To pioneer independent micro-cap equity research in the digital age.
Our company exists because there is a major gap in the digital communications funnel between small-cap, publicly-traded companies and their existing and potential investors and shareholders. The Internet is the number one tool retail investors use to explore new companies and stocks with a unique value proposition, but it’s also the landscape small-cap companies frequently tend to neglect.
We have created a new approach to digital investor and public relations representation and communication by leveraging our competencies in web design and development, content crafting and distribution, search engine optimization, and fundamental and technical stock analysis and research capabilities and designations.
The investor relations industry is a highly fragmented, exceptionally shallow business. The success of any individual firm is directly proportioned to the relationships the principles of those firms have with buy or sell-side investors. These firms are small operations run by one of two principles, generally speaking. Their main function is consultancy and match-making, as they solicit their friends, partners and cohorts to buy shares in the companies they are being paid to represent. The end result is a wave of open market stock purchases – by insiders and stakeholders in the IR relationship.
The Investor Relations landscape of today is more akin to a country club than a profession. Let’s look at Pondel Wilkensen, one of the world’s most respected traditional IR firms. On their website, one of the first three service descriptions reads:
“Targeting and introductions to buy-and sell-side analysts, portfolio managers and selected retail and institutional investors”
It goes on to include:
“Assembling group and one-on-one meetings”
So their primary focus is to peddle whatever company’s stock they are representing at any given time to potential shareholders on both sides of the transaction. The assumed goal is to stimulate demand to boost the liquidity, share price and market value for the company.
They also act as conduits for investor and shareholder communications. That may include scheduling and proctoring shareholder calls, planning annual meetings, distributing proxy materials, and handling general investor or shareholder inquiries.
What’s noticeably missing from their offerings, however, is a comprehensive strategic solution for managing the company on the web. While a few IR firms claim to specialize in web design, the vast majority do not. The companies are on their own to establish and manage a front-end website not only for their customer, but for their shareholders and potential investors, too.
For large cap companies, that’s not a problem. They employ an entire team of web designers, programmers, and database managers to create, deploy and manage their web presence, usually in-house. But for small and micro-cap companies, especially those in the $0-$100 million market cap range (our target market), their resources are too constrained to build and monitor a robust web presence.
Our target market clients lack the ability, know-how, and strategic approach to managing a powerful and compelling web presence targeted and tailored for potential retail investors. They also lack the resources to fund these activities in-house or with cash. Further, they lack the operations and processes for a “content push”, or content distribution, and the systems and processes for measuring and analyzing the outcomes to re-engineer the approaches and strategies that are less effective.
Our current strategy is to exploit our founder’s experience and talent in web design and development, content distribution, SEO, and professional designations in offering a comprehensive solution to building and managing a company’s reputation for purposes of targeting existing and potential retail investors and shareholders. The biggest value in our services is our technology and the digital approach to IR/PR.
Our core competencies as it relates to IR:
- Web design and development
- Content crafting and strategic distribution
- Fundamental and technical stock and company analysis (CMT)
- Research reports
- Search engine optimization
- Graphic design and digital marketing
Our growing competencies as it relates to IR:
- Retail investor penetration
- Brand and crisis management
- Media placement
Our future competencies as it relates to IR:
- Traditional IR representation
- Road shows
- Shareholder meetings, communications and conferences
The public relations industry exhibits similar dis-organization and a chaotic, un-sophisticated approach to digital media and web presence. The success of PR firms also depend on the personal relationships and rapport the executives or principles of those firms bring to the table. For many traditional PR functions, like media placement, the success of any well-planned campaign hinges on who in the publication a PR representative is targeting knows, and whether that person has an interest in working with the rep or not.
For that reason and many others, the barriers of entry into public relations seem strong and tall. Without a far-reaching Rolodex for a PR professional to rely on, there can’t be much success. But the shift to the digital landscape can change all of that.
The rules and norms for tradition PR business practices don’t apply in today’s digital landscape, and that’s because the Internet is highly autonomous and doesn’t conform. Look at the success of companies like Amazon.com, a company that turned the retailing industry on its head. That’s because the nature of the Internet is flexible, but independent. That creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to create new business models that wouldn’t otherwise be wildly successful were it not for the digital landscape.
We can apply that same concept to PR. The foundational skills and competencies demanded by the PR industry for professionals haven’t changed – it’s simply the process that has. Successful PR companies must be led by professionals with a creative edge and the ability to identify, craft and then convey interesting and compelling stories.
An understanding and experience with the industry standards, both implicit and explicit, or news wire services and proper construction of press releases is a must. Traditional media placement requires the unique ability to engage editors and publishers with your client’s story.
But what has changed in the mode and the channel of distribution. The sudden rise of user-generated content in the last decade has re-distributed the balance of power from media conglomerates to small, independent websites with tremendous influence. Traditional PR firms who choose to ignore that trend are doing for the same reasons brick and mortar bookstore chose to ignore Amazon.com, or why Blockbuster chose to ignore the shift to on-demand digital video delivery by Netflix – because it forces expensive, drastic industry-wide change.
Our core competencies as it relates to PR include:
- Talented writing and skilled story telling
- A raconteur approach to digital content
- Distribution channel exploitation
- Analytical metrics to track performance
Our growing competencies as it relates to PR include:
- Channel development
- Media placement
- Depth and breadth or reach
- Retail investor penetration
Our future competencies as it relates to PR include:
- Traditional PR services
- Marketing and promotion
- Advertising campaigns*
*Note that these are less important, as they focus on the consumer of the product, not the investors