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Be recognised and lead the way in engaging with the capital markets

By Sallie Pilot, Black Sun plc, and Chair of the IR Society Best Practice Committee 

Join Aviva, British Land, Barclays, BASF, Go-Ahead, Taylor Wimpey, Telefonica, Trifest, Uralkali and be recognised!

These are only a few of the names of the over 70 companies recognised as leading the way in engaging with the capital markets, building trust and strengthening corporate reputation in last year’s Investor Relations Society’s Best Practice Awards in 2015. So why not be amongst winners?

The annual Best Practice Awards, now in their 16th year, promote best practice in IR, one of the cornerstones of the IR Society's existence. And you don’t have to be big to be recognised -  there are separate awards open to FTSE 100, FTSE 250, Small Cap & AIM, as well as international companies, recognising the diverse range of companies looking to the UK for excellence in IR.

Sue Scholes, Chair of the IR Society and Best Practice Awards Judging Panel commented on last year’s Awards ‘the standard was high and the judging decision often difficult – and that’s how it should be. Our winners, both voted and judged, all understand what differentiates their company and are able to communicate this clearly and consistently. And large budgets and huge resources do not automatically equate to clarity of message or understanding of audience. Indeed, had we awarded an overall winner in each of our categories, you would have seen both smaller and larger companies represented.’ So what are you waiting for?

Helpful inspiration for encouragement

I would strongly urge you to look at all types of winners for good ideas and following the launch of the IR Society's 2016 Best Practice Awards, the Best Practice committee, along with my team at Black Sun have produced the IR Society 2015 Best Practice Awards Review to help. If you are looking for tips for your own communications, this handy guide not only has a summary of the winners and shortlisted companies but the judging process, judge’s comments and profiles as well as our best practice guidelines. Take a look for inspiration.

Lots of opportunities to be recognised for what you are brilliant at. 

Self-entry Awards' categories - six areas to encourage and reward best practice in investor communications:
• A NEW award in 2016 ‘Best IPO IR Communications’
• ‘Best Annual Report’
• ‘Most effective integration of sustainability reporting into communications’
• ‘Best digital reporting’
• ‘Best use of digital communications’, and
• ‘Best overall communication of company investment proposition’.

Popular voted Awards’ categories include:
• ‘Best newcomer to IR (individual)’
• ‘Best IRO (individual)’, and
• ‘Best overall company IR (company).

Click here for more information, our best practice guidelines and entry forms.

So why enter?
For all of us, business is challenging, recognition is scarce, time is short so use this as opportunity to demonstrate what a major difference you are making to the companies you represent and have a think about these benefits.
• Evidence excellence  – to win or to be shortlisted, shows that you have reached the very highest standard, as judged by leading expert
• Raise your profile  – with peers and external stakeholders, strengthening corporate reputation
• Make your company proud -  great recognition for all of the hard work, commitment and dedication that goes in every day
• Reflect on your work – the process of entering the awards often helps one to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your own communications strategies
• Incentive to improve - the competitive nature of the Awards provides an opportunity to challenge the internal ‘status quo’

Good luck to all entrants!
I strongly encourage all companies to enter the IR Society Best Practice Awards, to seek recognition for their performance and help set the best practice standard in the UK and abroad. Good luck! Entries now open until 30th June.

For information on how we can help you with your best practice communications, please contact Sarah Myles at SMyles@blacksunplc.com

Published: 4 May, 2016