When considering whether to go public, companies face a wealth of important decisions.
Corporate leadership has to decide the best timing, the best strategy, and the types of professionals they need to bring on board to ensure the process goes smoothly.
They also need to develop a clear and concise strategy to effectively communicate the IPO to internal stakeholders, their industry, and potential investors.
Corporate communications during the IPO process are strictly regulated, so the strategy must be proactive in the beginning and cautious throughout. Following are a few tips to keep in mind.
The SEC enforces a quiet period during the IPO process that limits what companies can communicate to the public and their employees.
Penalties for violations during the quiet period may not stop the IPO entirely, but they can result in the SEC pushing back the listing. This reflects badly on the company and can scare away potential investors.
If you think this sounds complicated, you’re right. Many companies enlist the help of IPO services to guide them through the process and help them to avoid any pitfalls along the way.
Along with attorneys, accountants, and underwriters, these experts can become an integral part of your IPO team.
Whether or not you seek help with this part of the process, your company will want to carefully create a strategy to target key stakeholders and industry leaders before the IPO process begins.
Develop a solid message and remind your audience of it on all of the media platforms. Don’t hesitate to do interviews with major trade publications to remind everyone of your strength and your solid place within the industry.
In addition to these ideas, review your company’s website and other media platforms. Before beginning the IPO process, you want to be sure that your brand and your message are as clear and updated as possible.
Once people find out your company is going public, they will immediately begin researching your history and current position in the market. You want to be sure that your branding and your messaging are as strong as they’ve ever been and consistent wherever people may look.
Not only is it responsible to communicate to your employees what’s happening throughout the entire IPO process, but it’s also smart.
By focusing on internal communications as well as external ones, you keep the team informed and minimize the anxiety that often develops during a large change. Again, remember that some restrictions apply during the quiet period. However, that doesn’t mean that management needs to be silent.
Consider hosting employee appreciation events throughout the process culminating in a celebration on listing day. Make sure that leadership is visible to employees and accessible for questions.
Managers may even host a question-and-answer session to help employees understand the changes that are coming. Be careful about what you communicate to avoid sanctions, but be transparent so that your most valuable human resources aren’t in the dark.
Once listing day arrives, your communications strategy should culminate in a positive and hopeful message. Be creative in reaching out to a variety of potential investors and utilize all of the platforms to spread the exciting news. However, regardless of how the first day goes, don’t stop there.
You want to continue the communications push throughout the days and weeks following listing day. Maintain a social media post schedule that keeps your company trending as highly as possible.
Consider conducting interviews and strategize how to get those clips picked up by a wider media base than you normally utilize. Anything you can do to maintain momentum during this period will help your company continue to generate new interest and ideally new investors.
The IPO process can seem daunting at the outset for even the savviest management team. However, by enlisting help, hiring professionals, and maintaining an effective communications strategy, your company can sail through the process and arrive at listing day looking strong.
Strategize ahead of time and don’t underestimate the importance of a solid communications plan that avoids any SEC sanctions. Loop in your valuable employees and include them in the process. And don’t quit after listing day.
Maintaining a strong and exciting message can help your newly-public company to shine brightly for quarters to come.