Have you ever seen a movie in theaters and thought only about that movie for the next three weeks? (Looking at you, Top Gun: Maverick!) That’s how the Small Potatoes team feels about
National Investor Relations Institute’s Annual Conference in Boston.
While there was much to see and learn, yours truly attended all the ESG sessions and took rigorous notes on the latest “need-to-knows.”
I walked away with the following priorities for memorable ESG reporting:
1. ESG is not just climate. Though climate seems to be the top-of-mind issue for most investors, polling and analysts forecast the social part of ESG will become a hot topic in the next one to three years.
2. Start with a benchmark. Whether it’s carbon emissions, community initiatives or employee resource groups, having a benchmark to begin is crucial. Data is easier to understand and digest when your audience has something to compare it to.
3. Transparency is king. Big surprise: Small Potatoes Communications is once again encouraging transparency. It’s relevant, I swear! Even if you did not meet a goal in your ESG efforts, your company should still report that data. Yes, there are reporting standards your company must meet (see: GRI, CDP, CDSB, IRC, SASB, TCDF, ISSB and all the other acronyms). Plus, being transparent about your initiatives shows authenticity to your investors. Not to mention that it gives companies an opportunity to control the narrative; tell investors why the goal wasn’t met and what the company is doing to meet it as soon as possible.
4. Balance the story and metrics. We know investors love a consistent corporate story. They also want the numbers. ESG is no exception. Your community initiative stories are great for engagement — add in the related metrics to give your story additional credibility.
5. Get creative. Presenting only what’s required is not enough. Prospective investors will look at your investor relations website to find information. Do you want them to see the bare minimum, or do you want them to be wowed? A great way to engage investors on your IR website and turn their attention to your ESG reporting is visuals. Whether that’s a video statement from your CEO or an infographic with your latest carbon emissions data, give your audience a reason to stay on the page.
ESG isn’t a fad. It’s up to companies to create ESG reports that grab and keep the attention of their prospective and current investors. When in doubt, return to storytelling. ESG is another branch of your corporate story, and investors want to hear it.
If you want to discuss any of these tips, Small Potatoes is happy to help! Let’s discuss our corporate storytelling strategy sessions and how they can help your company level up its ESG reporting.