Monday, January 11, 2010

A Pricing Guide to Executive Education in Investor Relations

Competition is a wonderful thing. Competing offerings generally result in better offerings, more choices and lower prices for the customer. Conversely, when an organization has a monopoly or near monopoly on a product, prices go up and there is no way to know if you are getting the best the market has to offer. If you don’t believe me, just think about what American cars were like before they started to get serious competition from Japanese and German cars.

Until recently, people who wanted to go to educational offerings about investor relations have had very limited choices at very high price points. That’s why I’ve developed my seminar, “Fundamentals of Investor Relations”.

Talk is cheap (unless, evidently, you want to hear it about investor relations), so I thought I would set out how my new seminar compares to what’s currently being offered and let the readers decide.

Fundamentals of Investor Relations

Cost: $475

Duration: one day

Location: Houston, Texas

Instructor: John Palizza (me), lecturer at Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business, developer and teacher of the only MBA level investor relations course taught anywhere.

NIRI Introduction to Investor Relations

Cost: $1,195 for members, $1,495 for non-members

Duration: two and one-half days

Location: Boston, Massachusetts and Santa Monica, California

Instructors: Volunteer consultants, IR practitioners and NIRI staff

University of Michigan — Theory and Practice of Investor Relations

Cost: $7,200 for members, $8,100 for non-members

Duration: five and one-half days

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Instructors: University of Michigan finance professors and Jeffrey Morgan, NIRI president.

Online Certification Program in Investor Relations, offered with the University of California, Irvine

Cost: Six required courses and one elective course at $660 per course for members, $860 for non-members, plus one elective course at $575, textbook cost of $100 per course and $125 candidacy fee. Total cost: $5,360 for members

Instructors: various volunteer practitioners

Certificate Program in Investor Relations at NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Cost: five courses at $775 each, total cost $3,875

Instructors: various volunteer practitioners

If you’re wondering why I can offer this seminar at a price point much lower than anyone else, the answer is that I am much more interested in elevating the educational level available for the discipline of investor relations than I am in making a lot of money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as driven by the profit motive as any good capitalist, but frankly, I think current offerings are overpriced, inconvenient and take way too much of people’s time. I know what the costs are to put on a seminar and I don’t see it justifying the pricing I see. I think the seminars are being priced for what the traffic will bear, not to the marginal cost of the product.

So here’s my promise: Attend “Fundamentals of Investor Relations” and you will be given the basic knowledge about investor relations you need to have a solid grounding in the legal, marketing, finance and stock valuation aspect of the discipline. I also promise you that we will not waste your time. And we won’t force you into a vendor’s showcase for “networking time”. All we’ll do is have a dialog about the essential knowledge you need to know to do your job well. When all is said and done, I believe you will get a better product – one that is used in a MBA curriculum - at a lower price than anyone else is offering.

This is my first time offering the seminar and it’s being offered in Houston. If we have success, we’ll bring it to other cities, so that it’s convenient to the customers.

If you’re interested, or know someone who might be interested, you can find more information about our upcoming seminar on February 24, 2010 under the Seminars tab on my website or you can email me at or call me at 281-727-6775. I love to talk about this subject.

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