If you build it, they WONT come

If you run your company well, build a good management team, hit your milestone marks, make some discoveries, and make some profits, investors and financial consumers will come knocking at your door to throw their money at you. After all, they want to be part of the winning team and could care less if you care about them…right?

Wrong.

There’s a BIG misconception with the old saying, ‘If you build it, they will come.”

With so many publicly listed companies out there, it really is difficult for investors to find the right ones to invest in. I can name 100 resource companies off the top of my head and the pitch is always the same: XYZ intersects this, XYZ discovers that, XYZ announces milestone. Seriously, how exciting is that?

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are guidelines and disclosure rules that apply but that is exactly why Corporations need to put more efforts into their stories and pitches.

I know that it takes a lot to run a public company. You have to deal with outside board members, the government, the securities commission, public disclosure rules and regulatory requirements. On top of that, you have hundreds, and hopefully thousands of investors watching you, plus the media and industry reporters, stockbrokers and analysts, all calling and expecting information and all wanting to know where your company stands. It’s crazy.

How the heck are you supposed to do all of that and run your company well, build a good management team, hit your milestone marks, make some discoveries, and make some profits?

The fact is you can’t. But you have to. So how?

It’s pretty obvious that the investor relations role has become an integral part of a public company’s success. Hate it or love it, a good IR campaign can go a long way. Despite this fact, it still amazes me that there are many companies out there that can’t tell you the first thing about their investor relations department or program.

Try this. Call a public company up and pretend you’re an investor. Then ask them, “Why should I invest in your Company?” I think you will be shocked when you hear the different answers. Do you believe the person answering your phone is giving the same pitch as you?

Then ask them, “What does their IR department do?” Nine out of ten times, you will hear, “to answer any questions you may have about our company.” Wow. How boring. Investors don’t just call companies anymore to simply “ask questions.”

They want reassurance. They want to know that they have made a sound investment choice. And it’s YOUR job to make them believe that – especially in these market conditions. As a leader of a public company, I am sure if there was a way to pitch your story and reassure investors one-by-one yourself, you would.

But let’s face it. It’s impossible for senior management to handle all the phone calls from their investors. If there was time for that, you’re probably not running your company very well.

That means you should start implementing the many different media and delivery options for getting your message out. Executive speeches and interviews are a great way to start but you have to do it on an “on-going basis.” I see too many companies spending thousands on a 30 second promo video and do nothing with it.

A promo video is great but investors want to see that your company is growing. Having the same video over and over again for a year will not do your company justice. Investors want to hear what YOU think about the economy. They want to see that you are still motivated and optimistic in this environment. They want to know that you are making progress. And they deserve it.

As a leader, you need to show them.