Eproxy should have been passed to MARKETING, rather than Investor Relations
Here’s a parable. Or is it a metaphor?
Each and every year, the head of marketing mails a beautiful four-color, highly designed brochure to the company’s customers. Included with the brochure is the annual order form to buy more product. Customers, familiar with this annual function, fill out their order and mail it back. Some customers go on line.
This year, the CEO says the company can cut expenses. He tells the head of marketing, ‘no more mailing beautiful brochures –use web only. We’ll save eleventykazillions of dollars. Just mail everyone a SINGLE one-color ink postcard with instructions to go to the web to order.’ The head of marketing followed the CEO rules exactly. Customers didn't know about the change and missed the little postcard. Sales dropped 70%.
Sound vaguely familiar?
If companies want to address the drop in retail voting, this is how a marketer would rock the vote:
1.) Email shareholders “voting instructions” – several times.
2.) Hold a webcast on “how to vote” – get canned slides from Broadridge. Webcasting is not expensive. Use a fraction of the money saved from not printing and mailing.
3.) Link to this “how to vote” in EVERY press release.
4.) Start a “Shareholder responsibilities” blog. Remind shareholders they DO have a voice and a responsibility to vote.
5.) Don’t expect the SEC to do education for you. They are your customers. I mean “shareholders.”
Note: the communications above are purely instructional – they are not solicitation. Tell council to back off. Retail investors behave like retail consumers. MARKET to them. (Might I even suggest a 6.point "Use MUNCmedia" too?).