Technology, the Flu, and Investors

29 April 2009

The recent outbreak of Swine Flu and its spread throughout the world has taught us a lot. Many are drawing parallels between the recent outbreak and the pandemic flu of 1918. However, a lot has changed since 1918.  Aviation technology has meant the spread of the actual virus is faster and more widespread. On the other hand, information technology has allowed for information about the virus to move around the world more efficiently and effectively than in 1918.

Websites, internet news feeds, Twitter feeds, Youtube videos, 24 hour television news reports, cell phones, instant messaging, and much more. It has all made us more aware of the situation and more equipped to make individual and collective decisions.

Now, imagine for a second that you as an IR executive were able to effectively use technology to get important information to investors and analysts in a timely and consistent manner.

Let’s say your CEO resigned today….unexpectedly.
You have hundreds of calls from people asking thousands of questions.
You and your team issuing a press release, returning emails, and answering phone calls is not a scalable approach in today’s world. Someone, somewhere is going to be left wondering why they never got a call back (and it’s usually someone important).

Technology, and specifically social media, is all about scalability. A consistent message can be issued by one person (the IRO) to thousands of people (analysts and investors) at the same time. Rumors can be addressed, questions can be answered, clarifications can be made, and even mistakes can be quickly corrected.

In today’s IR world, technology matters.

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