Today marks a pivotal day in the 28-year history of Designate. The strategic partnership with advisory firm Morrow Sodali is a critical move to build more relevant and sustainable investor brands through a deep understanding of what investors seek, value and reward.
Over the years, our work with some of Australia’s largest listed organisations has focused on building, developing and growing strong investor brands to help our clients engage with investors, employees, suppliers, regulators, communities and other stakeholders. While different groups seek different information, our priority is to clearly convey our clients’ organisational purpose, the strategy to achieve such purpose and how it creates value for all stakeholders.
In order to communicate with such a diverse audience, key engagement platforms include corporate websites, annual and sustainability reports, results presentations and social media channels. The ability of these companies to leverage these platforms determines how they create meaningful and lasting engagement.
This partnership brings remarkable new tools, resources and relationships to reinforce Designate’s position as Australia’s corporate brand and communications agency.
Investors are the primary audience of investor brands. As an asset of business strategy, a strong investor brand must build trust among shareholders, paint a picture of the future and define a path to get there. It’s part value creation, part risk mitigation.
However, investors can be an elusive audience – hard to reach and even harder to read. Understanding what drives and influences them, what they reward and what they penalise, can be critical to build a more relevant narrative. A narrative that cuts through the media noise and speaks to their genuine motivations and concerns. This is true for large institutional investors but also, increasingly, for retail investors with strong views and a powerful voice.
Morrow Sodali are experts at gathering and analysing this investor intelligence, whether it is prior to a large transaction, an AGM or a critical vote. Their dedicated call centre and team of analysts know how to engage with investors to extract and distil key insights, defining a clearer picture of the landscape in which decisions are made. Working together at the early stages of a brand refresh project or reporting suite can help the Designate team develop more relevant positioning and messaging, leading to more compelling creative outcomes
Over the past 20 years, global financial markets have been continually integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investing and reporting. To minimise the risks associated with access to capital and to reinforce their social license to operate, companies are being asked to craft more nuanced narratives, as more investors are making decisions based on factors like diversity, sustainability and community engagement.
With higher investor scrutiny, an increasing number of companies are seeking expert guidance on ESG: what to report on, how to measure it and how to embed it in their communications to create a more appealing investor proposition.
Morrow Sodali’s team of ESG advisors work with many ASX-listed companies to help them navigate this process, including a thorough materiality assessment, the organisational changes required to conduct accurate data gathering and the most suitable reporting framework given their context and strategy.
Today, corporate brands and listed companies are in constant dialogue with a wide array of sophisticated audiences. Investors, proxy advisors and ESG Ratings Agencies, employees, customers and the wider community all expect them to take clear stances on diverse issues ranging from sustainability to corporate responsibility.
Proactive stakeholder engagement is essential in this environment, where silence may be misconstrued as a statement and inconsistencies in messaging are soon exposed. In practice, this means companies must adopt a 365-days-per-year approach, rather than focus solely on their reporting suite or AGM. Social media platforms become more prominent, and video, infographics and animation play a pivotal role in making information easier to understand and remember.
The partnership with Morrow Sodali will help Designate create and implement this ongoing communication approach with many of our clients, bringing creative excellence to every relevant touchpoint, in digital, print and events. The goal is to ensure clarity, authenticity and consistency, so that a company’s value creation story can reach the intended audience successfully.
The result of the Designate-Morrow Sodali partnership is a holistic offer that builds strong and recognisable investor brands supported by powerful investor intelligence to drive meaningful and lasting engagement for clients.