Setting Goals for Your IR Program

Nearly three-quarters of all investor relations officers set specific goals and objectives to measure their IR programs, according to a just released NIRI survey.  I’m actually quite surprised that the number isn’t closer to 100%.  In the absence of goal setting, how do you determine priorities and make decisions about what to tackle on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?  How do you adequately assess which activities add value for your company and which don’t?  How is your personal effectiveness evaluated?
 
Of those who do report formally measuring their programs, 80% use both quantitative and qualitative measures.  The top five measurement criteria noted were:

  1. relationships with the financial community;
  2. feedback from the financial community;
  3. individual meetings with top shareholders;
  4. qualitative assessment by the C-suite; and
  5. composition of the shareholder base.

 
I might also consider looking at changes in sell-side sponsorship, additions to earnings conference call participation and introductions to new potential shareholders as a tactical method of determining how an IR program is progressing.  Unsurprisingly, and for good reason, most of those surveyed do not believe a change in their company’s share price is a valid measurement tool.
 
Clearly there are many ways to track and measure IR effectiveness, and much is dependent on company performance, size and maturity.  Although investor relations is a delicate balance between art and science, it seems that not setting goals and objectives for your program is a big disservice to yourself and everyone involved in building sustainable value for shareholders.

 

Laurie Berman, lberman@pondel.com
 
 

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