Investor relations doesn’t need to be so boring

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Can you remember your favourite investor communication of all time?

Stupid question? With a couple of notable exceptions like the Amazon and Google IPO letters, investor communications tend to be unnecessarily dull and corporate. There’s no real sense of excitement in taking investors on a path with you. It’s dull!

Investor relations shouldn’t be so damn boring. There’s no sense of excitement, no sense of momentum in what the business is doing.

Why do we use dehumanising, boring language and buzzwords when speaking to investors? There’s no really good reason, other than that’s the way it’s always been done.



Merry Christmas / Summer Reading List

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Before I wrap up for the year I wanted to take a few minutes to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

It’s been a big and exhausting year for many of the people we work with – so I hope you all have the chance to rest, relax and enjoy some well deserved time with family and friends.

I love a bit of time reading over the summer break. So I’ve collected some of my favourite things I’ve read and written over the past year.

Maybe you’ll find something to read and enjoy over the break. I hope so.

Merry Christmas,
Steve Pell

A Summer 2016/17 Reading List

Published @ Thought Leadership Partners

My main adventure day-to-day is building the profile of CEOs – most of whom run fast growth technology businesses. As part of this work I write regularly on CEO comms and marketing. Some of the pieces that have resonated this year:

Published @ Management Disrupted 

Many of you will know Management Disrupted as a side project where I interview interesting Australian CEOs. There were a bunch of fun interviews this year including: Martin Hosking (Redbubble), Collis Ta’eed (Envato), Simon Lee (PromisePay), Tim Fung (Airtasker), Didier Elzinga (Culture Amp) and Jason Wyatt (Marketplacer)

Some broader reading I really enjoyed in 2016: 

Three articles that made me rethink my perspective and changed the way I look at the world in a small way:

Two newsletters that I’ve loved this year are

  • Nextdraft – A daily newsletter that’s never boring
  • Marketoonist – Weekly cartoons on marketing and communications

Two books that have kept me thinking all year:

  • Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt. Perhaps the best business book I’ve read in the past five years. A powerful reminder that strategy is much more than a buzzword or synonym for success. Simple, practical and more insightful than most business school courses on strategy.
  • You Are the Message by Roger Ailes (founder of Fox News). Even if you deeply disagree with Ailes politics and personality, it’s impossible to ignore the impact of Fox News on the media and political landscape. A practical guide for how to communicate in the current environment.
Let me know what you enjoyed – I’d love your feedback.

“I really love all this industry jargon”

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The best language to communicate to your stakeholders in is the language that they use. A big part of this challenge is avoiding industry jargon in presentations, the media and published content.

Like a lot of others, I love the Einstein quote:

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

It’s really easy to confuse complex thinking/ideas with complex language. Most of us naturally love complex, sophisticated ideas. All of us can tolerate a surprising amount of complexity when the concept is described in simple language.

But when we watch someone use deliberately complex language to describe anything, the result is usually… snore.

The best communicating CEOs use simple language to connect across a broad set of stakeholders. They interpret and sense-make the complexity, and make it easy for anyone to understand.