A good recipe for effective IR communication.
A good recipe for IR effective communication requires three essential ingredients:
- a cup of: how making the complex to simple
- some ounce of passion and manner
- some splashe of recurring improvement
IR people accept the task of taking a voluminous and sometimes complex set of facts and crafting a message that is useful for information hungry investors yet simple enough to be memorable. Telling the complex story of a company is often easier, but simplification is key to reaching your audience. There are three ways to make a complex story simple.
The first is to use analogy. Analogies will never fit your complex situation completely, so we suggest to going with the 80/20 rule: if it works for 80% of what you’re trying to get across, use it. Analogies must be tailored to be relevant and relatable to your specific audience.
The second way is by telling stories. In a typical presentation audience, 63% will remember stories and 5% will remember facts. Stories can be sourced by listening to your executives and the personal stories they tell day-to-day. Every person, every company has a story – it’s our jobs to find it and tell it.
Lastly, Using sound bites. As the noted astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communication Neil de Grasse Tyson says; “a good sound bit is informative, tasty, and makes the listener want to tell someone else about it“.
You have created a memorable and symple story, but, without the right delivery, non one will remember your message.
In a survey, attendees were asked if they preferred the content or the delivery of the talk they attended. A whopping 90% preferred the delivery, saying that content can be found later from other source. But where do IR Professionals sped their time? Mostly on content. In order to facilitate good delivery from your executives, hold them accountable for their delivery and involve them in story creation so they love the content.
Offering critical feedback to an executive is tricky. Key is to coach executives to be high performers without shaking their confidence.
We suggest to use the following tips:
- Always provide feedback within 24 hours
- Let your executive know their strengths, and replace the word “but” with word “and” (great delivery and….)
- Help your executive see what you see by using video (or audio). Avoid asking permission: tell them you’re recording and move forward gracefully
- Bring out the competitive side of your executive by showing them a fierce competitor who is doing well.
Cooking up a great IR story? When in doubt, use this recipe.