ONE of the hottest discussions over the past week in the Investor Relations Executives Group on Linkedin asks whether investor relations pros send out holiday cards to their covering analysts and biggest shareholders.
Most of those contributing to the thread do send out holiday greetings cards, and offer various reasons for doing so. Those who don’t say they prefer to extend greetings during their phone calls and emails with individual analysts and investors over the holidays. Meanwhile, some send traditional printed cards while others use electronic ones.
Since discussions on Linkedin are semi-private, I’m not including names or companies but here are highlights from the posted comments:
Who gets them?
“We send to our top 25 holders and analysts.”
“In my former IR management role we used to send out holiday cards to all analysts and shareholders with a minimum shareholding (the top few hundred).”
“Yes you should send Holiday cards to analysts and shareholders but only to those that you actually know and have relationships with.”
Importance of personalizing the greetings
“Remember that analysts and investors are actual people so try to make the cards as personal as possible with real signatures from the IR team. In today’s compliance-laden environment, sending out a Holiday card is one of the best ways to generate a little good will towards your company without too much effort. “
“I send cards, each one with a hand-written personalized message. I’m trying not to be too repetitive or artificial. The idea is to be polite with people [with whom] I have good relationships.”
“In the case where I knew the respective analyst or shareholder these were personalized…… which was most of them given we spent an inordinate amount of time on the road face-to-face with them.”
“If the cards carry a personalized message – signs of actual human interaction – they can make a difference. The holidays are about spirit – not commerce – so make sure the spirit carries through. Otherwise it’s a waste of time, money and our planet’s resources – or worse – I think you can even damage a relationship if the exercise is pervaded by an absence of thought (trite card, no signature, no personalization, printed address).”
“Always sent electronic cards and received many positive email responses in return. Helps to reinforce your relationships. “
“Yes, we send out an electronic card to our top holders and to our sell side analysts.”
“Yes, I do too and you would be surprised that acknowledgments come from some unexpected quarters. It helps to establish ‘brand’ recall.”
Alternatives to holiday cards
“We stick to a quick “happy holidays” and related comments during phone calls or emails throughout the holidays. We do not view separate holiday cards as a priority.”
“For a variety of reasons, I did not send corporate holiday cards to investors and analysts, though I would include holiday greetings/well wishes in my normal course of communications during the holiday month.”
“I prefer to solidify relationships with hand-written birthday cards. The corporate Christmas card is just that. Another one to throw on the pile.”
And a quick holiday greeting from us
All of this talk of holiday greetings got us thinking about the many tools available on the web today to send electronic greetings. We slapped together this 30-second video featuring some of the most popular stories from IR Web Report over the past year using the free Animoto service.
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.