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Westwicke Blog

The Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of healthcare communications.

The Best IR Blog Posts of 2013

Posted on January 29th, 2014. Posted by

2013 was an incredible year for the United States initial public offering (IPO) market — the best since 2000. Of the 222 companies that went public, a record 55 companies (or 24.7 percent) were from healthcare, which experienced more IPOs than any other sector. Will healthcare break the 55 IPOs record in 2014? Time will tell.

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How to Create a Solid Investor Relations Plan in 2014

Posted on January 15th, 2014. Posted by

How can you align your investor relations (IR) efforts with your overall corporate strategy and messaging? How do you balance IR activities with other demands on your time as a management team? Here are several tips from the Westwicke team to help ensure that the strategic investor relations plan you create at the beginning of the year delivers the desired results.

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Top 10 Things You Must Accomplish in the Year Before the IPO

Posted on December 18th, 2013. Posted by

Preparing for an initial public offering can be a daunting task. Once the process kicks off, the wheels spin faster and faster, with deadlines and opinions flying around from everyone involved. What can ease the burden and streamline the process?

Collectively, our team has helped hundreds of companies prepare for their IPOs, and seen the best and worst of what can happen during the process. We consider the year before the transaction critical and recommend these 10 must-do steps.

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Planning, Preparing and Positioning for Successful Investor Meetings

Posted on December 13th, 2013. Posted by

Investor meetings are essential for managing and expanding your shareholder base. They provide investors with clarity on a company’s story and can allow you to gauge potential investor concerns, but most importantly, they provide management the opportunity to control the story being told to investors.

The buy side often views a meeting with management as a critical component in their due diligence process. Even in the wake of increased scrutiny from SEC regulators regarding Reg FD, these meetings give the buy side more insight into a company story, recent developments, and potential headwinds.

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Do’s and Don’ts from the Buy Side and Sell Side

Posted on December 5th, 2013. Posted by

Not long ago, I had the enjoyable task of serving as moderator for the recent evening program of the San Diego National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) Chapter titled “Do’s and Don’ts from the Buy Side and Sell Side.” The panel of two buy-side investors and two sell-side analysts, who cover the technology and life sciences sectors, provided a lively discussion and an abundance of practical advice on the art of practicing effective investor relations (IR). We touched on just about every aspect of IR, from non-deal road shows to the corporate website, and even the perfect length of time for the safe harbor statement on a conference call. Here are some of what the panel considered the top do’s and don’ts for investor relations.

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Plan Now for the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Posted on November 20th, 2013. Posted by

For 31 years running, the mosh-pit that is J.P. Morgan’s Healthcare Conference kicks off the new year. In addition to the more than 400 companies that officially present, the conference attracts countless other healthcare companies looking to meet with the investment community. It is also the only event that attracts sell-side analysts and investment bankers from all corners of Wall Street.

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Top 10 IR Buzzwords

Posted on November 18th, 2013. Posted by

When attempting to articulate the exciting things happening within a business, management teams often rely on buzzwords and catch phrases to grab investors’ attention and paint a picture of the story they’re trying to tell. The problem, however, is that relying on clichés to bulk up your remarks often has the opposite effect. Having listened to thousands of conference calls, investors have heard it all before and view those hackneyed words and phrases as verbal fluff. Listed below are ten incredibly overused buzzwords that may sound exciting to you at first, but when used with investors, will fall on deaf ears.

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Key Questions to Ask When Selecting an IR Firm

Posted on November 13th, 2013. Posted by

Hiring an investor relations (IR) firm isn’t easy because it’s not a simple decision. A tremendous amount rides on the relationship you are able to cultivate with investors and shareholders, so you need total trust and confidence in your IR partner.

Making the choice more difficult is that IR consulting firms vary widely, and what gets promised up front doesn’t always hold true. The spectrum ranges from firms that offer IR as one of many services to those that specialize only in IR. While it might seem reasonable to just pick one and get to work, the reality is that the relationship you build with investors and Wall Street represents a core part of your business strategy with a real impact on your perception in the markets.

How can you choose wisely? Finding the right fit takes time and research. IR firms aren’t one-size-fits-all, and the right choice requires you to stop and ask some hard questions, starting with these essential eight.

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Top 10 Credibility Busters

Posted on October 16th, 2013. Posted by

Over time, all management teams want to build relationships, or at least a healthy rapport, with shareholders. Consistent execution of your business plan and proper communication with current and potential shareholders can help you build credibility, which in turn can bolster your company’s valuation and even allow your management team to earn “the benefit of the doubt” when things are not easy.

Last month, we looked at the top 10 ways companies can build credibility with shareholders. This month, we consider the opposite, and explore common ways companies get into hot water. Here are the top 10 credibility busters you want to work hard to avoid.

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Why Investors Short Sell Stocks and How You Should React

Posted on October 10th, 2013. Posted by

“Why is there so much short interest in my stock?” Many executives find themselves asking this question, especially when it seems things are going well. Stocks have been “shorted” for many years now, but there is no doubt that the practice has seen much wider use – and brought about more management frustration – in recent years. Doesn’t short selling expose funds to unlimited losses? Why do investors take the risk?

Much like with negative analysts, the most tempting answer – and biggest misconception – is to believe it is personal. It might be true that your short investors don’t like you. But that is not the reason they put in that short order.

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