (formerly known as Twitter) and others may be. By producing and publishing platform-specific graphics and posting links that drive qualified traffic to your IR website for additional information, social media is a great way to amplify your story and expand your reach.
Partnering with a digital distribution service that delivers IR press releases to relevant publishing partners is another way to increase your reach. When evaluating your options – and aside from cost and customer service – it’s important to consider not only the quantity of news outlets in the network, but also the quality of websites covered and their alignment with your target audiences. You’ll also want to ask about analytics available to ensure that real-time reporting – to understand, say, how many media outlets picked up your release – is available. This data is useful in understanding the actual reach and benefit of the service.
Your IR website (or online press or newsroom) is also an important channel for consideration. Beyond posting press releases tied to earnings reports, there may be other announcements from your PR team that are worthy of inclusion. Changes in company leadership, news about ESG and sustainability initiatives, industry awards and events can also impact investors’ perceptions and bolster your reputation.
Think like a content marketer, act like a publicist
An IR press release is a powerful way to focus your audiences on the key messages you want to associate with your brand’s narrative. My advice would be to think like a content marketer and act like a publicist.
Professionals in the investor community expect to have access to boilerplate financial data delivered in a standard format. That said, for many companies, press releases tied to seasonal earnings reports can be much more engaging, content-wise.
Supplement financial tables and charts with an eye-catching ‘key highlights’ section that consists of a few short bullet points (65 characters or less) that are easy to read on screens and mobile devices. These ‘infobites’ can be used to focus the audience on key messaging and enable media covering the markets to easily digest your brand story. Use this recent example from McGraw Hill for inspiration.
Making the most of multimedia
Though journalists make up but one audience IR professionals need to address, data from PR Newswire shows press releases that include multimedia elements get up to six times more engagement than those with text alone. Additional data shows that when pitching a story to news media, journalists are more likely to consider a pitch that includes multimedia.
Photos with SEO-friendly captions (and alt descriptions), short video content and infographics can enhance your storytelling and have the potential to drive a message home more effectively than just tables and charts. And leveraging media that’s already being created by your social media or digital marketing team can go a long way to catch the eye of a reader.
Depending on how you distribute and publish press releases, you might include a link to a downloadable PDF with additional data, informative commentary and visual branding that allow a reader to easily take the information with them.
When it comes to IR, using the press release to deliver more engaging content and promote your brand is an easy win. It helps you to drive the narrative, keep stakeholders happy and build audience trust. It’s all in how you use it.
Glenn Frates is regional vice president of North America distribution at PR Newswire
This content is provided by PR Newswire and did not involve IR Magazine journalists. For further information on PR Newswire please click here.