Keeping interpretational sovereignty in crisis
Through management errors, profit warnings or product deficiencies, a listed company can enter into a crisis – and must take a position in communicating with its stakeholders. As an expert on strategic financial-, ESG- and corporate communication with many years of experience in M&A transactions, cometis AG can advise you on all matters of crisis communication and helps you to master this exceptional situation with authority. Speed, reliability and openness are key factors in crisis communication. If these points are adhered to, this will tend to strengthen the position of the company in the public sphere. In order to prevent uncertainty in exceptional situations, preparatory measures are recommended. Developed recommendations for action and Q&A catalogs will help you to be better prepared for possible scenarios.
Bring investors on board with intensive IR work
In crisis situations, the people responsible for communication have a considerable burden, especially in large and listed companies. They are automatically in the public interest. If there is an IPO, the company is also obliged to its investors and must comply with legal regulations on publicity. Exchange-listed companies depend on the loyalty of their investors. In order to win and maintain investor confidence, intensive investor relations work must be carried out. This also applies to a crisis situation.
Crisis Communication provides transparency
In the analysis of the situation, clarification of the ad hoc question is primarily important. Ad hoc obligations include events whose scope could potentially affect the company’s share price. If this condition is fulfilled, all investors must immediately, without culpable delay, be informed of the facts through ad hoc communication. This communication may contain only the most important information and, for example, no quotes from the Management Board. It is therefore advisable, in addition to the ad hoc announcement, to publish a press release with a detailed opinion on the company’s view.
Building new trust through crisis communication
Crisis communication should in no case end with the publication of written communications. More important for the maintenance of the trust relationship with the investors is the personal contact via 1on1s or telephone calls. In a crisis situation, it pays to maintain close contact with investors. In this case, it is clear who should be contacted personally. Depending on the scope of the crisis, the Management Board should be available to the IR department as well. The form and scope of the call offer depend on the company size and the number of investors. For larger companies, it is a good idea for journalists and/or investors to offer a telephone conference and to actively seek dialogue.
Showing willingness to talk with investors and journalists
For smaller companies with a limited number of investors, individual talks are a common alternative. Both variants should be implemented promptly. If a telephone conference is offered, the time shift to the location of the investors may have to be considered. In any case, a crisis team should be determined to provide investors with information on the phone at any time. It is important for the company’s managers to present a clear package of measures to show that the situation is under control.
The interest in crisis situation will also be great among journalists. Important contacts in the media should therefore also receive the relevant IR communications. It is also necessary for media requests to be provided suitable contacts who can inform them promptly. In order to be able to authorize possible quotes at short notice, the release route should be defined in advance. Who can be quoted, and who is allowed to release these quotes?
Including stakeholders in crisis communication
In order to ensure the smooth running of the operating business and to maintain its reputation, the company should seek early contact with its own employees, customers and suppliers. The scope for speculation and uncertainty should be kept as low as possible in order not to aggravate the crisis any further. Here, too, the message of the crisis communication applies: “We have everything under control!”