Kim Paone
By Kim Paone on June 13, 2024

Key takeaways from Highwire's panel on IPO communications and marketing strategies

Highwire recently hosted a panel to discuss the nuances of IPO communications and marketing strategies. I was honored to participate alongside this esteemed group:

The discussion provided insights into the current IPO market which is showing signs of starting up again, the communications process leading up to a listing, and best practices for ensuring a successful public offering. Here are four takeaways communications and marketing professionals ramping up for an IPO need to know:

1. Start early and build a strong foundation. Preparation for an IPO should begin at least two years in advance. This involves establishing a clear strategic plan, aligning messaging, and maintaining a high cadence of news and content to build momentum. Companies should operate as if they are already public, ensuring all financials are verified and having necessary media materials ready well in advance. Companies should also engage in extensive market research to understand investor and media sentiment around the company and the category. Furthermore, it is crucial to have internal alignment and trust between the communications team and legal team.

“Starting earlier is better, no matter what.”

-- Hannah Blackington

2. Partner with a robust and experienced advisory team. This team should include investment bankers, legal advisors, and public relations experts who can navigate the regulatory, investment and media landscape and market dynamics. Effective communication with all stakeholders, both internally and externally, is essential. This approach helps to mitigate last-minute challenges and ensures the company is well-prepared for listing day.

“It starts with trust, and building those relationships early -- with your agency, your legal team, and your executives to build a cross-functional team.”

-- Natasha Woods 

3. Understand the evolving landscape of media and communication channels. We discussed the growing importance of leveraging various platforms such as YouTube and podcasts to reach broader audiences. While traditional media outlets remain critical, new platforms offer additional opportunities to tell the company's story and build credibility. It’s important to take a strategic approach to selecting media outlets, balancing between deal reporters and long-term relationship-focused reporters to maximize coverage and maintain ongoing media relationships post-IPO.

4. Storytelling even after the IPO. The IPO is just one milestone in a company's journey, and maintaining momentum through regular updates, trend-jacking relevant news, and leveraging quarterly earnings to keep the company in the spotlight is vital. Companies must stay ahead by planning for future news events and trends to ensure sustained media attention and investor interest. This holistic and forward-thinking approach to IPO communications and marketing can significantly enhance a company's long-term success in the public markets.

“The IPO is one milestone in the longevity of the company.”

-- Natasha Woods

In summary, by starting early, building strong internal and external relationships, leveraging diverse media platforms, and maintaining continuous engagement, companies can effectively navigate the IPO process and position themselves for long-term success. If you’re interested in learning more about how Highwire can help you prepare your communications program in anticipation of a capital market event, let's talk.
Published by Kim Paone June 13, 2024
Kim Paone