Investor relations (IR) is the corporate communication function dedicated to maintaining and fostering relationships between a for-profit corporation and its financial stakeholders, including critical intermediaries. Aside from fulfilling disclosure and reporting requirements, the IR function is expected to actively shape the understanding of a company’s financial performance by key audiences. Investor relations officers are engaged in disseminating an effective equity story and sustaining a strong capital market reputation. As a strategic communication function, investor relations increase a company’s visibility within the financial community. Applying a relational perspective, investor relations communication selectively establishes beneficial relationships with key financial stakeholders. With investors and analysts increasingly adopting an activist stance towards corporations, the strategic role of the investor relations function is becoming ever more pronounced.
The course provides an introduction to investor relations, its audiences, regulatory requirements, instruments, its contribution to corporate success and strategic communication management. It will cover current developments, such as the rise of shareholder activism, passive investments, or creditor relations. The course will familiarize participants with the financial community’s mindset, perspectives and demands, recurring challenges and common tools for fostering good capital market relations.
Upon completing this course, students will be able to:
• Understand the role of investor relations within the corporate finance function and its relationship to accounting, corporate governance and public relations,
• Understand and reflect legal requirements in the domain of financial communication,
• Analyze critical financial stakeholders and their respective demands,
• Assess the situational suitability of common investor relations tools and plan their application,
• Systematically analyze and reflect on case studies, evaluate and independently develop strategies for common IR challenges,
• Summarize and reflect current theoretical approaches to the field.
The course will consist of some mandatory reading, interactive class discussions, lectures and group presentations.
Attendance and active class participation is required.
Students will be evaluated based on a case study presentation (group) conducted during the course (30%) and a written exam (90 mins, individual) at the end of the semester (70%). Both requirements will have to be fulfilled in English.
Slides and additional materials (esp. current regulatory and legal texts) will be provided electronically in advance of each lecture.
 Laskin, A. (Ed.). (2018). Handbook of Financial Communication and Investor Relations. Wiley-Blackwell.
 Hoffmann, C.P. and Binder-Tietz, S. (2021). Strategic investor relations management: insights on planning and evaluation practices among German Prime Standard corporations. Journal of Communication Management, (online first). https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-06-2020-0047
 Hoffmann, C.P. (2019). Investor relations communication, in: R. L. Heath, & W. Johan-sen (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication, (online first) Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell.
 Hoffmann, C. P., Tietz, S., & Hammann, K. (2018). Investor Relations - a systematic literature review. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 23(3), 294-311. DOI: 10.1108/CCIJ-05-2017-0050
 Hoffmann, C. P. & Fieseler, C. (2012). Investor relations beyond financials: Non-financial factors and capital market image building. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 17(2), 138-155. DOI: 10.1108/13563281211220265