Insights

Communication is the key to success in times of IPOs

10 September 2021, By Miguel Ángel Sánchez, Account Director en Canela

There is a lot of talent which exists outside of the leading markets like the United States and China. Every day, companies from other countries are proving that they can compete with the giants in different sectors, offering solutions and products that are a reference for consumers. To continue to grow and increase their presence in the global market, these companies, born outside the usual economic hubs, are looking for new forms of financing to strengthen their structures and have greater economic power.

For this reason, we are witnessing some interesting financial moves in recent months. For example, VTEX, the SaaS-based e-commerce platform for large enterprises and retailers, recently debuted on the NYSE with the sale of 19 million Class A shares. Meanwhile, Wallbox, a leading Barcelona-based provider of electric vehicle charging solutions, announced a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) – a financial tool capable of raising money from large institutional investors – with Kensington Capital, which will enable the company to become a publicly traded company on NYSE. In the coming months, it is very likely that we will see other examples similar to our clients VTEX and Wallbox: other South American or European companies actively seeking financing in the US.

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So, how should we communicate this type of operation?

These operations represent a great opportunity for companies to increase their reputation, promote their values and services or products and show their leadership in the press. They also pose a challenge for the public relations agencies or communications professionals in charge of communicating this new stage. For this reason, at Canela, we have identified a series of recommendations for success when communicating a financial operation:

1. Understand what is being communicated

Talking about a SPAC is not the same as talking about a traditional IPO. Everyone involved in communicating these transactions needs to understand what each transaction is about in order to plan how to deal correctly with journalists. Each investment vehicle has its own regulations and relies on different bodies to do so: we need to understand which aspects cannot be communicated so as not to create conflicts of interest.

2. Know who to talk to

The financial media are highly specialised and have journalists from different sections who can cover our information from different angles. Do we want to focus on the state of the operation? The Markets section is our ally. Do we want to talk about the evolution of the company? The Companies section is usually the right one. Does the transaction change the status quo in a particular sector? Let’s look for the journalist specialising in motoring, food & beverage, banking, energy…

3. Set the timings in advance

Then comes the eternal question: do we offer the information under embargo or not? In this type of case, it is a good idea to offer information in advance with the condition that it will not be published until a certain date (remember the control of regulatory bodies) in order to be relevant from the beginning. In addition, providing data on the milestone in question on an exclusive basis can make the difference if we want to get coverage in a particular media outlet.

4. Leverage traction

A SPAC or an IPO can shape a company’s media future: journalists who have never before been interested in the state of a certain company discover its talent and strength. Therefore, new approaches, narratives and stories have to be thought of as news hooks to keep the interest of the journalist and their readers, listeners or viewers at the highest possible. Just as such an operation serves to find new investors, in the case of communications it can serve to create a new community of journalists interested in the future of the company.

These types of operations require meticulous and ambitious work on the part of the communications team of the companies involved because they are unique opportunities to demonstrate the strength, potential and leadership of a company. In short, researching and taking into account all the risks, building journalists’ loyalty with information of real interest to their audiences, planning each contact and being as creative as possible in terms of content and formats are the keys to obtaining the best results.