First you have to listen. Investor relations professionals know the importance of listening to the investment community. To tell a story well, it’s important to have audience feedback. Therefore IR pros know the Perception Audit is an important piece of every investor relations program. Is the management team well-regarded, does the company strategy make sense, are the financials in alignment?
At LaVoieHealthScience, we routinely conduct perception audits and are sharing our 5 top tips to conduct an audit and generate actionable insights.
Who to target? Spread the net wide for the Perception Audit. Buy- and sell-side, holders and non-holders. This means reaching out not only to investors who have initiated a position, but also to those who have declined further interest. The best insight comes from understanding the viewpoint of those who like you and those who do not. For every responder, we estimate you’ll need 8 targets.
Questions to ask? Questions should be targeted to gain insight into the company’s management team, products, pipeline, go-to-market strategy and financial metrics. Importantly, life sciences companies have a distinct landscape that includes science, regulatory and clinical metrics. Be sure to ask when was the last time you heard the company story, what changed your view on the company, and how you prefer to get updates on the company.
Is it possible for an IRO to conduct a perception audit? It is, but just not of your own company. It’s best when a third party conducts the perception audit. Not only will investors provide more candid feedback to a third party, but also an independent company will provide more forthright recommendations. Let’s face it, the point of the audit is to use the feedback in a meaningful way going forward. Which firm to use? The best firm to use is the one that understands your company’s ecosystem. This is critical because the most useful feedback is obtained when the person conducting the audit can ask insightful follow-on questions. “Why do you like that add-on therapy? How do you see it becoming the standard of care?” As a corollary, the most useful recommendations are also based on knowing your company’s industry, investors and opinion makers.
Timing an audit? Some companies conduct an audit every year or two to see how investor perceptions change over time. A periodic study will capture changes in perception around your company, sector and overall market.
Management teams frequently make biased assumptions about how their company or product messages are perceived. A formal survey can serve as an essential reality check. With a candid view of investor feedback and deep insight into the life science market, we are able to make actionable recommendations to our clients.
Contact us today to start a dialog on how to ensure that your communication and IR program are on track to build recognition, maximize sales and optimize value for your health science innovations.