Top 10 tips from our webinar: Communicating effectively during Covid-19

We were delighted to be hosted by Q4 for our webinar this week to discuss the need for clear and consistent communications during this period of crisis.

The session was moderated by Claire Mogford, Head of IR for Segro and IR Society events committee member, and we were joined by a panel of esteemed IR professionals providing their thoughts on issues such as investor communications, AGM planning and the use of technology. We also heard from Thomas Toomse-Smith from the FRC, who shared his perspectives on yesterday’s joint statement published by the FRC, FCA and PRA and the valuable research the Lab has been conducting into what investors want to see.

A replay of the webinar is available on the IR Society's website here.

Top 10 tips:

  1. Keep the market updated but restrict public announcements to those where there is new information to disclose and focus on quantitative over qualitative information.
  2. Maintain regular contact with shareholders, even if you are unable to provide specific information or guidance on forecasts.
  3. With events developing rapidly, make sure that your messaging remains consistent across all stakeholders and avoid selective disclosure of any new information.   
  4. All companies should be reviewing the joint statement and guidance from the FRC, FCA and PRA (published 26 March 2020). Read our summary here.
  5. The FRC Financial Reporting Lab had been running a project on long-termism. In light of recent events, investors are now focused on the next few weeks and months.
  6. In the near-term investors are primarily focused on company resources (cash and liquidity), the actions a company can take to manage its resources and ensure it remains viable, and how it can protect key assets and value drivers for the future.
  7. Make sure that information on your company’s debt maturity, liquidity and covenants is easily accessible and up to date, for example in the debt section on your website.
  8. With AGM season approaching, companies should review their Articles of Association and look carefully at what they are permitted to do.
  9. Hybrid AGMs allow the meeting to take place with a minimum number of people in the room. Where this is not permitted, companies may consider other options such as to adjourn or delay the meeting. AGMs require at least two shareholders to be physically present, although these could be employee shareholders.
  10. We are all adapting to new ways of working and this is an opportunity to integrate technology and new modes of best practice into the IR function for when we emerge from this crisis. For example, fine-tune the effectiveness of your remote working and virtual roadshow capabilities.

We’d like to thank our moderator, Claire Mogford, Head of IR at Segro and IR Society events committee' member, and our guests:

  • Emma Burdett, Partner – Head of IR & Governance at Maitland/AMO and Chair of the IR Society policy committee
  • Karen Greene, Investor Relations Partner at Q4 Inc.
  • Helen Parris, Director of Investor Relations at G4S and IR Society board member
  • Thomas Toomse-Smith, Project Director, Financial Reporting Lab at the FRC

Thanks also to Q4 for hosting the webinar.

Published 27 March, 2020

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