Category Archives: Investor relations

What to consider for mobile communications to investors

In the new book, The Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment (Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff, Julie Ask), much of the book’s premise speaks of The Mobile Moment. The Mobile Moment is “the instant in which your customer is seeking an answer.”

The book gives clear examples, air travel being an obvious one: book my flight, check my flight, delay alerts about my flight, bar code my boarding pass and so on. Certainly, urgency and immediacy are germane for the travel customer.

But what about mobile for investor relations? What is “the instant in which your [investor] is seeking an answer?” Hopefully, your shareholder communications moments are NOT driven by urgency and immediacy (crisis communications), but by a moment of convenience.


“I want to view $XYZ’s investor PPT on my train commute into the office. I want to review $XYZ’s recent 10-K in Starbucks. I want to listen to the $XYZ’s earnings call on my couch. In my underwear.” Urgent, not. Immediate, perhaps. Convenient, absolutely.

Remember – no one is trading off an IR website, mobile or desk browser. Investors don’t visit your IR website for real-time quotes. Investors visit your IR website for careful due diligence research – as clearly reported in our “How Investors Consume Investor Relations Content” study. They may not be trading at that Mobile Moment, but they are making decisions.

To guide executives to create a mobile strategy, The Mobile Mind Shift’s authors recommend three concepts to define a mobile offering:

  • Intensity: whether it is appropriate to connect with customers on mobile.
  • Expectation: the level of urgency to build a mobile site.
  • Behavior: the features customers are ready for.

These are the drivers that you need to discuss within your department. Understandably, as a shareholder communications service provider, we’ve already walked this path for you. Our IR Rooms have two Mobile Moment Matchmakers: responsive design and theIRapp. Offering both assure that regardless of their behavior, you address both the intensity and expectation of each individual (professional or retail) investor.

Have a great day.

Dōmo arigatō, Mr. (AP earnings reporter) Roboto

The Associated Press (AP) announced that they will be expanding their quarterly earning reporting from 300 companies to 4,400 companies by automating this banal and non-investigative journalism with “robots.”


From the AP:

For many years, we have been spending a lot of time crunching numbers and rewriting information from companies to publish approximately 300 earnings reports each quarter. We discovered that automation technology, from a company called Automated Insights, paired with data from Zacks Investment Research, would allow us to automate short stories – 150 to 300 words — about the earnings of companies in roughly the same time that it took our reporters.

Instead, our journalists will focus on reporting and writing stories about what the numbers mean and what gets said in earnings calls on the day of the release, identifying trends and finding exclusive stories we can publish at the time of the earnings reports.

What this means for issuers:

  • Expanded distribution from the AP: AP earnings articles are a formulaic synopsis of your formal earnings announcement. “Mr. Roboto” doubles your earnings’ content marketing towards investors, analysts and financial journalists who get feeds from the AP. In essence, the AP is treating your earnings as data rather than news.
  • Journalists more focused on stories: This is especially important for Emerging Growth and Small-cap companies. Many of these companies are Story Stocks, as their numbers are not so great (yet). The Human Journalists may have more availability and curiosity now for underdog and under-the-radar stocks. You could experience better ROI for your outreach efforts to the appropriate AP journalists. Get your story polished. 
  • What’s good for the goose is good for the gander: Issuers should have no fear of newsflow automation. Automate all banal distribution tasks. Here is a briefing on how you can automate your newsflow into Twitter and Stocktwits.

NOTE: The AP is not the only capital markets “reporting” organization to use robots. Resistance is futile.

Have a great day.

A brief “What Does CASL Mean for IR” blog post that does not constitute legal advice what-so-ever ipso facto

The Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL – pronounced “Castle”) goes into effect today, July 1, 2014. If you are in Canada or send electronic communications (email, IMs, Twitter direct messages) to Canadians, you’ll need to comply.

What does this mean for IR departments? Most likely, not a heck of a lot – especially if you have a commercially managed IR website (like our IR Room). You are already following the US CAN-SPAM guidelines by default.

