Corporate Eye

Talking to retail investors

What proportion of your investors are individuals? How are you connecting with them?

For Dell, that percentage is about 20%, and, as reported on the Dell IR blog, they’ve set up a series of opportunities for individuals to meet with investor relations professionals at conferences across America.

SAP do the same; you can find out where they’ll be on their financial calendar.

SAP individual investors
Telecom Italia TI ClubTelecom Italia

This seems like a good idea, particularly for those companies with a high proportion of retail investors. After all, the professionals often get a lot of attention …

This will be costly, particularly on a per-investor-head basis. Each of these individuals’ investments are probably pretty small, relatively. (Yes, I know there is a wider PR value in these meetings). Is there a way in which you could connect with the individual investors without having to travel out to meet them?

We’ve mentioned the Petrobras live chat sessions before.
Telecom Italia, for whom retail investors are 34% of their investor base, take communication with their retail investors very seriously. They have several pages of their corporate site dedicated to this group, as well as a specific website, which seems to be unavailable today, but the idea is that daily communication can be maintained between shareholders and TI. In addition, they have a third site, a club for retail investors, which can provide newsletters, a weekly stock market report, email alerts and daily text messages including the daily closing price of the share (ordinary and savings shares) and the change in price compared to the day before, in addition to the closing price of the S&P/MIB index.

How many retail investors have you made contact with this week?

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I am a specialist in online corporate communication and find this website exiting! My experience is that companies spends millions of dollars on building and maintaining their corporate site but have very few ways of measuring their performance. This brings me to Dell’s IR blog and the first question that pops up in my mind is; what is the main purpose for the blog, and what is the measurable value for the stakeholders AND Dell?


Henriette, you ask very good questions!

I think you are right, it is difficult to measure the performance of the corporate site without knowing what the measures of success should be. For an investor relations blog, I imagine that the purpose is to engage current/potential investors in a conversation, improving communication between the company and its investors, and market to investors indirectly, by making the company feel known, comfortable, and familiar.

Measuring that, though, isn’t easy. One good place to start is Groundswell, which I expect you are familiar with.

Have you found a solution?

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