Monday, November 06, 2006

The changing face of investor relations and the internet …

Ten years ago, when I started my firm our firm, Econ Investor Relations (prior to name change) offered public companies traditional IR and Pr services. Prior to using email on a regular basis and internet exposure, we would build a mail and fax list for shareholders and brokers following the company and send news out accordingly. We would republish news releases in Investors Business Daily, Barons and other investment papers and would see the shareholder list (NOBO) list rise in terms of number of shareholders. Direct communication by phone, following up, was critical. The internet played a minimal role in our services. In fact, my original website was It stood for “Analyzing Investors and Media “. AIM Mutual funds sent me a notice of suit for a Trade Mark Infringement for a substantial amount of $$ to change my website and relinquish the domain to them . It made no difference to me at the time, so I did in a heartbeat and was born. As it turns out, now that I understand the power of the internet, it was a much better domain name in the long run!

Times have changed… Fast forward to today…
We have re-positioned our entire business model since 911 and phased out of traditional IR/PR and now focus on positioning companies within their industry sector and no longer perform IR services (we no longer take calls or emails from investors and brokers specific to individual companies)
We now operate our business online and it is 100% of my business model. Everything else we do supports our hub of industry sector portals. The role has completely reversed from 10 years ago.

What we have learned in this transition:
We have found the life of a news release is shorter for investors – typically 2-3 days
Investors and brokers are very online savvy and can find news, research and info on the internet never found before
Message boards are more damaging to all parties than informative ( my opinion) and can be used to manipulate markets either way
The internet creates a more “fair” playing field for investors - news is immediate and so is disclosure in terms of requires SEC filings
Headlines with relevant key words are the most important part of the news release
Public companies that don’t keep their web site current , updated and search engine friendly are missing out on potential investors and business
The internet is a tool for inaccurate information- not only on message boards, so- investors need to determine validity of source
What’s hot in terms of industry sectors investors follow changes quickly – trends shift quickly from commodities to nanotech to renewable so staying on top of the news is imperative
Or… you can visit our site daily and sign up for some of our news letters and let us do part of the research for you

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