It’s true that investor relations and public relations perform different functions, serve different internal and external audiences, and operate under their own sets of best practices or – in the case of IR – regulations.
And because IR and PR often don’t have the same specific objectives or report to the same supervisors, it’s not uncommon for each team to work independently with little to no collaboration.
This is a mistake.
Collaboration between PR and IR can be critical to presenting a cohesive brand message, and an integrated communications strategy allows both teams to demonstrate corporate value to all audiences.
This can be especially true during an economic downturn. As discussed in IR Best Practices to Weather an Economic Storm, “the basic principles of good investor relations apply to boom and bust times alike.”
For example, take the oil and gas industry, which is one of the industries explored in our newest white paper. Falling prices and shrinking profits have created a challenging environment for businesses across the globe.
“There’s not a heck of a lot we can do about the economy,” says Bradley H. Smith, Director of Marketing for IR & Compliance Solutions at PR Newswire/Vintage. “Markets do what markets do. Certainly the Investor Relations Officers working within the oil and gas sector are sorely aware of this.”
Bradley suggests that in times of economic turmoil, PR needs to follow IR’s lead—but IR should also be utilizing PR techniques.
“Weathering an economic storm is an instance where IR must take the communications lead,” he says. “The DNA of IR is built for long-term messaging and results. IR has the patience for slow recovery.”
While perhaps it is particularly important during times of economic distress, there are critical ways that PR can aid IR no matter the state of the economy.
Here are three tenets of strong investor relations and the PR tactics that will help in good times and bad.
Be consistent with shareholder communications
“Shareholder communications builds shareholder confidence and shareholder confidence builds shareholder value. That simple sentence is the strategic core to all the tools and tactics IR uses,” says Bradley.
One main thing PR can do to help is maintain a steady cadence of press releases. This particular PR tactic is essential for keeping a company top-of-mind among a variety of audiences.
Establishing such a cadence will present a consistent voice and tone of content, and speaking with one unified voice across IR, PR and other channels is key to developing shareholders’ and the public’s trust.
If your brand already has a reputation in the marketplace as having a consistent voice, maintaining it during times of economic trouble will present a lasting, and strong, image that reinforces confidence among shareholders, customers, sales leads, and other audiences.
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