After hearing many times that social media is just too new for the investor relations industry, today our CEO, Tim Howard addresses how long its taking for IROs to start using new communication technology by comparing it to uptake of another much-maligned product in 2008.
We’ve heard a lot of objections to the use of new communication technology in the investor relations industry. You;ll find just a few of them below. When it comes to adopting new investor relations tools and investor relations apps for example, our industry has been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
New Communication Technologies in IR
Objection #1 – there’s no demand from investors for receiving financial information via NCT. Any IRO will tell you this. Whether this is an actual lack of demand of a perceived lack of demand is debatable but that’s the #1 reason you’ll usually hear.
Objection #2 – we don’t focus on NCT because institutions don’t use it. Most companies either have a large institutional base, or they want to have one, either way, they see NCT as a whole bunch of tools for retail shareholders and by extension a waste of time for them.
Objection #3 – nobody asks. If you talk to an IRO, they’ll tell you nobody contacts them asking for communication via NCT. Maybe they’re not listing clearly or they’re deliberately tuning out? I guess you can ignore anything if you try hard enough.
Objection #4 – My personal favorite, is that it costs money to keep it going. For some reason this doesn’t consider that the cost of technology halves every year. $800 iPhones will be $400 next year and so on and so forth. Maintaining a corporate website today isn’t going to break your bank, and neither will any other NCT.
Objection #5 – this is one area where I will agree. NCT can be very very time consuming, if… if you don’t have a strategy, if you don’t have expertise behind you and if you choose to wait and need to play catch up. In all those circumstance, NCT will take more time than necessary. But it doesn’t have to be that way…
Objection #6 – too many people will get too much information. Let me read that again… too many people will get too much information. In an industry that demands transparency, in an age where 3 billion people possess hand-held devices that can communicate with virtually anyone on the planet, the average IRO is concerned that these tools are going to ruin their disclosures, companies and careers.
Where to from here?
Whether you’re using social media for investor relations or not, the chances are that you will at some point. Either you’ll have an online emergency or you’ll reach out to us to help with getting more exposure for quarterly earnings. No matter when you find us, feel free to get in touch and let us know how we can help you implement new communication technology in your program.