In June, Camelia Isaic, Executive Director ARIR, held a webinar on Strategic IR, focused on how to develop and implement a successful investor relations strategy. The webinar included multiple best practice examples and was structured in 4 phases: project kick-off, current status assessment, planning and implementation.
For the kick-off phase, recognising the need for upgrade is essential: IR function should be managed in a proactive manner, not a reactive one. Proactivity implies efficiency, minimisation of “unplanned tasks” and higher investor impact. It means aiming for more, beyond meeting regulatory requirements only.
The assessment phase aims to identify what currently works well and what doesn’t, given the Company’s specific context. The recommended approach focuses on what, who, how and next steps. The assessment phase should check the alignment between corporate & IR goals, evaluate the level of services provided to each stakeholder group, as well as to include a review of current IR processes and deliverables.
Based on the current assessment outputs, own priorities and available resources, the planning phase follows. The recommended approach is like the one of the assessment phase, but the focus is now shifted towards the future or “the desired state”, not on current situation. In order to formulate a strong IR strategy and to ensure successful implementation, it is important to include the entire IR team and the top management in the process. The IR strategy should be company specific and realistic – it should include 3-5 key directions with measurable KPIs and resources. In addition, these strategic goals need to be fully aligned with the corporate strategy and to cascade down from CEO level.
The implementation phase implies ongoing monitoring against targets and quarterly team updates. The set-up of a rolling IR calendar usually helps with successful strategy roll-out.
The webinar was concluded by highlighting the following three rules that every company should apply:
- align the IR strategy with the corporate one
- define KPIs & assign accountability
- revisit & update IR strategy on a yearly basis
The best IR strategy is always company specific!