In a highly regulated industry where judgment rather than luck determines success, there can be little doubt that behind every effective IR team lies an impactful IR strategy at the heart of its operations. But what does a such a strategy look like? And amid the changes to investor engagement served up by the Covid-19 pandemic, how are those plans evolving?
A compelling IR strategy is critical to raising your company’s profile and increasing shareholder reach, but determining where to start can be tough. When shaping your overall strategy, going back to basics and working out your overarching goals and what’s vital to the success of the IR team is a logical place to begin.
Trey Campbell, vice president of IR at Luminar Technologies, outlines the three fundamental factors underlying his team’s plan: ‘Great communication between Luminar and investors that contributes to a fair valuation, building trusting and candid relationships with current and potential shareholders, and accountability, transparency and high integrity are all key. The strategy and mission are consistent – the tactics can fluctuate.’
The post-pandemic landscape
It seems like a long 36 months ago since many IR plans came to a grinding halt as businesses across the globe had to quickly get to grips with Covid-19.
The impact for many IROs was a total shutdown of face-to-face interaction, with digital engagement becoming the function’s new main tactic. Despite a return to relative normality today, there’s no escaping the after-effects of the pandemic, but how are IR strategy plans evolving in its wake?
For Richard Williams of Unilever, it’s a mixed bag of in-person and virtual events on the IR calendar. ‘We’re back to face-to-face conferences, but other investor meetings are still probably about 8 percent online,’ he says.
The way ahead
A well-defined strategy is clearly just the starting point for the IRO, setting the blueprint for a compelling communication narrative with investors to raise the company’s profile and attract and retain shareholders. After the plan is in place, the hard work arguably begins: translating strategy into action. With this in mind, what closing top tips do our expert IROs have to share for successful strategy and implementation?
‘Strategy is really all about making thoughtful choices about what to do and, importantly, what not to do with your limited resources,’ says Jeff Siemon, of General Mills.
‘As IROs usually have much more they could do than they have resources to accomplish, the key is to be able to ruthlessly prioritize those things that will have the greatest impact on the company’s long-term value.