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School of Business | Department of Communication | International Business Communication | 2014
Thesis number: 13652
"Do not surprise investors!" - Meeting investors´ expectations with IR communication
Author: Nummela, Nina
Title: "Do not surprise investors!" - Meeting investors´ expectations with IR communication
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Communication
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: viestintä; communication; yritysviestintä; business communication; suhdetoiminta; public relations; sijoittajat; investors; kansainvälinen; international; kumppanuus; partnership
Pages: 96
Full text:
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Key terms: Investor relations, IR communication, International business; communication, IROs, Stakeholder dialogue
Objective of the Study:

The main objective of this study was to examine to what extent the investor relations (IR) function can make companies more attractive investment targets and how investor relation officers´ (IRO) activities differ from investors´ expectations. In order to find answers to the main objective, the study consisted of three research questions related to creating competitive advantage, differentiating companies from each other among investors with IR activities, dialogue between the company and its investors and the future trends of IR communication in relation to social media, promotional language and analyst coverage.


The study utilized a qualitative research approach. Empirical data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with five institutional investors and five IROs in order to compare IROs´ activities to investors´ expectations. Five interviews were conducted in New York, the USA and five in Helsinki, Finland.

Findings and Conclusions:

The findings of the study showed that although companies´ IR practices were generally in line with investors´ expectations, there were some issues related to IR´s strategic role and IR´s cooperation with the management that could be improved. Investors and IROs also had some different opinions about the use of social media and promotional language. Instead, the findings clearly indicated that investors and IROs had similar opinions about non-financial information, such as building trust and long-term relationship, which were seen as fundamentals of the IR function.

Based on the findings it can be concluded that the deeper IROs´ knowledge is, the more valuable the IR function is for the company. The findings suggested that companies should emphasize the role of IR as a strategic function and strengthen cooperation between the top management and IR teams in order to develop deeper understanding of the company´s business and strategy for the IR teams. Finally, the findings indicated that new technology helps to reach investors of all sizes, especially the small ones, from all over the world. However, the present study could not give a definite answer how social media could be utilized as a part of IR communication in order to reach both institutional and retail investors.
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