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How to Achieve Unified Messaging Between The IR and PR Department: Part 1

By   26 November 2013 One Comment

collaborationYesterday, I shared findings from A Digital Engagement Study, conducted by the Strategic Communications segment of The FTI Consulting Group. The study provided results from an online survey that evaluated the digital and social media practices of institutional investors and financial and business media professionals.

The main findings suggest that companies need to pay attention to how they disseminate information to their various audiences. The research also emphasized the need for consistent messaging and suggested that companies can achieve this by having the IR and PR departments work together.

What follows are a few ideas to help jumpstart the process of working towards an integrated approach to an online communications strategy.

ACHIEVING COLLABORATION

Integration requires good internal communication – which means keeping all communications staff informed about any new developments. One way that can help encourage interaction between the IR and PR groups is to have regular meetings – this will encourage dialogue and keep the lines of communication open between the two groups. Although it will largely depend on how your office is laid out (we are in an open concept) you could have both groups sit in close proximity to one another (on the same floor for example).

Recognizing the strengths of each group will help maximize the effectiveness of the messaging and showcase their expertise.  For example, materials produced by one group can be adapted to the needs of the other group.  Sharing materials that have already been developed will also help increase efficiencies as it will alleviate ‘reinventing the wheel’.

One way to foster a smooth convergence of the two groups is to have a person in charge of both groups who is engaged and strong.  Similarly, if the groups report in to different people, it will also help if the CFO, IR head and PR head are all on board with integration amongst the departments.  It may also help if the heads are a part of the management team, and the C-Suite supports and values communications efforts.

THROWING SOCIAL MEDIA INTO THE MIX

Typically in larger companies, PR and marketing use social media for product and consumer interaction.  That said, if PR is leading the social media efforts they should ideally still collaborate with IR on the messaging.  PR should also inform IR of any investor-related questions and IR should also be monitoring what is being said. In my opinion, if PR is sharing a lot of information on the company’s chosen social networks like Twitter for example, it may be best if IR has its own dedicated Twitter account.  This will help make it easier for people to easily access product vs. investor information.

Tomorrow, I will share 10 specific areas where IR and PR can collaborate.