One of the easiest ways to send a strong first impression to your Wall Street Community is to make it easy to start conversations. Although every company in the IRB 150 has a means to contact IR, it is surprising how varied the means are. This benchmark analysis provides the stats of how companies provide investor contact information.
Our strong recommendation of best practice is to clearly identify who the IRO is and to provide direct phone and/or email for that person. This is the ultimate in customer/investor service. You will not get nearly as many non-investor/unsolicited inquiries as you think. And if you have a good administrative process to handle those types of requests, it should be as simple as forwarding an email/call to the right person within the team to handle. The “inefficient” time spent doing that is a small drop in the bucket compared to the strong first impression made to a potential sizable investor who feels a lot better that their time will be most efficient since they are immediately corresponding with the right person. Plus, it sends the message that initial interactions to get up to speed are with the IRO, not the CFO. And this is key to a best-in-class IR program.
And somewhere in the past, it became vogue to have generic information on the IR website and more detailed contact information listed in a press release. In the opinion of the IR Barn, this is an antiquated practice. Be consistent and provide for ultimate transparency. That is, these two should be one in the same. Make it easy for the Street Community to get in touch with you.