Strategic Planning, Social Media, and PW. Oh My!

PublicationsA few of my colleagues joined NIRI for the organization’s annual meeting in Florida earlier this month. Amidst the many insightful sessions and sizeable vendor showcase, PondelWilkinson was well represented.


Roger Pondel’s interview by IR Magazine was widely distributed at the meeting. The interview focused on developing a goal-based investor relations plan. As Roger said during the interview, “The essentials for writing an initial strategic plan should be proper definition of the end point – the future – followed by an understanding of the possible ways to get there.” We recommend the following, as well:

  • Define an attainable and realistic goal.

  • Always know what the Street is thinking about your company.

  • Understand what your peers are saying and doing.

  • Put that intelligence to work by keeping your messages fresh and easy-to-understand.

  • Leverage video and social media to distribute those messages.

  • Integrate all communications from IR to PR to marketing to social media.

  • Create an IR infrastructure built for success.

  • Track your success.

  • Be prepared to make changes along the way if necessary. As with many things in life, things don’t always go as planned.


We also distributed a white paper authored by Evan Pondel, in association with SNL IR Solutions, about how to make sense of Reg FD and new disclosure channels. With the SEC’s recent endorsement of social media as a viable disclosure channel, it is critically important that publicly traded companies understand the pros and cons of such disclosure and use the same common sense and follow the same rules and regulations that govern all investor interactions. Importantly, as social media gains steam as a way to speak with investors, companies should make sure to add social media policies to their existing investor communications policies.


There’s a lot of great stuff and strategic thinking going on here at PW. Stay tuned for our new and improved blog and webcast we’ll be producing on the subject of social media in the coming months. In the meantime, though, if you have any questions or thoughts, give us a holler.


Laurie Berman,

The Internship (at PW, not the movie)


Neelam Phalke, Senior at the University of Southern California

The internship season is underway at companies throughout the nation. The eponymous movie has just been released.
And we are happy to introduce our very own 2013 summer intern–Neelam Phalke, a senior at the University of Southern California, majoring in biochemistry with a minor in business administration.
Neelam (pictured right) has been a lab technician, research assistant, tutor, student ambassador, president and public relations chair of the Trojan Chemistry Club. She currently is editor of the Undergraduate Science Journal.
For Neelam, a classic achiever who plans to earn an MBA as well as enter medical school, the internship represents yet another new learning experience, allowing her to explore the business world, concentrate on the firm’s healthcare sector clients, and extend her affinity for communications. For us, it was Neelam’s diverse background, combined with her communications skills, which placed her as our top choice.
Welcome, Neelam, and have a great summer.


Roger Pondel,

The Empire Strikes Back

As the IPO market heats up with the usual technology, healthcare and consumer company players, an unusual pending deal will impact the New York skyline as well–the Empire State Building.
Last week, it was reported that at least 80 percent of the investors of Malkin HoldingsLLC, Peter Malkin’s company that owns the Empire State Building, approved a plan to take the historical New York City skyline tower public.
Malkin’s plan involves lumping in the Empire State Building into a newly created real estate investment trust (REIT), the Empire State Realty Trust Inc. The REIT is estimated to be valued at approximately $4.15 billion, more than a billion over the $2.33 billion that the building alone is valued at after debt. Through this plan, investors will be able to cash out, and Malkin will be able to stay in control.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building Photo Credit:

With its complicated ownership history, the 82-year-old, 102-story Empire State Building certainly will be the centerpiece of the new REIT, which in total will have more than 18 properties.  Should the IPO go through, Malkin’s share is calculated to be worth as much as $714 million. Investors would also see flexibility and have more access to their capital, making this IPO quite attractive.
It is very rare that any deal of this magnitude will please all parties. While the advantages of taking the Empire State Building public appear at first glance to outweigh the disadvantages, at least for top investors and the Malkins, it remains to be seen if this deal proves to be more profitable than costly.  How the Malkins approach IR will also be interesting to watch.  Such a high-profile building is likely to attract a significant retail following, and telling the REIT’s story to investors might be the biggest challenge yet for the Malkins, especially when all of Manhattan is already watching your biggest asset.


Joanne Sibug,
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