PR/IR Conversation, part 2
We're happy to bring you episode 3 of our Beyond the Hype podcast series. This is the second part of a discussion on PR and IR with Lois Paul, Jane McCahon and Mary Conway of Conway Communications.
This part opens up with a discussion on the appropriate expecations for companies that go public. If PR is to make a big impact because of an IPO, it is important for companies to build context and visibility for a year before the event. Many companies wait until a few months before they've filed for IPO to start a major PR push, and as Lois states, "it's too late", as rules dictate that there is not much they can say.
Jane shares her view that companies always underestimate the time and management attention that goes into the IPO process, especially despite how well-run a business has been in the past. The risk is that it diverts executives from running the business and delivering a good first quarter after going public. Mary adds that the time pressures on CEO's and CFO's change and become greater because of the quarterly reporting requirements.
The discussion then shifts to cover how to mitigate risks in financial communications. Jane states that knowledge of the rules and regulations is paramount. The risk stems from questions about timeliness of information and "how quickly things can unravel." The key is for IR to judge the potential for how a piece of information will move markets and to quickly communicate this information in as accurate and complete a manner as possible.
Finally, the group wraps up on the topic of IR measurement. Mary states that this is another case where IR and PR can be working together. For example, if IR knows when a company's planned stock sale is, PR can plan accordingly and consider what announcement the company can make to support it in a positive way.