Category Archives: Investor relations

VIDEO: Show us your birth certificate, IRO!

As a conceptual blend of Trump’s Birthergate and The National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) new IRC program (to qualify IROs’ skill set), we again surveyed the attendees at NIRI’s excellent annual Fundamentals of Investor Relations sessions to understand their credentials / birth certificates.

125 attendees gathered in Boston last week for the 3.5 day seminar… an IR 101. In addition to North America, the “students” (and current clients) fly in from across the globe. We added this data from the SAME event survey from Fall 2014 (Boston) and Spring 2015 (Santa Monica, CA.).

Where are investor relations officers born?

These numbers are no surprise from a service provider anecdotal perspective. Our conversations, client and prospect, have shown us this… what we assume is a cultural evolution of the craft of IR. The new practitioners are coming over from financial departments, rather than the communications departments.

The low amount of Buy- and Sell-side analysts is interesting, in context to all the banter heard on this. As many of them being Wall Street smartypants, perhaps many of them don’t feel they need a communications education.

“Great report, thanks. How’s the quarter going?”



StockTwits is the 83% powerhouse of “tweet-ish” investor traffic

This summer’s “much-to-do-about-nothing” news was that Nestle IR was shutting down its IR dedicated independent Twitter feed and rolling its IR tweets into with the cooperate Twitter feed. The reason stated by Nestle was simply lack of ROI.

Fair enough. So where can an IR department find ROI? This prompted a review of our apples-to-apples research looking at both Twitter and StockTwits. Note: although this is a comparison, you do not have to choose one over the other. Use both if you wish. This is a discussion about targeting your shareholder communications to social media-minded investors… maximizing your efforts in social media.


The chart above is representative of all Twitter and StockTwits trafiic generated for the month of August 2015 – via identical $CASHTAGGED content I simultaneously posted  into both the networks of StockTwits and Twitter. The inbound traffic generated from that outbound was monitored and measured.

The 4 pieces of outbound content drove, directly due to the $CASHTAGs, 298 inbound traffic referrals. StockTwits delivered 246 compared to Twitter’s 52.

Bottom-line: if and when you are sharing your IR content into social media, if you are tweeting your $CASHTAGGED content only into Twitter and not into StockTwits, you are walking away from 83% of the audience who want this tweet-based content from you.

And… if you are not including your $CASHTAG, you are walking away from most everybody in the capital markets. $CASHTAGs are how investors sort and filter tweets within StockTwits and Twitter. Your $CASHTAG is your targeting tool.

ACTION ITEM: StockTwits and Twitter are news streams. If you have further questions about StockTwits and Twitter – including their differences and how to use them with very little work, please download this whitepaper.

6 podcasts to help SMID-cap IPOs think big

Newly IPO-ed small and mid-cap issuers (“SMID-caps”) have many new skills to learn in their transition from private to publicly held. Our six-part webinar series – now available as online or downloaded MP3 podcasts – discuss the “must-practices” investor relations skills in these 30-minute sessions.

Session 1: How to set up and manage the IR function

Session 2: How to compose your first quarterly earnings release and SEC filing

Session 3: How to host your first earnings conference call



Session 4: How to build your IR website

Session 5: How to target investors

Session 6: How to present and network at an investor conference

The sessions are free, other than the obligatory name, rank and serial number log-in. CLICK HERE


How to present and network at an investor conference: Free webinar, September 15, 2:00 PM ET

DARROW56-part investor relations educational series for OTC Markets and Nasdaq Capital Markets listed companies

NEW YORK, September 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Vintage, the capital markets, corporate services and institutional & fund services division of PR Newswire, is pleased to invite CEOs, CFO, investor relations departments and senior executives at entrepreneurial start-up organizations and emerging growth companies to attend this new educational webinar series: “What you must know BEFORE and AFTER your IPO” 

Session 6: How to present and network at an investor conferences     

DATE: September 15, 2015
TIME: 2:00 PM ET
LENGTH: 30 minutes

PRE- REGISTRATION:               

Pre-registration is recommended to save time on event day. There is no fee to attend and there will be a live Q&A session.