Your email / opt-in procedure should already include:

  • The name of your organization and a description of the types of opt-in messages subscribers can expect to receive. For IR, this is your email alert opt-in system built within you IR site i.e. “I would like to receive a daily closing stock price.”
  • A statement informing individuals that they may withdraw (opt-out) their consent i.e “You can unsubscribe at any time.”
  • A functioning unsubscribe mechanism.
  • The mailing address and one of either a phone number/web address/email address of your organization.

That said, why is CASL being called the toughest SPAM law on the planet?

CASLThe difference between the US spam laws and Canada’s is actually deceiving simple.

In the US, it is opt-out legislation: you can (more or less) email contacts without legal retribution as long as you do not continue to email them AFTER they have unsubscribed. A “beg forgiveness rather than ask permission” model.

CASL is the opposite. It’s opt-in legislation: you cannot (commercially) email anyone without their appropriate consent BEFORE you hit the send button.

A simple example: you recently presented at an investor conference and the host organization gave you a contact list of all attendees. Your earnings call is next week and you would like to invite this group to the listen to the call. You may email the US-based contacts. The recipients may personally view your email as junk and alert “the internet” you are spam and get your email domain blacklisted (which is a drag), but that’s about it. However, if there are Canadian firms on the contact list, without documented express permission to email them - they have a binding legal right to ruin your day.

If you commit a violation under any of sections 6 to 9 of CASL, then you can be slapped with a steep administrative monetary penalty (AMP). The maximum amount of an AMP, per violation, for an individual is $1 million, and for a business, $10 million. Directors, officers and agents of a corporation can be liable too.

Fortunately, there is a three-year transition period, until July 1, 2017, to help companies adopt these new regulations. If you have more questions about CASL, contact an REAL CASL attorney who is familiar with this issue.

Realistically, the lionshare of IR departments will not have any trouble with CASL, as the technical opt-in process does mirror US CAN-SPAM. The trouble-spots will be around bulk uploading and emailing to new contact lists. You will need to be thoughtful about emailing contacts (in mass) from a IR targeting program.

Overall, the communications behavior of IR departments created no issues with the US CAN-SPAM Act, so the same professional IR work patterns should apply with CASL.

Emerging Growth and small-cap companies need to be a very aware to what their IR firms are doing on their behalf (coughcoughstockpromotioncough). Liability will trickle to all involved.

Bottomline, just don’t send “blast emails” to non-opt-in Canadian contacts. Official FAQs here:

Have a great day.

New Practice Group from Vintage Guides Clients with Shareholder Communications Solutions

“Corporate Services” brings intelligent value to investor relations at Emerging Growth and Small-cap companies

NEW YORK, June 27, 2014 / PR Newswire / — Vintage, a division of PR Newswire, today announced the expansion of their Vintage offerings to include Corporate Services, a practice area providing customized investor relations solutions for small-cap and emerging growth companies (EGC). The establishment of this new practice group within Vintage follows the company’s recent rebranding announcement.

The inclusion of investor relations services along with Vintage’s regulatory compliance services – IPO registration, XBRL, EDGAR and financial print – creates the industry’s first turnkey, intelligent value for public companies: beginning with their experience as a pre-IPO organization well into their maturity as a public equity.


Click to enlarge

According to a recent industry report from Rivel Research, small-cap companies spend 42% of their total investor relations budget with outside service providers, compared to the 18% allocation that large companies spend. For many smaller companies, the investor relations function is still viewed as a cost center and within these companies, whose average annual spend on external IR services is $130,000, budgets cuts are a constant concern. These financial pressures mandate that companies spend as intelligently as possible.

Vintage’s investor relations solutions cover multiple aspects of transparent shareholder communications, and are built to fit EGC, small- and mid-cap company requirements:

  • Investor relations websites
  • Earnings webcasting and conference calls
  • Media and news disclosure
  • Analyst-targeted distribution
  • Virtual Data Rooms
  • Rich media content creation
  • Annual report production and online distribution

“Emerging growth and small-cap companies have two related challenges – they are overlooked by Wall Street and underserved by the shareholder communications firms that support the industry,” said Liam Power, President of Vintage. “We’re helping our current Vintage regulatory compliance clients by bundling and integrating investor relations solutions into our Corporate Services practice, giving clients a toolset that can increase the presence of their financial brand while eliminating redundant, wasteful workflow tasks.”

