Global Governance Advisors

How Boards of Directors Can Address the Increase in Shareholder Activism Fueled by Social Media

Posted by David Boim on Nov 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM
David Boim
Find me on:

“Shareholders are organizing and mobilizing on new social media platforms like Twitter. This changes the dynamics of shareholder proxy contests to favor small shareholders over management. Disruptive technology may bring about a shareholder revolution, which may not be in all shareholders’ best interests, at least from the perspective of shareholder wealth maximization, and it also has powerful implications for the future of corporate social responsibility.” Seth Oranberg, How Twitter is Disrupting Shareholder Activism

The market place for Boards of Directors is at a tipping point. Boards of Directors function in a digital world and most boards have not embraced the changes required to face the threats from that digital world nor leverage that world to positively impact the organizations they direct. How do boards contend with shareholder/stakeholder activity in a social media driven culture? Taking advantage of digital technology is the key to boards of directors facing these challenges.

The Question … What’s out there?

The Answer … emPowerIR™

emPowerIR™, a component of Global Governance Advisors’ emPower Digital Boardroom platform, is the first cloud-based, comprehensive stakeholder communications engine designed for public and private companies. emPowerIR™ provides boards of directors and executive teams a platform to build and maintain relationships with the organizational stakeholders. 

emPowerIR™ is a conduit into stakeholder engagement activity and is an oversight vehicle that makes valuable information readily available to the board of directors and C-Suite.

emPowerIR™ includes...

  1. Stakeholder CRM
  2. Stakeholder Geographic Reporting
  3. Automated Survey/Proxy Tabulation
  4. TV Quality Streaming Video

Stakeholder CRM

emPowerIR™ is a secure stakeholder CRM that allows you to organize and keep track of contact information for all of your current shareholders as well as prospective shareholders and industry contacts. The board of directors can leverage the emPowerIR™ email automation engine. The board can conduct eCampaigns to customized groups of constituents (i.e. shareholders vs. industry contacts, current shareholders vs. prospective shareholders) and send customized messages that relate to important issues facing the organization. The board of directors can control a flow of information to ‘educate’ shareholders, investors, and members – in mass, specific groups, and/or individuals. What is one way to confront stakeholder activism? – with information, from announcements to annual reports.

Stakeholder Geographic Reporting

emPowerIR™ provides an amazing amount of reports. Voting policy reporting tracks how shareholders vote on specific issues such as Say on Pay and other governance issues. Stakeholder geographic reporting is a powerful tool that allows the board to establish the location of stakeholders; and is ideal when planning company road shows, capital raises, or attending industry events to engage with your stakeholders.

Automated Survey/Proxy Tabulation

Perhaps, the single-most important feature of emPowerIR™ is automated survey/proxy tabulation. Poll shareholders, stakeholders, or members. Solicit input from the organization’s stakeholders, conduct surveys, conduct polls or votes. emPowerIR™ is a powerful alternative to the current process generally requiring in-person attendance or voting by proxy prior to the meeting. Polling can also be performed on other important issues deemed relevant by your Board and management to gain the views of stakeholders. Measure the pulse of your stakeholders by embracing automated survey/proxy tabulation. And, automated survey/proxy tabulation turns weeks of effort into days or minutes in the digital world.

TV Quality Streaming Video

Launch TV Quality Streaming Video directly from emPowerIR™. It is revolutionary in that it provides the board or CEO with the ability to broadcast your AGM live to those stakeholders who are unable to attend the meeting in-person – increasing your communication and promoting more transparency. Recordings can also be used to communicate important company announcements shared with stakeholders in a dynamic and impactful video format as opposed to traditional letters or bland emails. Video content generally leads to increased engagement amongst viewing audiences, so the more interactive your company can be in communicating with your shareholders, the more engagement you can expect to receive from them.

Closing Thoughts

The key for organizations, from public companies to pension funds, to address stakeholder activism fueled by social media is to embrace the digital world to educate its stakeholders and understand stakeholder activity.

Topics: Shareholder Activism, emPowerIR, Social Media