With first-hand “how-to” advice specially structured for small and micro-cap companies, this six-part series will walk listeners through the steps needed to transparently and effectively communicate with current shareholders and prospective investors. The cadence of the series will be casual, delivered succinctly and in plain English.

The webinars, and archived podcasts, are moderated by Bradley H. Smith, PR Newswire/Vintage’s director of marketing, and features the investor relations expertise of Tad Gage and Bernie Kilkelly of Darrow Associates.

After the live session, the webinars will be available for 24/7 listening both online and as a downloaded audio podcast.

What you must know BEFORE and AFTER your IPO

  • Session 1: How to set-up and manage the IR function
  • Session 2: How to compose your first quarterly earnings release and SEC filing
  • Session 3: How to host your first earnings call
  • Session 4: How to build your IR website
  • Session 5: How to target and reach investors

Log-in here to listen to archived sessions.

“This six-part series will not be presenting any investor relations ‘best-practices.’ We’ll be delivering the investor relations ‘must-practices,” said Smith. “As they become a publicly traded organization, emerging growth companies have unique challenges, especially as they work to present themselves to new shareholders at par with large and mega-cap issuers. Darrow Associates have distilled these ‘must-practices,” into a short, concise task list.”

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 Darrow Associates
Darrow Associates is an investor relations and financial communications firm with offices in Melville, New York, New York City, Austin, and Silicon Valley. The Darrow Associates team of professionals brings more than 120 years of combined investor relations and Wall Street experience across a range of market sectors and market-caps to its client base of nearly 20 companies. Darrow Associates’ professionals have significant experience in partnering with public and pre-IPO companies in the technology, telecommunications, media, business services, alternative energy, clean technology, healthcare, financial services, industrial, and aerospace and defense industries.  Additional information is available at

Media Contact:

Bradley H. Smith
Director of Marketing, IR and Compliance Services
PR Newswire & Vintage
+1 201.942.7157

The strategy of targeting investors does not change

Judging by how well attended our webinar on targeting was, it seems a review of this essential function is appropriate. It is so core to the investor relation craft, it’s never a redundant discussion.

To start tactically, targeting investors is a fairly big topic, with many different methods depending on the level of specificity an investor relations department wants (or can) to apply in context to the specificity of their stock’s attributes.


In the most common definition of Targeting (with a capital T), an IRO will match their equity’s attributes against an institutional investor’s approach or investment style. This information lives within the quarterly 13F data institutional investors must file with the SEC.

Although an institution’s 13F filings are public information, databases like leading tool (and our partner) Ipreo allow investor relations to easy parse all 13F information to expedite the analysis of historical stock positions and holdings styles across industries, sectors and peers. Once the institution is identified, IR needs to keep clicking deeper to get the exact name and contact information of the portfolio manager.

How powerful is this? Imagine if Pepsi could get the name and email of every person who bought a bottle of Coke. In Ohio. In Cleveland. On Trevor St. IR really needs to think like a marketer. Ask your CMO what they would do with such a tool.

Targeting goals:

  • Build a balanced shareholder base: geography, style, percent held, dollars held, etc.
  • Place management in front of “qualified buyers”
  • Reduce volatility and gain fair value

Getting started points:

  • Learn who owns your stock. Does their historical approach match your perception of your attributes?
  • Understand your holders’ style. Does their style cut across all their holdings? GARP, growth, value, income, momentum?
  • Who owns your peers? Do they have a position in your stock?
  • What is the sell-side doing with your (and peer) stocks quarter over quarter?

At first, chances are you’ll be casting a wide net via email. Slowly, by tracking the response, you hone your targeting parameters… or even change your “sales pitch.” It is also important to understand that the 13F information is dated by at least 45 days by the time you receive it. Targeting a long-term, careful process.

It’s the quintessential “relations” part of investor relations.

What’s all this fussydoo* about Apple and RegFD?

Last week there was a bushel of securities law / capital markets conjecture regarding whether Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, violated RegFD with a rare mid-quarter update via an email to CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

“Obviously I can’t predict the future, but our performance so far this quarter is reassuring,” Cook wrote.

