Conversation on integrated PR/IR
We're pleased to bring you episode 2 of our podcast series. This segment is the first of a two-part roundtable discussion on PR and IR led by LP&P's Rich Wadsworth. Rich is joined by Lois Paul, and our partners Jane McCahon and Mary Conway of Conway Communications. They discuss the synergies that exist between IR and PR and the obstacles to realizing those synergies.
In particular, Jane shares her view that because of how the web has evolved, audiences for PR and IR have morphed into one audience, which creates an acute need to integrate communications disciplines. Mary adds that at the end of the day, public companies are in the market trying to sell itself, including to potential shareholders, on its full potential. To do this, she says, "it's not simply a numbers story. You need the messaging that layers on the potential long-term value of a company, that distinguishes the company, and makes it the preferred investment." She believes this level of information comes from PR and is another reason why PR and IR need to be integrated.
Lois shares how it is increasingly challenging for people on the PR side of the house to get more "storytelling" into financial announcements. She feels that this is rooted in a skepticism that CFO's and IR have of PR people because there is not enough understanding of the regulations that govern what kind of information to put in press releases beyond just numbers. As a result, Lois feels it important for PR people to be more educated by becoming members of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), for example, as well as to seek out expert advice when appropriate.
We will have part 2 of this discussion within the next week, during which Lois, Jane and Mary discuss best practices around an IPO and how to mitigate risks in financial communications.