By Farah Merchant, Global Disclosure Specialist, Business Wire
BNY Mellon, a global leader in investment management and investment services, conducted its ninth annual Global Trends in Investor Relations survey in late 2013. Nearly 700 companies from 63 countries ranging in different market capitalizations and industry sectors participated in the survey.
Below are some interesting takeaways from this year’s survey:
- The survey showed that only 27% of quoted companies globally are using social media to communicate with investors. Companies by-in-large reported not adopting social media because of “lack of investor demand” (61%). Other reasons were that management did not see the value of using social media (37%) as well as insufficient resources (33%).
- The only region that showed an increase in social media use as an IR tool was in Western Europe, where 45% were reported using social media, an increase from 32% the previous year. Developed Asia, on the other hand, was the most reluctant region.
- Twitter, StockTwits, Mobile Apps and Facebook were the more common social media platforms used, while other social media channels, such as LinkedIn and YouTube have shown a decline in the past few years.
- Another trend from the survey is the changing influence of financial media. Most companies still recognize the importance of global financial newspapers such as the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal but increasingly acknowledge that professional investor news services leveraging on-air or on-line environments such as Bloomberg and Reuters have more influence on their current and prospective investors.
- More than 84% of respondents (an increase from 58% in 2012) rated Bloomberg and Reuters as the most influential outlets while 52% declared the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal to have the most influence. Another area of growth is investor-generated media, the likes of Seeking Alpha and Motley Fool, which surged from 5% to 15% from 2012 to 2013.
- One final point I found interesting was the growing focus on expanding one’s shareholder base worldwide. Nearly two-thirds of the Western European companies surveyed said their top goal in 2013 was to diversify their shareholder base internationally. The same could be said for Emerging Asia and the Middle East too.
- In what could be perceived as a contradiction, more than one third of the companies surveyed admitted they do not distribute financial result press releases internationally. Also, very few investor meetings and conferences were held outside home markets.
The landscape of IR is constantly evolving and the results of this survey reflect these changes. IR professional’s need to continue evaluating the tools available, from new and existing social media platforms, to more traditional engagement methods such as press releases and investor meetings. Staying on top of trends in the global marketplace, and using all the tools available are essential for an effective IR strategy.
To read the full report, Global Trends in Investor Relations 2013: A Survey Analysis of IR Practices Worldwide, Ninth Edition, click here.