Strategic Communications

October 10, 2013

NYSE IPO Guide Cover

Preparing an IPO Communications Strategy

There is a strong temptation to view IPO communications as a listing-day event, meticulously planning for the inevitable publicity surrounding day-one trading. In reality, preparation should begin well before the registration statement is filed to ensure consistent messaging and a strong baseline of communications before the “quiet period” begins.

Although the IPO prospectus will be the primary selling document for the offering, investors and media will look as broadly as possible for further insight into the company, its business and its competitive position. The company should therefore conduct a thorough assessment of its brand and reputation, as perceived by customers/clients, employees, vendors, regulators, industry analysts and other key stakeholders as early as possible in the IPO process so that any remedial actions can be taken before it becomes constrained by quiet period rules. Generally, communications made more than 30 days before the filing of the registration statement will not be considered impermissible “gun jumping,” as long as they do not talk about the offering.

In particular, the company should review any public commentary about its financial results or growth prospects to identify discrepancies between what previously was disclosed/anticipated and the information that will be presented in the upcoming SEC filings.

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