5 Steps to Plan a Perfect IR Strategy
Preparing your strategy in advance is quintessential when it comes to Investor relations. A well-defined plan coupled with a strong IR team has the ability to turn plans into execution and eventually into successful two-way communication with investors. With the ever-changing market scenarios and investor preferences, it has become essential to reach out to investors in the right way at the right time. IR planning, is thus, the core of Investor relations.
Without an IR plan, there is a lack of clarity on what is the target and the pathway to reach the goals of the organization. Moreover, measuring the quantitative and qualitative after-effects of your engagement with investors will help you gain insight into the effectiveness of the Company’s IR team. Not planning can severely affect the IR Budget too, and the resources will not be used to its optimum level.
Steps to IR Planning
1. Gather Data
Look into your last year’s IR activities and segregate what worked well and what did not. The activities that worked should be included in the new year’s IR plan too. Begin with assessing the current position of your company through SWOT analysis. You should ask the following questions:
S- What strategies, marketing plans or products are doing?
W- What products or plans are underperforming? Which ones should be improved and which must be scrapped?
O- where are the windows of opportunity? Is there any year-specific opportunity? How can we work on that?
T- Are there any potential threats to current plans? How can you avoid or confront the situation?
After the SWOT analysis, gather, organize and update data that will be useful for you throughout the IR planning- contact list, investor database, market data, shareholder IDs, etc. Also, take the help of other operational teams of the company to be in sync with their goals and plans.
2. Set Goals
Once you are aware of your current position, set goals for your IR plan for the year. Use the SMART model of setting goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Time-bound. Keep your objectives in mind while setting such targets. Is your intention to gain new investors? Or perhaps do you want to improve the credibility of the company? Decide on objectives and list down the broader goals of the organization. Then, you can dive deeper and make short-term goals.
Here, consulting an external organization is advisable to gauge what others perceive about your company. Set goals to work on your weaknesses and put more weight to work on your strengths.
3. Decide Budget
Your goals will give you a rough estimate of the funds required to carry them out. Before breaking your goals into activities, decide on an optimum budget for your Company. Choose your tools and vendors meticulously as they will help you to reach your goal effectively and quickly. Some of the services you might consider to opt for are transfer agents, Newswire providers, conference call providers, annual report creative services, investor day organizers, website hosting service providers, IR advisory and more.
A detailed budget should include all the essential elements like tools, vendors, venue estimates, professionals’ fees, etc. How much and where to spend will depend on your goals and objectives.
4. Plot on Calendar
Until you do not put your plan in a calendar, they are mere talk. Look at your goals and your budget furthermore work out a strategic approach to Investor Relations. Start with monthly themes, writing down what kind of activity you will do in a particular month. You should aim for one or two central ideas per month and plan for smaller, day to day activities that complement the theme. Remember, you must diversify your activities for greater engagement. Also, once again, put more weight on the strategies that worked last year and add more creative ways to reach investors.
Include all team members for the brainstorming session. It is also essential to utilizing the sell-side and buy-side target lists and implementing the set IR program in collaboration with the management. Once a full-fledged annual IR calendar is ready, make the necessary bookings and contact the required people. Make sure your entire team is well-versed with the plan.
5. Decide Success Indicators
While planning a calendar, it is crucial to decide on the success indicators of the scheduled activities. With each event that you choose to carry out, decide on qualitative and quantitative success indicators. When you perform the activity, these indicators will help you to gauge the effectiveness of that event and help you with your consecutive plan.
Be Flexible – You may have to make adjustments to your plan according to the situation at hand. You cannot be rigid with the plan if, at the time of execution, the scenario has changed and become unfavorable for your planned activity. Always have room for adjustments.
Diversify your Activities – as Warren Buffet says, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Chalk out a list of activities that you can do and divide your month accordingly.
Don’t Overdo – focus on your target audience and do not go over the board with anything. Maintain consistency throughout the year instead of doing ten events in one month.
Do Peer Analysis- Keep yourself updated on the activities of your competitor and plan your next move accordingly.
Conduct Informal Survey – You can send out surveys to gain feedback on how your company is perceived in the market. This will help you in maintaining or improving your brand image.
Integrate Teams – Integrate all necessary team members in your IR plan so that everyone can follow one voice.
IR planner is the cornerstone of every IR activity – communicating, raising shareholders’ value, attracting investors, improving brand image and more. We hope this article will help you in kickstarting your IR planning. We have created numerous IR calendars for our clients which have helped them achieve their corporate goals as well as effectively measure their position in the market. Forming an IR strategy requires significant resources. At ExchangeConnect, our expert analysts help you to map out the perfect IR plan for your company along with other solutions. Feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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