29 Apr 2024

IPO comms in focus: Media

Communications are central to the success of an IPO, so what do companies considering a new listing need to know? To mark our partnership with the London Stock Exchange on their IPO Forum on 9 May we asked a selection of our experts for their top tips.

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First up, former national business journalist Simon Evans explains why the power of the media should not be underestimated and how to maximise upside while managing potential risk.

Watch the video here:

You can also read the full episode here:

Why is Media important to the success of an IPO process?

As a former national business journalist, I’ve covered many IPOs. The power of the media or any process cannot be underestimated. The media can drive momentum during a listing, they can directly affect the price range, or they can kill processes dead in their tracks.

Working with the media starts with a story, and as with most things in life, the simpler the better. Journalists are increasingly time poor, having to write many stories in a day, and your IPO story will be one of these stories. Relationships are critical.

If you don’t know the journalists who are going to cover you during your process, you’re already at a big disadvantage. So be as transparent as you can be, be consistent, and as I say, keep it simple. No IPO process is ever perfect, but working closely with media, realising they have a job to do too, can yield really positive results in the end.

What should companies considering an IPO be thinking about in terms of media management and engagement?

The earlier that communication teams are brought into any process, the better. We work very closely with the company’s advisors, including bankers and lawyers, helping to craft communication strategies that really maximise the upside of any process, while also carefully managing any downside risks or threats too. News in an IPO very rarely breaks on the day you expect it to.

Leaked strategies are critical, but you have to be prepared for every kind of eventuality today. While we’re heavily focused on the media, leveraging our relationships with the press, we develop multi-stakeholder strategies, considering all different types of audiences that may have an interest in a process, whether they be policy makers, regulators, social media influencers, and beyond. In an era of increasing complexity, being simple carries more weight than ever. In an IPO process, this is even more important.

MHP is delighted to be partnering with the London Stock Exchange on its flagship IPO Forum on Thursday 9 May 2024. With a full afternoon of insights, panels, and networking, an expert team of legal, financial and communications advisers will join a host of private companies considering an IPO, as well as members of the investor community and recently listed businesses to discuss the IPO process and the challenges and opportunities of becoming a public listed company. Find out more here

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