American Funds: Call Me

Like a lot of people in my business, I have Bloomberg TV and CNBC on all day in my office. I like the ads almost as much as I like the stories.

The ads interest me because I can see, or think I can see, the marketing strategy behind it.

At the moment, American Funds, a prolific advertiser, is running and ad that makes my Spidey sense tingle.

The tingling comes from the voice over which says something like this proven, unique approach has resulted in a superior long term track record.

Could it? My experience on the marketing end of financial services is that even facts which are true can’t be said for fear of blowback. And here’s a fact American Funds is broadcasting to the world that would be very difficult to be true in absolute terms. read more

Investor Relations and Public Relations: Uneasy Bedfellows

The words investor and public relations roll off the tongue with such ease that it seems yet another confirmation the disciplines share a cozy symbiosis.

They don’t.

The notion that increased media exposure leads to increased investment rings false for issuers primarily focused on gaining institutional investors.

The reason for this is simple.  For equities, buy (and sell) decisions are primarily driven by earnings and earnings growth.  And with instantaneous access to new and consistently issued financial information every 90 days, spotting a meaningful, or at the very least an interesting change in earnings or earnings growth is easy.  In some cases, it’s just a matter of managing alerts. read more

Your Investor Relations Media Plan Made Easy

If you are a public company and trying to decide what media you should be focusing on, then the answer is actually very simple: Dow Jones, Reuters and Bloomberg.

That’s it.

Other earned media exposure, wherever, is not useless in support of an investor relations program, but it represents a very inefficient way to make progress.

This simple strategy, on the other hand, owes its existence to the denominator problem, which is this: the amount of time investors have to consume messages is fixed while the amount of information, and now content, competing for their attention i.e. the denominator — is growing exponentially.

Numerically, it’s not a happy quotient.

Therefore, to grab the attention of investors, it’s best to focus on media outlets that are integrated, literally wired, into their workflow. Dow Jones, Reuters, and Bloomberg all have trading and portfolio management news solutions, and they sell them aggressively all over the world.

By focusing on these three media outlets only, you can deliver exposure to your prospects through a medium that he or she stares at for eight to 10 hours a day.

Hey, who doesn’t love a broadcast interview? But if you don’t have the time (and really, you shouldn’t), the best, most comprehensive alternative strategy is, thankfully a straightforward one.

Read more:

CEOs Who Made Me Scratch My Head

In October, two CEOs made me scratch my head.  One in a questioning fashion, the other in an admiring fashion.

I admired Frank Bisignano CEO of First Data Corporation (FDC) for striding onto CNBC’s stage perched atop the New York Stock Exchange moments after his company went public.

OMG, every lawyer in the deal was probably having a coronary.

Silence and not conditioning the market after a public offering is a sacrosanct principal of securities law. At least, that’s how it’s been explained to me by legions of counsel over the years.  There is a fear that talking about any subject outside of what the prospectus says might be deemed as conditioning the market.  Then there’s a fear that the simple act of communicating, even if it’s what’s said is in the prospectus, might be deemed as conditioning the market. read more

What Is The Value of Media Exposure? Millions

Almost every prospective client I’ve talked to over the last 30 years has asked, ‘What is the value of media exposure?’ My answer: Millions. Few prospects take my answer seriously even though they should.

However, the current U.S. presidential race offers an unusual degree of insight into the value of media exposure. Here’s the nib of it: Donald Trump has spent just 12.53% of what Hillary Clinton spent for the period 7/1/15 to 9/30/15. Despite this he’s in the thick of the race and is leading the Republican pack. read more

What Wealth Advisors Should Say To Clients Now

With a dip of more than 11% in the S&P 500 since July 20 and continued volatility, what can advisors say to jittery clients?

For long term investors, nothing applies a calming salve better than a discussion about dividends.

Remember, during almost any 10-year period, approximately 40% of the total return from the SPY came from dividends.

Given this, a swoon in asset prices is concerning, but if dividends remain viable, there’s much, much less for investors to fret over. In fact, there are significant profits to be earned from dividends in a correction. read more

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