WE all have limited attention spans. Mine is about 20 seconds. Make an impression within those first few moments and I’ll give you more of my time. Squander it and I’m gone.
Harder still is to even get within my field of vision. There is so much information competing for my attention at any given time that I tend to be very focused on what I want to do.
I ignore extraneous rubbish, like banner adds and spam and PR pitches from people who think IR has something to do with infrared technology, which is curiously abbreviated IR (infra-red, get it?)
So when this company called Acergy S.A. caught my attention, it was something of a miracle. The odds were stacked against them and they still managed to get on my radar.
I don’t recall how it happened exactly. I was on Yahoo! Finance, doing something else, when the headline of their news release at 3:59 pm caught my eye:
“Acergy SA Annual Report and Notice of Annual General Meeting”
I clicked the headline to learn more and got a news release:
Usually, I wouldn’t bother, but that URL in the second paragraph held so much promise. I knew it would take me directly to the annual report, so what the heck. Let’s go see:
I don’t know anything about Acergy S.A. I think they’re Norwegian. And they might be in the oil services business.
I honestly have no idea. And I’m not going to bother finding out because I’m not downloading that PDF. I don’t have to.
Back. Back. Continue with what I was doing.
IR is a competition for attention. Acergy lost.
Their 20 seconds are up.
P.S. How much staff time and money went into producing that report? A lot, right? And the news release announcing the availability of the report costs more than the online version of the report itself! Doesn’t that tell you something about the quality of decision making at the company?