Scott Berkun – How to write well, instantly, every time


His Blog post is here

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Nancy Duarte interviewed at Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2011


Some very smart questions we should ask ourselves

Creative Mornings with Mike Monteiro


Might be NSFW (depending were you work. But it’s well worth it.

Q4 Webinar – IR Website Best Practices to Optimize your Online Presence


In this video, Catherine Crofton, Q4’s VP Sales & Marketing outlines 7 specific recommendations that companies can do to use their website more strategically including:

1) More effectively emulating the real conversations and experiences with investors. 2) Marrying what users want to find and what you want them to see. 3) Using your corporate site as your ‘investor’ site. 4) Using your investment story and objectives to drive the site structure, content and features. 5) Addressing the continuum of relationships and consider all audiences. 6) Making the information more interactive. 7) Be where your audiences are and use new tools like social media.

Video: Social Media & Investor Relations Trends


by Darrell Heaps

A Webinar from Q4 Web Systems that focuses on the current trends in social media and investors relations. Learn more at q4blog.com.

A FIR listener comment


This is not directly related to investor relations, but rather a comment on a subject proposed during the For Immediate Release podcast produced by corporate communications mavens Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson. I guess that I can take the opportunity and recommend to the few IR people that care to read this (and the fewer that would consider a recommendation made by me): this is a awesome show and a must for any and everyone interested on business communications, on technology and on the use of tech on biz communications.

Anyway, during episode 534 Neville introduced this service called Fraxion Payments and, as the shows normally goes, discussed it with Shel. Nobody was particular sanguine about it but they apparently saw some worth in it (“nice but not for me” seemed to be the reaction.) They even joked a bit about charging people to listen to FIR past a certain point (just a joke, the show is free.)  Well, my personal reaction is that, for the vast majority of the cases, a bad and the most myopic idea I’ve heard on a very long time. And the reason is quite simple: blogging is a social media and social media is, as we’ve been told over and over and over, about the conversation. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready, not just yet, to pay to have conversations.

Just to make my case, consider Shel and Neville’s joke about a paid podcast. Imagine they would have charged for each listener of each 500+ episode they have posted. As a matter of fact, they should go ahead and have charged for each listener comment they’ve aired, just because they are allowing us to have a voice. And they should’ve charged Eric Schwartzman and Dan York for the honor to contributing to the show. And they should also have charged each and every person interviewed by them over the past five years. Of course they should. And they would have collect a few nickels, I supose. But then they would probably not be selling as many books, or getting as many consulting gigs, or giving as many talks on conferences and stuff. They would not be seen as the voices of authority they are. Just because they were not giving anything away for free (and, by the way, this is based on a very funny rant by web celebrity Merlin Mann.)

Yeah, I know, guess you could have a WordPress site that is not really a blog and not really about conversation and where charging would make sense. But then how would this be any different from any other walled garden solutions that are abundant today? It is not.

Telling a good story is no easy task. Don’t make it harder.


 

It is pretty common to see IR practitioners worrying about the 10.000 feet high stuff: the IR program, investor targeting, websites, annual reports and such. IR consultants talk about these things all the time. No arguing here, these are indeed important things to get right.

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that you’ve done everything right: you have this stellar website that attracts all the attention, your AR is a great starting point and your targeting was on spot. There you are, sitting right in front of this investor that has the mandate and the desire to invest on your company. Here, the cliché goes, the rubber meets the road: you have to make her time investment worthwhile by telling her a good investment story.

Now, if only you would have spend a little more time developing that story, becoming more fluent at telling it and investing a bit of money to present it in a more professional manner.

Many years spend as PM/analyst have taught me two things. First, that presentations are the single most boring business activity there is (and IR presentations are “kill-puppies” boring.) Second, that it is possible to fall asleep at virtually any presentation, even during a one-on-one meeting.

The fact is, it always amazed me how many IR’s did not have a clue to what I, as a PM/analyst found important in their story. They were always trying to explain me their product or showing me picture after picture of their factories in far out locations. The question really is: how far can an IR program go if the story telling at a personal level is relegated to an afterthought? No much far, I would argue.

This rant comes after an absolutely awesome webinar I had the pleasure to attend to today, “Presenting Yourself, Your Business and Your Cause in 15 Minutes or Less,” by @scottschwertly from 3Ethos. He is one of many people that have been changing this presentation biz for good. I mean, have you ever seen a TED presentation? Compare it to your typical CEO / CFO / IRO presentation that was inflicted upon you at the last broker conference you had to so time to spare.

The biz of presenting is undergoing major transformation and IR people must pay attention. If you are interested, I would recommend, besides Scott, a look at Garr Reynolds’ (@presentationzen) Presentation Zen blog and at Nancy Duarte’s (@nancyduarte) Duarte Design and Slide.ology sites.

There is no excuse to have a poor presentation. It is like a tennis player that can’t serve. Much like the tennis player, this is the one situation where you have the most control of all the variables: where to start, how to lead, what the pace is, what to skim through and where to dig deeper. I mean, that’s why you spend all that money and effort targeting, right? Your presentation, including the visuals, printed materials AND delivery, must be top notch. No less. You may not (and probably do not deserve) get a second chance.