IR Best Practices
Top Tips for Successful Investor-Analyst
Investor and analyst roadshows are often expensive
in time, money and executive bandwidth. Done well, however, they
can also be highly effective in influencing market perception of
your company. Here are a few top tips for ensuring roadshow success
with Wall Street analysts, the financial community and the media.
- Start your planning efforts eight weeks beforehand, and use
a roadshow prep checklist to guide your efforts. You cannot pull
a roadshow together at the last minute it takes time to
plan, prepare for and conduct. Eight weeks advance prep allows
enough time to review and fine-tune your messaging, delivery and
- Put together the smoothest, most concise (maximum 15 minute),
well-thought-out presentation possible in plain, simple
English. Test it on non-technical, non-financial people: if they
understand it, so will the analysts, investors and the media.
If you don't have in-house staff who can put together a first-rate
presentation or handle all the logistics of a roadshow, hire outside
- Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Most executives are so tied up
in the business that they don't spend the time to perfect and
polish their presentation and when show time comes, they
look and feel unprepared. Confidence is 98% of success in making
the roadshow work, so spend the time to make sure company executives
feel and sound prepared to deliver not just their formal remarks,
but in answering the toughest questions likely to be asked.
- If your company hasn't been public for very long, work closely
with legal counsel to brief executives on what they can and can't
say. Failure to maintain proper disclosure controls to prevent
violation of Regulation Fair Disclosure and the Sarbanes-Oxley
Act carry stiff penalties. Educate and train company executives
who interact with the investment community to help prevent the
release of material information in the first place. Ideally, brief
executives on current messages and disclosures before each discussion
with the financial community and media.
- Save your most important presentations for the middle and end
of the road show
- Visual aids are cool. Bring along product samples.
- Do not perform a data dump on the listener instead of engaging
in dialog and relationship building.
- Study investor presentations from peer companies to see what
kinds of information investors want to hear. Managements (especially
those new to being public) tend to want to go into more detail
than the average investor really wants to know in a one-on-one
presentation. Looking at what peers do will help you to shape
a presentation that delivers what investors want to hear.
- Pick the right analysts and media to brief. Too often companies
waste precious time briefing analysts or reporters who don't cover
- Analysts want proof points and customer testimonials
not just financial information to validate your company's
market position and competitive advantages.
- Don't assume that just because an institution holds one of your
industry peers that they will want to own your company's shares.
Consider whether your investment attributes REALLY mirror the
companies you consider your peers.
- After the roadshow, send a handwritten thank-you note to every
analyst with whom you met. It's a courtesy analysts appreciate,
especially when the note comes from top management.