Notified Blog

A Look Back at the 2024 NIRI Annual Conference

The NIRI Annual Conference held in San Francisco from June 9-11, 2024 brought together industry leaders and experts to discuss pivotal trends and innovations shaping investor relations.

Among the standout sessions were the Express Talks hosted by Notified and TiiCKER, which offered deep dives into crisis management and retail investor engagement.

They offered a look into the future of IR and financial storytelling, with a strong focus on how to navigate the evolving landscape.

Keep reading to learn the top takeaways!

Crisis Management: Aligning IR and Communications Teams

Adam Christensen, Chief Marketing Officer at Notified, hosted an important discussion on crisis management that emphasized the critical need for aligning IR and communications teams.

Drawing from his extensive experience at companies such as IBM and PayPal, Christensen discussed the evolving nature of crises, including shareholder activism and financial disruptions.

He stressed that IR's role now includes messaging development, transparent investor engagement, reputation management and C-suite advisement.

Key takeaways from his session included:

  • Proactive Crisis Management. Only 49% of U.S. businesses have a formal crisis communications plan, highlighting the need for better preparedness.

  • Collaboration. Breaking down silos between IR and public relations teams ensures a unified response during crises. Christensen advocated for a collaborative approach where, "Everyone is the IRO and the IRO is everyone."

  • Scenario-Based Learning. Real-world examples, such as short-seller attacks and ransomware incidents, underscored the importance of integrated and proactive communication strategies.

  • Evolving Nature of Crises. Crises are becoming more varied and rapid, exemplified by the recent Silicon Valley Bank collapse.

  • Leveraging Technology. Utilizing tools, including generative AI, can significantly enhance crisis management efficiency.

  • Preparedness. Regular scenario training and clear decision-making roles are crucial for effective crisis response.

Christensen’s session underscored that while crises are unavoidable, being well prepared – and putting technology to work - can lessen their effect on a company's value and stakeholder trust.


Retail Investor Engagement: Key Insights From Dan Lotzof

During the TiiCKER-hosted panel, Dan Lotzof, Chief Revenue Officer at Notified, shared important tips on how to engage retail investors.

The discussion focused on getting retail investors more involved in proxy voting and boosting their loyalty to the company. Here were his main takeaways:

  • Engage Retail Investors in an Authentic Way

Lotzof emphasized that given their non-professional status, communication with retail investors needs to be direct and accessible.

For many companies, retail investors represent a significant portion of the shareholder base - and their engagement can have noteworthy impacts.

  • Simplicity in Messaging

Effective communication with retail investors requires simplicity. The complexity of financial information needs to be distilled into clear and digestible formats.

  • Proactive Communication Strategies

Lotzof stressed the need for companies to be proactive in communication. Instead of just monitoring discussions, they should actively engage retail investors through earnings events, webcasts, fireside chats and community interactions.

  • Adapting Investor Relations Websites

Most IR websites aren't user-friendly for retail investors. These sites should be improved to help non-professional investors easily find and understand information.

Lotzof noted, “We (Notified) operate 3,000 investor relations websites. I can tell you very few of them have been built for the retail investor.”

  • Engaging Content Format

The content shared with retail investors should be engaging and concise. Short, five-to-15-minute videos or interactive assets are more effective than traditional hour-long earnings calls. The goal is to maintain engagement and ensure information is retained.

  • Multi-Channel Approach

To effectively reach retail investors, companies need to employ a multi-channel approach. This includes not just emails, but also display ads, social media ads and frequent updates. Multiple touchpoints increase the likelihood that messages will be received and acted upon.

The Role of AI in Investor Relations

Several sessions at the conference explored the growing role of artificial intelligence, including its transformative potential for IR.

Key insights included:

  • Earnings Call Preparation. Generative AI tools can assist executives in preparing for earnings calls by analyzing financial reports and identifying key trends.

  • Sentiment Analysis and Improvement. AI can assess and improve sentiment in practice management presentations and earnings calls by providing feedback on tone, sentiment and overall presentation.

  • Current State of AI Adoption. AI is not yet fully operationalized across organizations. Many companies still limit or prohibit the use of AI tools, though employees are independently adopting them to manage their workloads.

  • Legal and Ethical Considerations. Legal teams should facilitate AI implementation, ensuring ethical use and compliance.

Closing Remarks From NIRI 2024

As the IR field continues to evolve and adopt new tech tools, staying on top of trends and understanding best practices will be crucial for success.

The insights from this year’s conference provide a robust framework for navigating the complexities of modern investor relations while ensuring responsiveness, transparency and proactivity. 

Thanks again to NIRI for putting on such a world-class event, see you next year!

Want more best practices? Download your free copy of our new guide - we cover everything from earnings calls and IR websites to AI and ESG.

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