Emperor Foundation
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Emperor foundation

Responsible business
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Responsible business

Emerging Talent
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Emerging Talent

Earlier this month, we participated in the London Stock Exchange Masterclass, ‘The New Butterfly Era: Successfully Emerging from the COVID Cocoon’. Discussions and debates focused on how companies communicate with their stakeholders in a post-COVID world.

Sam spoke on the trends we are seeing in investor relations around digitalization and the welcome integration of ESG (environmental, social and governance), while Toby delivered an energetic fireside chat on the role of social media in IR. The discussions covered a lot of ground, but five main themes stood out from the day:

1 Shifting audiences

Understanding your audiences – the information they look for and how they engage with it – should shape your corporate communications and IR strategy. An increasingly diverse range of stakeholders are interested in companies’ communications, as they look to understand the businesses behind the brands they interact with. Transparent and authentic communications, in a way that is accessible and resonates with all audiences, is the key.

2 Your gateway to a broader audience

With such diverse audiences, the first port of call will be your digital channels. Not reports and data tables. Your stakeholders want simple, digestible, engaging content that shows, rather than tells, them who you are and how you behave. Your reputation could be made by how you present yourself online.

3 Governance that is fit for the future

Companies must act now to get the right governance structures in place for board leadership in sustainability. As pressure for companies to develop robust ESG strategies and net zero commitments continues to mount, having a governance framework for long-term delivery is critical. Board effectiveness reviews, particularly around climate change and broader ESG matters, will ensure boards have the right balance of skills and experience for effective oversight.

4 The equity story within your corporate narrative

A compelling equity story sits within a broader corporate narrative. Companies need to have a clear understanding of their purpose and business focus, as well as the ESG risks and opportunities facing the business. This enables them to communicate a story to investors and wider stakeholders that balances the financial and non-financial, as a sustainable and responsible business.

5 ESG is complicated but digital can help

Because of the evolving standards and expectations, ESG can be complicated for many people. Digital communications can help by presenting your data through interactive charting, highlighting incremental progress through easily edited content, and providing real world stories that show how you’re building on your ambitions.

Finally, there was an acknowledgment that pressure on IR teams has never been higher or the scope of the function wider; and that IR and corporate comms really proved their value through the pandemic.

Watch the livestream from the day here.

At Emperor we are seeing a huge appetite for change with many companies wanting to look, articulate and engage differently coming out of lockdown. If you’d like to discuss any of the themes above in more detail or find out how Emperor can work with you to develop your communications strategy, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch with Sam Trillwood at [email protected] or Toby Bull at [email protected].