Running an Investor Relations call might seem a straightforward activity, however like any seemingly straightforward activity there is a chance that you might encounter unforeseen circumstances or unexpected pitfalls. Our top tips from Event Specialists at Arkadin can help you avoid those potential stumbling blocks and ensure that your IR call is a complete success.
It’s that time of the year again for your financial results announcement. You’ve done all the hard work: compiled the Board update, prepared the media communications, liaised with what seems to be an infinite number of stakeholders – internally and externally. Just the final hurdles of the press call and investor relations communication to get over.
What may seem to most to be a relatively straightforward project, as with any event – virtual or otherwise – there is always a chance you may encounter an unforeseen circumstance that could probably have been avoided; that illegible spreadsheet, those distracting background noises, even an awkward question from that journalist…
Avoid the IR call pitfalls with our top tips. For more tips like these and ideas on how to run a perfect investor relations call, contact one of our Event Specialists who would be happy to share their experience with you.
1. IR is PR
In addition to maintaining relations with financial stakeholders and communicating those all-important numbers, your IR announcement is a time to showcase and promote yourself. So be sure to enlist the support of your marketing and communications team from the off – whether it’s for assistance with designing a slick presentation, getting the corporate messaging right or ensuring your IR press release is distributed as far and wide as possible.
2. Go multimedia, go visual
It may be an earnings announcement, but there’s nothing in the rulebook that says your presentation has to be a list of numbers, spreadsheets and bullet points in PowerPoint. Humans process visuals 60,000 times quicker than plain text, so why not try mixing it up a bit? Do you have an inspiring new company video to share? How about a customer case study showcasing your fantastic customer service? Enlist the support of a designer to transform your spreadsheets into beautiful infographics or even use video combined with visuals to deliver your message. Make your presentation the one that everyone remembers.
3. Vary the delivery with multiple speakers
You’ve built a beautiful presentation and created the perfect event – don’t stop there! In addition to your Executive speaker and host, consider involving other credible representatives of the company, such as analysts or departmental heads, to add variety, maintain participant engagement and really underpin your expertise.
4. Remove ambiguity
Whilst the majority of your audience will know their EBITDA from their EPS, it’s likely that a number of them may not be fluent with all financial terms. Ensure you provide all participants with a Glossary of Terms in advance, to avoid misinterpretation of the results and unnecessary questions.
5. Build an engaging event registration page
Think of your registration page and process as a marketing campaign. You’re aiming to attract the right target audiences and convert them to participants after all, so make sure your registration page is engaging and the registration process is easy and obvious. In addition to the agenda, time and date details, include images of speakers and links to other useful documents such as your Glossary of Terms.
Finally, and most importantly remember to collect full contact and company details in mandatory fields when participants register – this will be invaluable during the call when managing your Q&A, and afterwards for any follow-up communications.
6. Know your audience
Having built a fantastic registration page and collected every participant’s contact details, spend some time analysing your participant list so you can be fully prepared on the day. Recognise any tricky journalists or analysts? Are your competitors showing an interest? What about potential investors? Remember also to share the audience list with speakers and other important parties involved in the event production (confidentially obviously) so everyone is briefed.
Most, if not all, event platforms will enable you to track participants’ every move throughout the call – conversion from registration to participation, who drops off the call, who asks questions, even how engaged they are.
7. Block out unwanted noise
Throughout the duration of the call, ensure all participants’ lines are muted and all speakers not actively participating are on also instructed to mute their lines to ensure premium sound quality. Most event platforms, such as ours, have this as a standard feature.
8. Be prepared for awkward questions
Now you have a full audience list and have identified any potentially tricky customers, it’s wise to have a pre-planned strategy for dealing with any awkward questions you think they may ask – especially if hosting a separate call for the press.
Event platforms such as those provided by Arkadin allow you to discretely manage and prioritise audience questions, enabling you to guide the direction of the discussion, whilst avoiding the call from being derailed.
Remember to fully brief one of your event team, who will be responsible for managing the questions, and also the rest of the presenting team so they know the plan of action!
9. Don’t leave them hanging
All participant contact details and copies of the questions they asked will be accessible to you after your event, so don’t forget to have a process for following up questions that you didn’t manage to answer on the call. Tie up any loose ends and keep your audience positively engaged.
10. Check out the competition
Some of the best ideas have been copied, and your investor relations announcements should be no different. What are your competitors doing? Have you seen any great ideas you could use?
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Steve Jobs, Apple.
- Never forget – IR is PR.
- Think visuals – add multimedia or rich media elements to your presentation to capture audience attention.
- Always be prepared for awkward questions.