Compass Investor Relations was established by four veteran IR professionals. Our founding partners have a combined 40 years of investor relations experience that will give you the best possible support in the public markets. Our programs are focused on executing best-practices investor relations designed to increase awareness of the stock among buy-side and sell-side investors, reach and support a fair market value for the Company’s stock and increase visibility within the investment community and financial media.
Our IR strategy is grounded in what we call the 4C’s:
We can’t cite any research for it, but in our experience we have come to the view that you should strip down the reasons to invest in your company to between four to seven key points. Complexity is the enemy of clarity.
“Lack of clarity is the number-one time-waster.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
COMPASS POINT: FOUR TO SEVEN THINGS.
When communicating those things:
- No technical jargon
- Simple sentences with few details
- Simple terms with a single possible interpretation
- Easy to read visual materials in a single format
- A single thread from start to finish. No diversions
Clarity enhances credibility. Next comes the test for credibility – are you convincing? You stand a much better chance of being credible if a person can connect your message – a new piece of information that he now understands – with something he already knows.
COMPASS POINT: UNDERSTAND TRIANGULATION
Investors, journalists, employees and potential partners rarely take your word for it. Even if your arguments were credible to them, they will try them out on people they know and trust to triangulate your view, their conviction and the view of a trustworthy third party. Be ready to reference key opinion leaders who will endorse your claims.
The impact of any message is clearly affected by the number of people who see and hear the message. However, most messages make more impact when heard more than once. Investor meetings do not always result in the portfolio manager rushing out to buy the company’s stock. Even the most impressive presentations might result in the investor starting to follow your company – your stock is put on a watch list; the investment analyst is assigned to prepare a report; the fund starts to listen to your regular quarterly conference calls; the investor calls and asks follow-up questions.
COMPASS POINT: FOLLOW UP AND SUBSEQUENT INTERACTIONS
Now that the investor is interested, your company has become one of a limited universe he is following for possible later purchase. Any follow-up interaction must reinforce the messages delivered to the investor in the first meeting. Conference presentations, quarterly conference calls, press releases, website updates are all opportunities to reinforce the messages in your investment thesis in a consistent way. Conversely, confused or inconsistent messaging will undo all the good work done in the initial meeting.
For public companies, information about their performance and prospects is governed by rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission and, if they are quoted on a senior exchange, by that exchange itself. These rules cover what must be said and when (under Rules such as Regulation S-K and Form 8-K) along with the additional requirements in Regulation Fair Disclosure or “Reg FD” that covers who must be told and by when.
COMPASS POINT: CONDUCT THE OCCASIONAL AUDIT
Take all of your messaging opportunities over the last 6 months and look at your investment thesis. For each opportunity, rate the messaging against “the 4Cs.” Be especially critical of how consistent the messaging was with the investment thesis. You may conclude your various spokespersons could use some training updates on the thesis and how important it is to communicate it consistently.