Challenge

RPM International Inc. is a $5 billion multinational, NYSE-listed company with subsidiaries that manufacture and market high-performance coatings, sealants and specialty chemicals.  Its well-known consumer brands include Rust-Oleum, DAP and Zinsser. RPM management has long valued its strong base of individual retail investors who, in general, tend to be more loyal than their institutional counterparts and tend to be less volatile traders. They also help stabilize stock pricing, provide balance to the shareholder mix and are loyal to company brands. Management charged Roop & Co. with further improving relations with its retail base.

Solution

In order to determine which communication channels and messages would best reach and influence retail investors, 1,600 RPM shareholders of record were surveyed. Key findings of the survey shaped messaging, communication channels and the strategic communications plan. Program strategies included:

 

  • Maintaining current efforts that have proven to be successful. These included an annual shareholders meeting that attracts nearly 1,000 investors through a combination of a “show time” atmosphere, free product samples and ample refreshments; a traditional annual report that eschews the movement towards more “10k wraps;” continuation of traditional printed quarterly reports to shareholders who request them, again going against the grain of online only quarterlies; and cultivation of news coverage in traditional media.
  • Enhancing the company’s electronic presence with a total makeover of the corporate website, development of a mobile version and stepping up social media efforts.
  • Increasing participation in investor shows and programs.
  • Increasing advertising aimed at retail investors.

Results

0%
increase in retail investors
0%
increase in website page views
0%
stock price increase

In just one year, individual retail investors increased 19%, to 120,000 from 101,000. The effort to reach retail investors through use of electronic communication is reflected in a 164% increase in website visits and a 330% increase in page views during the eight-month period following the launch of the new website. In addition, RPM’s stock price and market cap were also gauged during the campaign. While much of their performance was directly correlated to the company’s financial results, the communications initiatives did have some impact. At the campaign’s beginning, RPM’s stock closed at $33.13 and its market cap was $4.4 billion. At the campaign’s conclusion, the stock price had increased $9.29 or 28% to $42.42 and the market cap rose 30% to $5.7 billion.

Case Studies

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