Activist on Your Doorstep

What to Do When an Activist is on Your Doorstep

While even the best preparation cannot prevent activist aggression, it can put a company in the best position to convey its message to the institutional community and to reduce the credibility of the activist.

Focus on Clear Messaging

  • Use messaging that directly addresses activist assertions. Avoiding them gives investors the impression the activists are correct. Drive messaging that resonates with investors first and the media second.
  • Behind the Headline – Insist on having all the data you need at hand to execute your responses and prevent leaks.

Create Strong Shareholder Engagement

  • Engagement with shareholders must include the proxy-voting decision makers, who may not be the portfolio manager or analyst.
  • Shareholder research – understand voting guidelines, preferred engagement processes and identify voting decision makers.
  • Behind the headline – monitor all key influencers within your shareholder base plus sell-side analysts and bloggers.
  • Have a plan for ISS and one for gaining institutional support.

Use Media to Your Advantage

  • Leverage the traditional media and use digital assets (website and social media) to get the message out quickly – traditional media may tire of a story, but social media can be used to reinvigorate the messaging.
  • Create digital content and website to facilitate various stakeholder communications and drive stakeholders to one source for information to control the message.

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