Category Archives: Speaking Engagements

The Greatest Social Media for Investor Relations Panel Ever*

By Dennis Walsh, Vice President & Director of Social Media

*Okay, so I may be biased since I was the moderator, but this panel session at the NIRI’s 2013 Annual Conference had all the elements necessary to help IR professionals develop a strategy for using social media for IR.

Attendees heard from David Urban, Director of IR at Johnson Controls; RJ Jones, IRO at Zillow; Broc Romanek, editor at TheCorporateCounsel.net; Chris DeMuth, portfolio manager at Rangeley Capital; and Sheryl Joyce VP Marketing & Communications at Q4 Websystems.

Workshop 1 
The key take away from the panel was that IR professionals should take control of or insert themselves into their company’s social media strategy. Since marketing and PR departments typically “own” social media, the challenge for IR departments is twofold: 1) ensure that all activity is compliant with public company regulations, and 2) ensure the messaging is consistent with the overall IR strategy. Continue reading

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Filed under Investor Relations, NIRI, Social Media, Speaking Engagements

Achieving Nirvana for Your M&A Deal – Lessons Learned in Seattle

By Jim Buckley

At the recently concluded NIRI National conference in Seattle, I was invited to moderate a panel entitled Communicating the Deal: How IR Can Drive Success. The session featured a seasoned cast of practitioners who have successfully navigated an assortment of M&A transactions ranging from strategic purchases and spinoffs to hostile takeovers and going private.   Participants were treated to valuable insights, anecdotes and lessons learned from Andrew Kramer of Interactive Data Corporation, Brian McPeak of Owens Corning, John Chevalier of Procter & Gamble and Kristy Nicholas of Expedia.

Deals have begun to pick up momentum again in recent years, with the Institute of Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances (a fabulous site if you need M&A data) estimating that there were approximately 15,000 deals in North America during 2011 amounting to $1.6 trillion. This is the equivalent of someone buying Apple, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Wal-Mart and General Electric – combined.  Worldwide, that number rises to $5.1 trillion.  Continue reading

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Filed under Crisis Communications, Mergers & Acquisitions, Speaking Engagements

It’s Time to Face Social Media for Investor Relations

“But social media for investor relations won’t work for my company!”

The use of social media is radically changing the way our society communicates – and the investment community is no exception.  But many investor relations officers still refuse to use social media as an IR tool.  I’ve heard any number of reasons why “social media for IR won’t work for my company.”  Our business model is primarily B2B.  The retail shareholder base is small.  Our market cap is less than $500 million.  My corporate counsel tends to be conservative regarding disclosure.  Notwithstanding the huge volume of research that supports the use of social media in IR, I think it would be easier to land a lunch with Warren Buffett than to convince the typical IRO to set up a Twitter account.

I recently spent a whirlwind of a week focused on social media in investor relations.  The NIRI Westchester Connecticut chapter invited me to serve on a panel discussion entitled, “Investor Relations and Twitter – To Do or Not to Do?” with Darrell Heaps, president & CEO at Q4 Websystems (@darrellheaps), Dan Dykens, co-president at Meet the Street (@meetthestreet), and Doug Chia, senior counsel & assistant corporate secretary at Johnson & Johnson (@dougchia).   I was pleased to see that more than half the room had at least been on Twitter.  Two questions seemed to preoccupy the audience:  “what should we know about using Twitter,” and “how can we use it as part of an effective IR strategy?” Continue reading

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Filed under Crisis Communications, Social Media, Speaking Engagements

Grab the Tiger by the Tail in 2010

Earlier this week I moderated a NIRI webinar with three senior-level investor relations officers representing the finance, real estate and retail industries.  The panelists highlighted some new initiatives that IROs should consider in 2010 which, according to the Chinese calendar, is The Year of the Tiger. This just might have been the world’s only “Tiger”-related discussion in the past few weeks that had nothing to do with a certain golfer with a PR problem. 

Within Chinese culture the number six is auspicious and considered good for business.  So in keeping with this theme, here are six ideas that arose from the panel discussion that are worth considering as you develop your investor relations plan for the coming year. Continue reading

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Filed under Board Communications, Investor Relations, NIRI, Speaking Engagements

Crisis Communications: How to Best Prepare for those “Uh-Oh!” Moments

Recently, I served on a panel at the Publicity Club of New England’s “An Inside Look at Crisis Communications” program, along with other corporate and crisis communications veterans from the Boston area.  We each shared some of our most memorable cases including events involving government funding cuts, infant product recalls, massive layoffs, insider trading, embezzlement, and my favorite of the evening – the potential euthanasia of all the animals at two state-run zoos.

While the cases ran the gamut of companies private and public, from small start-ups to large multinationals, in industries from consumer goods and high tech to pharmaceuticals and law firms, there were some consistent themes that arose from the discussion.  Continue reading

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Investor Relations Field Poised for Growth

Sharon Merrill Associates (www.InvestorRelations.com) Executive Vice President David Calusdian and I recently presented on “The Dynamic World of Corporate Disclosure” at the National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) “Introduction to Investor Relations” conference in Boston.  NIRI holds this three-day event twice each year.  Attendance typically numbers about 100 people and consists of new IR practitioners in various stages of their professional careers at companies of all sizes. 

The fact that NIRI holds two such conferences each year is a testament to the growth of investor relations and the stature our field has achieved in corporations across America and the world.  To be honest though, we were wondering how attendance would be affected by the recession.  After all, the IPO market has not been a fertile breeding ground for new investor relations officers.  And the lack of corporate growth in the past year and associated cutbacks has not lent itself to increasing IR budgets or staff.  Continue reading

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Filed under Investor Relations, Speaking Engagements