A perception study has become part of the standard IR programme for many public companies. It should highlight the good, the bad, and the ugly about a company’s IR efforts and its reputation.
Conducting a perception study
A perception study is conducted among the financial community (financial analysts and institutional investors and sometimes the financial media). A perception study will identify the strengths and weaknesses/challenges of an IR department and benchmark the performance of the IR team against sector peers.
The direct feedback from investors and analysts can be used to improve the IR strategy as well as to pro-actively improve the quality of the IR programme.
Typical topics to look at
Subjects to be discussed in a perception study are business strategy (e.g. strengths & weaknesses), investment case, stock-related issues, performance of management and the quality of financial communication/ disclosure.
A perception study can be conducted qualitatively (e.g. telephone interviews) or quantitatively (e.g. questionnaire with closed and open questions), while a combination of the two is possible as well.
Using the output
The outcomes of a perception study will provide valuable information for fine tuning a company’s messaging and IR strategy.