8 Common Challenges in Investor Communications
Here’s a common scenario we come across when helping clients perfect their investor communications strategy:
The company’s CEO carves out 5 minutes to chat about investor communications and we hear the same list of problems. There is no time for communications. There is no time to be interviewed on BNN Bloomberg. Press releases? The last one went out two months ago. Sometimes companies manage to post on social media, but not often and not with any strategy. They are strapped for time, and operations, sales, and business strategy take precedent. They simply don’t have bandwidth to work out a communications strategy. As a result, investors are left high and dry with no corporate news. Without regular communication, investors feel out of the loop and disengage.
Does this sound familiar? You are not alone. We hear this story all the time across diverse industries. What’s more, communication strategy gets increasingly complicated every day when you consider the digital space.
So, what are the most common challenges that we see in investor communications? And even more importantly: How can your company organize and fix their communications strategy without taking on an incredible workload?
8 Challenges in Investor Communications:
1 – Irregular communication
The company does not communicate with investors on a regular basis. Updates are poorly timed or only include bad news or responses to negative press (ex. previously announced acquisition deals not coming to fruition). Operations can be running smoothly at a company but if all investors only hear bad news, that is all they remember.
The fix: Share news regularly. Create an editorial calendar and stick to it. Need ideas for creative press release topics? Check out our 30 Creative Press Release Ideas.
2 – Lack of media coverage
No matter how hard a company tries they can’t get major news outlets interested in their company’s story. Perhaps the company’s sector has been saturated with innovative news, or perhaps their business model is not the “trend” of the minute. Regardless, there is no pick up whatsoever on the company and its recent milestones.
The fix: Find a new angle. Rather than pitching your company story to a media outlet, try pitching a story about an interesting employee or charity work your company is doing.
3 – Failure to organize a comprehensive investor communications plan
Running a public company is hectic, so creating and executing a proper investor communications strategy is often completely overlooked. Communications also require a very specific skill set. This may be even more true when considering digital investor relations and communications – a relatively new space in the industry.
The fix: Build a communications strategy and follow it. If your team doesn’t have the skill set, hire an investor marketing firm, like Plexus, to do the heavy lifting. This is an area that your company can’t afford to mess up.
4 – No key messaging or investor branding
One of the most important pieces of investor communications is to define your investor key messaging and branding. This is a crucial need from the first day to the last day of a company’s life cycle.
The fix: Spend time crafting a clear, unique value proposition and “stock selling points.” Investors need to clearly understand the value and mission of the company.
5 – Lack of brand awareness
This challenge can actually be a result of other problems on the list, but the effect with investors is damaging all the same. With today’s branding giants like Apple, Starbucks, and Google, there is an expectation that companies have a strong sense of branding from the beginning.
The Fix: An innovative, exciting, and consistent branding plan can work to gain major trust with your current investors.
6 – No communications funnel or investor follow-up
Companies don’t have a plan for following up with interested investors after earning their contact information. Without a clear understanding of how to consistently communicate with an interested investor, the investor interest is lost over time, losing their capital as well.
The fix: Employing a designated investor relations person in office is best practice, but also initiating an ongoing communications plan will ensure potential investors remain engaged.
7 – Poor digital presence
Many companies focus on traditional marketing tactics and don’t fully embrace the digital space. But investors are living in the digital space – they are finding investment opportunities on social media, reading digital publications, and engaging with online brokers.
The fix: Build a comprehensive digital marketing plan. This plan needs to include social media channels, a website, email campaigns, and more.
8 – Confusion about team roles and investor communications responsibilities
Comprehensive investor communications plans span across multiple teams – both internal and hired service providers. For a small team with multiple roles held by each team member, it’s hard to know who should be performing each investor communications task. Despite traditional schools of thought, investor communications should not fall solely on the Investor Relations team. This is because tasks need to be handled by the team member with the right skill set.
The fix: A strong communications strategy with clearly defined roles.
Most investor communications problems can be solved by a clear, comprehensive, investor communications strategy. Don’t want to do the heavy lifting? Give Plexus Media a call today – 1-844-6PLEXUS ext. 108