Between my written quals and oral defense I attended National Investor Relations Institute’s Annual Conference. The event was great! And what I liked the most was the shift in perceptions that I think is occurring in the investor relations profession. It seems to me that more and more value in IR is being placed on communications and relationship-building. Just a few years ago many IR professionals were accountants whose job was to disclose financial statements – communications skills were not important and proactive investor relations management was almost non-existent (unless the company was planning an IPO!).
I recall, however, that IR was already once dominated by communication and public relations people (in 1950s and 1960s) who managed to disappoint their financial customers by lacking any understanding of finance. So, this time, while increasing the importance of communication aspect of IR, we should not forget about numbers. After all as Morrill said, IR requires both skill sets!