The number of startups globally is growing exponentially, meaning more and more IPOs are being filed in markets around the world. But many of these companies are still struggling to communicate effectively as they emerge into the public space.
While there are countless benefits for private companies that make the jump into the world of publicly-traded companies, the move isn’t without its risks and challenges. In order to remain afloat, one of the first steps they take must be to build and maintain an effective shareholder communications strategy.
The Pilot Communications Group observes that once a business lists its shares on the public exchange, “its key stakeholders extend far beyond media, market researchers, customers, [etc.] to include financial analysts, shareholders, shareholder interest groups, and government regulators.”
The corporate communication cycle can be greatly affected by the IPO process, particularly for businesses that operate on normal working hours. IR Magazine observes that fostering the ability to keep pace with late-night market shifts and a myriad of other critical, unforeseen developments can help fledgling public companies keep their heads above water in the turbulent, early days after filing.
To that end, keeping company stakeholders updated on significant market changes in real-time via social media and proactive, IR-specific mobile applications can serve as a vital tool in your efforts to stay on your initial trajectory.
Laying Down the Law
On social media, posts and interactions are inherently a two-way street, encouraging users and followers to comment, share, or “like” — in other words, engage with — company content in real-time. As integrated, IR social posts become an increasingly popular method of publishing company news and stakeholder information, it is of vital importance that IPOs pay close attention to the legal boundaries.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has updated its regulations regarding the dissemination of information via social media networks as recently as August 2015, offering legal parameters for the sharing of content and hyperlinks across various social media platforms. Newly listed companies must familiarize themselves with the Selective Disclosure and Insider Trading regulations, and keep investors informed on which social media channels they’ll be using for IR purposes. Not only will this keep them on the right side of the law — it will keep their corporate communications within the standards of good business practice as well.
Harnessing Mobile Platforms for Long-Term Success
Mobile penetration and adoption is exploding in nearly every market around the world. According to Smart Insights, nearly two billion people globally own a mobile device, and enjoy almost unlimited, instant access to information and communication. For newly-listed public companies, understanding these platforms and how consumers behave on them is the key to effective IR.
Today, mobile-savvy stakeholders have a baseline expectation for instant one-touch access to corporate information via highly-targeted mobile applications. Armed with customizable push notifications and intuitive functionality, apps are a great tool for IR professionals looking to increase transparency and proactivity with their communication strategies.
Simply put, mobile applications are fast becoming a requisite IR best practice for public companies of all shapes, ages, and sizes across the globe. As you prepare to file your IPO and step into the public sphere, there’s really only one question you should be asking yourself: is your IR strategy ready to meet the demands of the modern market?
(Main image credit: PaulSh/flickr)