One key example of the importance of shareholder communications, as reported in the 2014 “How Investors Consume Investor Relations Content” study, is that 70% of investors reported they will not take a position in a stock if the company does not have an investor relations website. “It is our goal to remove the barriers to capital for all our clients. For smaller companies, this includes offering a fee structure that is  balanced with their needs for shareholder communications,” continued Power. “That is how we define intelligent value.”

Vintage has released three new regulatory compliance and shareholder communications packages expressly for EGC and small-cap companies.

For detailed information:


About Vintage

Vintage, a PR Newswire division, is a top-three provider of full-service regulatory compliance and shareholder communications services, delivered across our three practice areas: Capital Markets, Corporate Services and Institutional & Fund Services.

Founded in 2002 and acquired by PR Newswire in 2007, Vintage has evolved to become the industry’s intelligent value choice. We deliver a flexible balance of people, facilities and technology to ensure that regulatory compliance and shareholder communications processes are efficient, transparent and painless. Services include IPO registrations, transactions, virtual data rooms, EDGAR & XBRL filing, typesetting, financial printing and investor relations websites.

About PR Newswire

PR Newswire ( is the premier global provider of multimedia platforms that enable marketers, corporate communicators, sustainability officers, public affairs and investor relations officers to leverage content to engage with all their key audiences. Having pioneered the commercial news distribution industry 60 years ago, PR Newswire today provides end-to-end solutions to produce, optimize and target content — from rich media to online video to multimedia — and then distribute content and measure results across traditional, digital, mobile and social channels. Combining the world’s largest multi-channel, multi-cultural content distribution and optimization network with comprehensive workflow tools and platforms, PR Newswire enables the world’s enterprises to engage opportunity everywhere it exists. PR Newswire serves tens of thousands of clients from offices in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, and is a UBM plc company.

Media Contact:

Bradley H. Smith
Director of Marketing, IR and Compliance Services
PR Newswire & Vintage
+1 201.947.7157

NIRI 2014: social media whitepaper (and happy faces part 1)

The National Investor Relations Institute’s 2014 Conference in Las Vegas was a big win for everyone. Sincere thanks to the NIRI organization for hosting yet another successful event. This annual event is one of the few conferences where IR practitioners and service providers meet not just to “buy and sell,” but to have real discussion about the industry and its drivers.

One of the more popular (and appreciated) conversation in our booth was regarding our very practical advice for social media. We ran out of printed copies of current whitepaper that gives guidance for risk-free and hands-free social media for IR: you can download it here.

A few IROs even referenced the social media blog article from last March. That was very complimentary.

Visiting our booth isn’t just about shareholder communications. We squeezed in a little fun too!

n2 n4 n7 n32 n31 n30 n29 n26 n23 n14 n12 n10

Viva Las NIRI14 ! ( …and get ready to win your fabulous NIRI Conference souvenir)

The rebranding and redefining of Vintage is good news for public companies – especially for those looking for ( what we are calling ) intelligent value.

We’ve witnessed true growth of the cross-pollination between the shareholder communications and regulatory compliance functions within our clientbase. Sometimes this overlap is workflow-based, other times it’s been pure “purchasing power.” Regardless of their reasoning, clients have expressed satisfaction receiving an intelligent value.

Enough of that – let’s plan for the 2014 NIRI Annual Conference! Yay! 

NIRIsignWe’ll be meeting with clients and prospects to discuss…

  • …the new attributes and examples of our investor relations websites: click here to read of one example of what is new. Also, recently, our web developers have built some BEAUTIFUL custom sites. ( You’ll want to see those ) Plus, we’ve integrated our IR Room MST with The IRapp, the leader in…um… apps for IR. 
  • …IR & social media and our no-touch, no-risk approach to getting your news in the social news stream.
  • …news distribution and disclosure which is always a favorite topic! We have a staff of newswire experts in the booth who will answer your questions about distribution, tracking and maximizing value.
  • And of course, we want to hear about how your IR group interacts with your regulatory compliance group. Do you collaborate? How? When?


