Investor Relations is a function used by companies to compete for capital by creating relations with investors. It is a young function, earlier practiced by the same people who had responsible for exercising the Public Relations.
Investor Relations has evolved a great deal lately but there are still no concrete theories behind the function. The aim though is clear and there are literature explaining how to practice the different parts. The most research within Investor Relations uses the theory of Relationship Marketing. Lately the two authors Hägg and Preiholt have started to examine what they call Financial Marketing since Investor Relations is about relations between actors on financial markets primarily.
In this paper, we examine the aspect of information in Investor Relations. Communication is very important for good results. Therefore it is essential that the information given to the different stakeholders is understood by everyone.
The first questions is whether the information is really distributed to everyone. For this there are several legal restrictions who make sure that, at least the companies noted on the stock market, release information that can affect the stock price in a manner that is considered reaching all the stakeholders at the same time.
The second question is whether the level of the information is low enough for everyone interested to understand. There is a tendency to insert a text box in the annual reports where some words and concepts are explained. The companies bring more complex notions into discussion when the information regarded is communicated only with more professional agents, like analytics for example.
The third question treated in this paper regards how willing the noted companies are to share information beyond what is required by the legal restrictions. More than half of the content of the annual report consists of additional information. The companies are generally very open to the public and do not mind sharing information. Among the factors that stand in the way of this are first of all the question of resources, primarily financial ones. The second factor is the increasing legal restrictions. To make sure all of restrictions are being followed correct, both the resources and the creativity have to take the downside.
There is also a matter of deciding what more information needs to be communicated and shared. The companies might feel that the regulations cover about everything and no more additional information is necessary. It is up to the management of any company to decide what information to communicate, how and when. Generally it is considered that the information is being well distributed to everyone interested. The problem is that not every single shareholder is really interested.
In the financial market, the information is available for everyone and free to acquire. By only a phone call one can ask the CEO anything regarding the company. The primarily difference between those who are in possession of more information than others is as simple as that they spend much more time on collecting and analyzing information. In combination with their past experiences and their professional knowledge they get an advantage.