Media, Moguls and Money Movers: Building Investor Relationships

An organization won’t get far in the multinational business arena without building strong and engaging professional relationships. Whether corporate brand representatives are chasing investor, supplier, media or customer relationships, without an effective communication strategy tailored and integrated for specific audiences, a brand has no chance at sustainability. Specifically important, successful investor relationship management with the media play an impactful role in an organization’s strength. Building such valuable relationships requires Investor Relations Officers (IROs) to maintain the primary objective of meeting the needs and requirements of pertinent media avenues.

Investor Relations and the Media

Dissecting the impact of the media response to corporate occurrences allows for all communication to be calculated in what and how it presents its news and information to the public. 

The relationships IROs and the other communication specialists of the organization develop with the media can directly impact how the shared information and company reputation is framed. The impact of source information and where or who it came from is a pivotal point of concern given the frame of reference both applied to and inferred of the information. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) have explored the science behind information sourcing and communication framing and one might easily argue that successful investor relations is more closely related to public relations than it is to marketing than many might think.

Tell Your Story!

A Corporate Story is an organization’s guide to understanding where it came from and what matters most when shaping where it is headed. One of the best ways to get a corporate story to the right media hands is to push it out across channels frequented by the investment community and stakeholders. While many feel the press release is somewhat outdated, it is still effective in pushing important information to the public as a direct-from-the-source message. The website’s landing page of story materials and insights along with the various publications, such as the reports, kits, and more visual aids, are also significant drivers of communication.

Keep in mind that in today’s marketplace of knowledgeable consumers, simply “pushing” information out to the masses with no engagement monitoring and control (including follow-ups) should no longer be the sole route to take when sharing information.

Integrate Your Publications Beyond Annual Reports

Planning the frequency of ad messages across varied publications is a MUST when cultivating successful relationships with the media, particularly with the investment community. True, some IROs call for less campaigning even though the campaign is the heart of communication. However, it is common to keep a continuous flow of messaging, however, surprisingly, an ad campaign is not a preferred tool with investor relations. Instead, the annual report and other publications communicate company and brand information. There are a number of options available due to the diverse agendas of the investment community. It is recommended that IROs deploy a wide arsenal of publications relationships providing a comprehensive snapshot of operational and financial standing for investors. Keep in mind, just because a potential investor is among a target audience, he or she may be drawn to very specific channels of communication or topics of interest.

Message Framing by the Media

Essentially, investor relations communication is based on the relationships (media and market) of specified relationships (organization and competing organizations) forged by the flow of discerning information shared through relationships (organizations and media). It is important to assess how the media sees the information versus how the IRO sees the same scenario.

Even as we devote a considerable amount of focus on how the media pulls from, and relies on, the way the IRO pushes out information, sometimes the company’s media relationships purposefully (yet seamlessly) shift the delivery of the situation to ensure it gets the facts like a detective and then becoming a sculptor and narrator. For example, shifting the narrative to highlight one aspect and downplay another.

With how much the media has been called out for its involvement in politics and other fields, many communication strategies and tools become increasingly more recognizable as impactful, positively and negatively. This occurrence sheds light on the value found in the right kind of relationships being built between the two entities, ensuring the most accurate and unbiased information is shared for the benefit of the investment community and all stakeholders.  It stands to reason the levels of influence overpowering the system of checks and balances put in place to ensure reporting participants uphold a legal (and ethical in the court of public opinion) code of integrity. This is a significant element of investor relations that cannot be overlooked.

It is clear there are many factors that influence the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of corporate relationship building and maintenance; however, for the IRO, the information must remain on task and strategically administered so the investing community’s interest is piqued enough for investing. The IRO must ensure he or she is not only heard but remembered by the right audience to inspire engagement or at least, awareness and interest.

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Ora-Monet is a Writer & Marketing professional with a passion for effective communication. Sharp, versatile and efficient go hand in hand with her ebullience, diligence and eclectic demeanor.
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