One of the most common criticisms of earnings conference calls is that they're just too dry. Financial analysts can read the content of an earnings release themselves. During a call, they're really trying to dig down on the thinking behind management decisions. So with all the things you have to cover on a call, how do you make the content engaging enough that people will want to listen? This quarter, we suggest using these six methods to improve your earnings call and make it genuinely useful to both buy and sell-side analysts. In short, if you want to run an innovative earnings call that gets noticed, here's how.Step inside
'You've only got to mess up once. Be a little slow, a little late, just once. And how are you never going to be slow? Never going to be late?'. Timing is everything. The right message, delievered after it was needed is no good to anyone. But the right message delivered too early isn't any better. Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review suggests that public companies aren't timing their earnings calls to meet the needs of their listeners. The big thing everyone seems to have missed is the opportunity for afternoon earnings calls to be a big hit.Step inside
Earnings calls barely have anything to do with earnings. The numbers are released the day before the call, along with a summary of how management got there and a (usually charitable) description of their significance. By the time the line goes hot, the numbers are public knowledge, and everyone listening in has read them. Buy-side analysts aren’t tuning in on call day to hear the numbers, they’re tuning in to hear management read them. It’s an opportunity for analysts to hear management’s process, their outlook, their methods, and their presentation.Step inside
Buy-side analysts want information. More than that, they want information directly from your investor relations department. Some great research from Rivel (blogged about by Q4) shows that 79% of buy-side analysts trust corporate websites over external sources . What does this mean? Simply, that buy-side analysts want to hear from your company. They're not looking for your story to be muddied by the link-baiters of the world. Here are five examples of companies who re-purpose earnings release content to deliver buy-side analysts the information they crave.Step inside
Where do buy-side analysts most want to hear management speak? Earnings Calls.  And in particular, the Q&A section of your company's quarterly earnings call. That means you only have four opportunities every year to reach buy-side analysts when they're listening most actively. Below, you'll find the top 6 ways analysts listen to earnings calls. We're yet to see anyone listening by a conference room door, but I suppose its possible.Step inside
There's no easier way to attract criticism than with a bad earnings call. Let's face it, you don't have a lot of control over the facts and figures being discussed, but that doesn't mean the earnings call isn't your responsibility. Remember, this is one of four serious opportunities for senior management to talk directly to buy-side analysts each year and it needs to go smoothly. This of course means keeping your management team on-message. But that message needs to be heard. Here are our tips for achieving the best earnings call sound quality possible.Step inside
Earnings calls are the showpiece of a company’s IR program. Investors use them as an opportunity to review the previous quarter’s activities, management’s strategy, and its implementation. Almost as importantly, these same investors are assessing the people tasked with its implementation.
The difference between a clean, sharp presentation that leaves the management looking capable and under control and one that feels like watching a bad movie is almost always preparation. As an IRO, this is one area where you can have a big impact.Step inside
Perhaps 'CRM' is actually the wrong word here. But whether you call it a CRM, Investor CRM, or even an excel spreadsheet, the point is, you need to track investors and your progress with them as part of a concerted effort to improve relationships and gain trust.
So what CRM tools are most useful to you in this endeavour? We'll explain and provide some examples below.Step inside
Forbes Magazine is about as old-guard-financial-press as you get this side of The Wall Street Journal. They recently syndicated a post from the SalesForce blog explaining that what a public company says in Social Media can have a clear impact on the habits and practices of investors. As usual, Forbes has chosen well in terms of an expert to lean on. SalesForce continues to be an industry leader in business communications and client management. But the shift in thinking at Forbes online serves to illustrate the reality that Social Media for investor relations is here to stay.Step inside
Television has made a cottage industry of shows that take a rather plain and drab looking room, house, car, or person, (I believe there’s even a dog makeover show) apply some simple and inexpensive changes, and transform it into a sharp-looking, enviable specimen of its former self. The high point is always the reveal. When makeover jobs are done correctly, the contrast between the 'before' and 'after' is stark, despite very little material or work having been expended. Impression is about presentation.Step inside