Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Readers Vote

I’ve been writing this blog for about 18 months now and being a trained MBA, thought it would be a good exercise if I went back and reviewed the statistics around what people preferred to read.  After all, “If you can measure it, you can manage it”.  Besides, I thought some of my readers might find it interesting as well.  Additionally, if you are relatively new to the blog, there might be something I’ve written in the past that may be useful.

After 18 months of building up a readership base, Investor Relations Musings draws between 800 – 1,300 readers per month, which when you consider that there are only approximately 6,500 publicly traded companies in the U.S., isn’t bad.  More surprising to me, is that during those 18 months, I’ve had visits from 77 different countries, with any given month drawing from 30 – 35 different countries.  Although the vast majority of readers come from the U.S., 5 of the top 10 countries visiting the blog come from India, China and the Far East.  

When I examined the most popular posts, I found that the interests of readers were evenly split between humor, practical advice and the disaster of the moment.  Herewith a look at the top 10: 

1.  Essential Life Skill for the Investor Relations Professional, September 18, 2007.  A humorous look at what you need to survive in the profession, with tips about how to learn to talk with your mouth full.

2. Starbucks Grande Mistake, January 31, 2008.  My take on Starbucks decision to stop disclosing same store sales.  It turns out that people love to read about brand name companies.

3.  Why Not Just Tell Us Why You Fired Him?, October 14, 2008.  When Walgreens CEO was dismissed by the Board but it was gussied up as a “retirement”, my thought was that investors deserved better information about why he was fired and what it meant for the future of the company.

4.  Road Shows and Hedge Funds, November 12, 2007.  A look at the practicalities surrounding why sell side firms set up road shows with lots of hedge funds on the guest list.

5.  How Many Investor Relations Officers Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?, June 8, 2007.  This one combines humor with thoughts on what it takes to be good at investor relations.

6.  How Not to Run a Conference Call, December 20, 2007.  Commentary on Sallie Mae’s disastrous conference call.

7.  What is Investor Relations Worth?, August 20, 2007.  The first of a series of posts pointing out the research that attempts to quantify the value of investor relations.

8.  Principle Based Disclosure for Investors, September 5, 2007.  Some thoughts on how to simplify the maze of regulations surrounding disclosure.

9.  How to Read 10K and 10Q Reports, September 10, 2008.  CVS Drugstores was a poster child for how investors can use the year over year change in language in 10K and 10Q reports to raise interesting questions.

10.  Blogging and Investor Relations, June 16, 2008.  Every IR officer wants to know about blogs, but nobody wants to do one (except Dell). 

If you haven’t had a chance to read these posts, I hope you’ll give them the once over.  As always, I will strive to be interesting, informative, opinionated and occasionally humorous. 

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