Look for your purple pin in your NIRI Conference showbag. Wear it on your bag or lanyard and visit our booth #309. If your unique number (see the yellow arrow in the picture above) matches a number on our winners’ board you’ll win one of our 100 Fabulous VIVA LAS NIRI14 sweatshirts! ( Oh, don’t worry, the sweatshirts are NOT purple )

Have a great day and I will see you in Fabulous Las NIRI14! I mean Las Vegas! 

…58 Mississippi, 59 Mississippi, 60 Mississippi… SEND THE EARNINGS RELEASE!

Latency, fiber optics, co-location, laser beams, front-running trades, exploiting milliseconds. Phew. This is the stuff of High Frequency Trading. And MOST of it is out of IR’s control.

While the SEC is trying to get a handle on all the technology (and legalities) behind algorithmic trading, as you read yesterday, we’ve worked out a very practical and tactical step to help squelch the aspects of HFT that news distribution can effect.

Below is our news release that we sent out in unison with New York Attorney General Schneiderman’s.

Per AG Schneiderman:  “… PR Newswire deserves credit for its leadership.” 



PR Newswire Announces Industry-Leading Policies for Market-Moving News Distribution

Expanding on its long-standing approach in support of fair and equitable news distribution, PR Newswire is taking additional measures to protect client and market interests.

NEW YORKApril 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today PR Newswire announces that it has established an enhanced set of policies for the issuance and distribution of market-moving news. The policies, which build on PR Newswire’s leadership in the field of fair and equitable news distribution, are designed to promote integrity in the market and prevent preferential access to material news by high-frequency trading (HFT) firms.

“PR Newswire has always taken a forward-thinking approach toward the most effective means of news dissemination,” said Ninan Chacko, CEO of PR Newswire. “Innovative business practices serve our clients’ best interests and today’s announcement strengthens our commitment to industry-leading policies and fair access to market-moving information.”

As the pioneer of commercial news distribution, PR Newswire has consistently been the industry leader in establishing practices that support equitable access and synchronized news distribution. PR Newswire has never supplied its primary data feed to high-frequency traders.

PR Newswire’s newly formalized policy will require primary data feed recipients to certify that they do not engage in high-frequency trading. This more rigorous policy safeguards its primary data feed from being provided to entities engaged in HFT.

Another potential issue for companies and investors is the chance that trades will be processed in the seconds after official market close at major U.S. stock exchanges. This offers an opportunity for some high-frequency traders to receive news at 4PM and immediately trade on that news before it has been made available to the broader market.

Therefore, for clients seeking to distribute potentially market moving news at market close, PR Newswire’s first-in-the-industry policy will recommend holding distribution until 4:01 PM ET to prevent the possibility of same-day trading on major U.S. exchanges.

“We are pleased to announce a new policy for clients who distribute potentially market moving news for market close,” continued Chacko. “These clients will be counseled to hold their release until 4:01 PM ET to prevent trades on this news before the closing price is finalized.”

The formalization of these policy changes follows collaboration with the Office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. To learn more about the New York Attorney General’s efforts around fair and broad distribution of material news, please read today’s release.

About PR Newswire
PR Newswire ( is the premier global provider of multimedia platforms that enable marketers, corporate communicators, sustainability officers, public affairs and investor relations officers to leverage content to engage with all their key audiences. Having pioneered the commercial news distribution industry 60 years ago, PR Newswire today provides end-to-end solutions to produce, optimize and target content — from rich media to online video to multimedia — and then distribute content and measure results across traditional, digital, mobile and social channels. Combining the world’s largest multi-channel, multi-cultural content distribution and optimization network with comprehensive workflow tools and platforms, PR Newswire enables the world’s enterprises to engage opportunity everywhere it exists. PR Newswire serves tens of thousands of clients from offices in the Americas, EuropeMiddle EastAfrica and the Asia-Pacific region, and is a UBM plc company.

Media Contacts:
Caitlin Carragee
Manager, Marketing Communication