The media exploded with pundit-ism from every corner of the web, even touting the SEC’s 2012 social media relaxed view on RegFD. It all seemed to be an unnecessary “news-jacking” and knee-jerking reaction. Most of it was trying to make controversy where none was needed.

That email to Mr. Cramer was sent on Monday. Whether it was selective disclosure or not, Apple’s IR and regulatory teams had until the next trading day to correct any possible RegFD gaffe by simply filing a Form 8-K.


Form 8-K requires public companies to make prompt disclosures about a large number of specified events – including, as required by Regulation FD, a possible slip of non-public information in an exclusive, selective manner

Issuers need to ensure that they have in place disclosure controls and procedures that will permit them to monitor developments that could trigger a Form 8-K filing requirement. Apple certainly does. They have a top IR team and probably more in-house counsel than I can imagine.

Generally, a Form 8-K must be filed within four business-days after the day of the incident of a reportable (potential) material faus pax. The following table indicates the day of the week on which Form 8-K filings will generally be due under the standard four-business-day deadline:

Day of selective disclose Filing deadline
Sunday Thursday
Monday Friday
Tuesday Monday
Wednesday Tuesday
Thursday Wednesday
Friday Thursday
Saturday Thursday
Our free guidebooks discuss 8-k at great detail. They are free. Request your copy here.

Our free guidebooks discuss Form 8-k in painful detail. They are free. Request your copies here.

This is an 8-K at it’s most simplistic. As with any regulation, there are exceptions including:

  • Earnings announcements
  • Creation of a contingent obligation under certain off-balance sheet arrangements
  • Termination of employees as part of a plan to exit an activity The appointment of certain new officers
  • Material impairments identified in connection with preparation, review or audit of financial  statements
  • Temporary suspension of trading under the company’s employee benefit plans
  • Company’s decision regarding the frequency of future shareholder advisory votes on executive compensation
  • Voluntary disclosures
  • RegFD violation

Our free guidebooks discuss Form 8-K in painful detail. They are free. Request your copies here. Review our EDGAR services here.

*Not a real word used in securities law or capital markets.


74% of Buy-side analysts access news releases on their street portal

At the highest level, investor relations is not about disseminating news but more accurately delivering news to a defined – and contractually obligated – set of “customers.” These customers are, of course, investors and the contract is clearly the holding of issuer shares.

When this vocabulary of customers and contracts is used, it is fairly easy to see why the once greatly trumpeted “web disclosure for investor relations” fizzed out. In fact, it was not a topic at the NIRI annual conference this year.

Briefly, web disclosure is the SEC’s 2008 and 2012 guidance that allows issuers to use their corporate websites and/or social media as a Reg FD media. Sounds logical… especially if you are a communications pundit… however, it can be terrible customer service. Rather than placing material news releases within their Street Portal (Bloomberg, FactSet, etc.), web disclosure disrupts this professional workflow – forcing institutional investors and analysts to interact with issuer news ad hoc. That is the exact opposite of what these customers want.

What, me biased? Of course I want you to use a wire service. Preferably ours. To counter this slightly predisposed view, we commissioned a study from industry stalwart Rivel Research. Rivel surveyed 291 Buy-side analysts, worldwide.


74% reported they read / access issuer disseminated news releases within their capital markets Wall Street intelligence portals like Bloomberg, FactSet and Thomson. Place your news where the customer wants it. 

It is important to understand that analyst research is a mosaic and the surveyed North American analysts cited more than a single news source: directly from an issuer (39%) and general Yahoo!-ish news portals (14%) – totaling over 100%.

The take-away from this? If the attraction of web disclosure was the need to contain costs, I suggest you merge the strategy of your news distinction in unison as the strategy of the individual news itself… and then speak with your newswire representative – ahem – preferably ours. We have several clients that range from micro to mega-cap, who sculpt an intelligent, targeted high efficacy plan for their shareholder communications – including utilizing web disclosure.

As discussed here, spend where it drives your business to excel.