Handy apps for IROs
Roughly a year ago we talked to a number of IROs to find out which apps they find useful in their working lives, prompted by the outrageous fact that there is no ‘investor relations’ section to be found in either Google’s or Apple’s app market.
The results included apps for sharing documents, browsing the web and keeping an eye on the market, plus a few games to play in the airport lounge.*
Given the popularity of that article, we’ve spoken to a few of the original contributors, as well as contacting some new faces, to uncover some additional app recommendations.
Peter Warne, head of e-communications services at Nestlé – a firm that likes to stay on top of the latest IR technology – says the Bloomberg TV app is popular for the IR team to have running while they eat breakfast and get ready for the day.
Apps have allowed us to take our love for lists and note-taking to a new level of sophistication. For Patrick Kiss, the head of investor and public relations at Deutsche EuroShop, a great option in this area is Wunderlist, which is platform-independent, meaning it can run on any operating system.
‘It’s a popular desktop and mobile productivity tool that helps me to manage the tasks of my IR job,’ he says.
For sharing documents and other content internally, LinkedIn’s head of IR, Matt Sonefeldt, is a big fan of Google Drive and Google Docs. Indeed, they are key to the way IR at the professional network operates.
‘All of our documents and spreadsheets are hosted on Google Drive as our master file system,’ he says, which allows anyone in the company easy access to documents. ‘We also keep a master spreadsheet on Google Docs that logs all of our investor engagement.’
RJ Jones, head of IR at Zillow, says one of his most active apps for work (he has several) is Evernote, a tool which promises to help you ‘remember everything’.
The app, which is integrated across Jones’ phone, iPad and laptop, can be used to ‘instantly take notes, jot down ideas or work up a draft of something,’ he explains.
Sonefeldt also likes Dropbox, which he says LinkedIn uses exclusively as a ‘photo-sharing car park’. What does this mean?
Well, LinkedIn employees take photos on their phones of white boards, and then upload those photos to shared folders, making them easily accessible to others.
Jones is also a big user of Dropbox, albeit for more traditional tasks. ‘To move or manage large files, it’s a godsend,’ he states.
Finally, a couple of our panelists point out that apps by their own firm are among the most used. Warne says Nestlé’s corporate app is a great reference point and library for the team, who are all kitted out with iPads.
Jones, for his part, says he’s always getting out Zillow’s suite of apps – the firm provides an online property marketplace – for investor demonstrations.