Investor Communications in Times of Uncertainty
The spread of the novel coronavirus epidemic has cast a cloud over financial markets and marked a tumultuous start to the year for many businesses. While businesses around the world have been moving quickly to navigate the rapidly-evolving situation, for listed companies, there is an added, inevitable need to start preparations for communication with external stakeholders as the corporate earnings season kicks off in the next few months. For those listed in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, the timing of disclosure will also likely be delayed, which injects further uncertainty into the financial community, in addition to concerns around business continuity and overall economic impact.
Communications professionals, investor relations personnel and leadership teams will need to be able to mitigate and respond to mounting concerns from the financial community and instill much needed clarity and as much certainty as possible in this uncertain situation. In this article, FTI Consulting highlights six key areas that business leaders should bear in mind when communicating with the investment community.
Work from the Inside Out
In difficult moments such as this, companies need to prioritise timely, quality and consistent communications with employees, vendors and partners. Apart from being an integral component of sound leadership, this will be key in ensuring all of the business fundamentals that the investment community values. It will also be a good litmus test – because if your own employees don’t buy into your position, message or initiative, it won’t succeed externally. Communicating internally will require both official and unofficial channels – learn who dominates the informal communications channels in your organisation, and engage them early and often.