PENNY Herscher, CEO of FirstRain, a web monitoring company that scours the web for tradable information for investors, has posted an interesting chart on her blog showing how blogs were first with news of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ ill-health.
“This is an example of the type of thing we see in FirstRain all the time. Blogs are ahead that something is up. They are often written by specialists with inside visibility into what’s changing – in this case people close to Apple. News follows and the stock moves on news, but that’s the same time everyone else gets the information.”
Essentially, Herscher’s point is that the blogosphere and social networks like Twitter are giant expert networks. Investors will continue to mine these networks for tradable information and investment ideas.
IR departments should be thinking about how they can reach and engage with bloggers and other influencers. The good news is that there are many free and low-cost tools that can help.
The bad news is that it takes time and expertise to use them, and you still need to be doing traditional IR activities as well. Tough to do when budgets are tight, but I’d be looking for ways to cut traditional IR activities to allocate more resources to the future.