Friday, May 23, 2008

Investor Relations 2.0

Its possible now to use modern digital communications to have a dialogue with:

  • Customers
  • Influencers
  • Press/Journalists
  • Students
  • Potential Employees
    and so on....

But how about using social media as an Investor Relationship tool?

Well, this is what Dell have done when they set up their Investor Relations Blog at:
http://dellshares.dell.com/

Set up after a drive by Michael Dell to understand opportunity better and winning back investor confidence, this was seen as a good way of engaging with shareholders and the wider financial marketplace.

When launched on 1 Novemeber 2007 (and even now) IR blogs were few & far between. However, leaning on the success of Direct2Dell (where Dell has really learnt about the power of blogging) and observing the general increase in the blogosphere, the aim was to evolve & learn, providing "Ubiquity and Democracy of information", meaning delivering equal and accessible information to as many people as possible.

Now, there are regulation issues for any large company. Fair disclosure using social media is a tricky area - all the same regulations apply. But it doesn't change what you say, you obviosuly have to understand that you're having a dialogue. You can obviosuly cover general issues and not just financial ones and provide what Lynn Tyson, VP of Investor Relations at Dell calls:

"something beyond just the balance sheet"
So, is it successful?

Yes! To date the site has consistently grown and from the topics covered is obviously providing a better understanding of Dell. Its also getting a quality dialogue from the comments it recieves.
To quote Lynn Tyson, creator of thier IR strategy called "21st Century IR"

"There is little downside to the conversation"
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