IR APPS: Is Investor Relation adequately using their technological resources? Guest Post by Kellie Duffy

If you need to check the correct conversion of money during your trip to Italy, there’s an app for that, want to block the number of your ex so you will stop calling them, yup there’s an app for that, too. From checking the weather and traffic, to checking your bank statements most things you need are all in the palm of your hand, but has Investor Relations (IR) reached their potential with using these applications?

Surprisingly, IR has yet to make any ground breaking effort to full integration of our app filled world. An industry reliant on getting information to a vast number of people at the same time, you may assume, would have apps being widely used and developed.

There is a website, theIRApp, focusing on quickly creating App’s for publicly traded companies in order to have information such as stock information, fact sheets, audio conferences calls, etc. available to whoever downloads their apps. The resources for companies to create and manage a smartphone app are available; it is up to the companies themselves and possibly the profession of investor relations as a whole to jump on board with creating the applications.

With most things involving Investor Relations, a big question and problem is with the regulations in place and making sure Investor Relations professionals and companies are abiding by them. If these IR apps were to become apart of the culture of publicly traded companies, I believe it would affect the way companies can disseminate their information while keeping in mind Regulation FD. These apps could potentially be the sole way to get information out to their shareholders and potential shareholders. Nowadays, most people have a Smartphone and the large majority is beginning to also acquire products like tablets that also rely on applications to draw in customers. App’s are what make these highly sought after products worthwhile, and companies as well as Investor Relations professionals should be aware that their current and potential shareholders have these products and use App’s for a lot of their day to day activities.  Keeping this in mind, they should push to make app’s for their companies a go to for information regarding potential investment and stocks.

As highlights, there are definitely some companies using apps to get information about their companies out there. One app is a Mexico based cement company, Cemex. I downloaded the free app for Cemex to see what it was all about, and it is a good example of what companies may look to focus on when designing and app with Investor Relations in mind. The home screen has all the fundamentals with tabs linking to “my needs, best practices, product documents, and contact us”. The Cemex app, which was created in 2010, is a positive framework for what an app can provide to potential and current shareholders.

Although there is some prevalence of these apps for IR, there still remains a lot of room to expand. With a focus on Relational Investing as well as importance of intangible assets, an app for a company with information on stocks, decisions companies are making and how it could affect shareholders, could no doubt, assist with creating relational investors in a company which in turn can create a more profitable and successful company as a whole.

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