Investor Relations Campaign Engages Retail Base for NYSE-Listed Public Company
RPM International Inc.
RPM International Inc. is a $5.3 billion, multinational, NYSE-listed company with subsidiaries that manufacture and market high-performance coatings, sealants and specialty chemicals. Its leading consumer brands include Rust-Oleum, DAP and Zinsser. Since its founding in 1947, RPM has long valued its strong base of individual retail investors who, in general, tend to be more loyal and less volatile traders compared to their institutional counterparts, in turn helping to stabilize stock pricing and provide balance to the shareholder mix. RPM charged its agency of record, Roop & Co., with enhancing investor relations with its retail investor base.
In order to determine an approach that would resonate best with retail investors, Roop & Co. surveyed 1,600 of RPM’s shareholders of record. Key findings of this survey shaped messaging, communication channels and the strategic communications plan. Campaign strategies included:
TACTIC #1: Maintaining current efforts that have proven to be successful. These include an annual meeting of shareholders that attracts nearly 1,000 investors through a “show-time” atmosphere, free product samples and ample refreshments; an annual report that eschews the movement toward more “10k wraps”; printed quarterly reports to shareholders upon request; and regular news coverage in targeted media.
TACTIC #2: Enhancing RPM’s digital presence with a redesign of its corporate website, development of a mobile-friendly version and a significant boost in social media efforts.
TACTIC #3: Increasing participation in investor trade shows, as well as advertising aimed at retail investors.
Website Page Views
In just one year, RPM’s individual retail investors increased by 19%, from 101,000 to 120,000. The goal to expand its retail base through digital communications was reflected in a 164% jump in website traffic and a 330% boost in page views during the eight-month period following the launch of RPM’s new website. In addition, RPM’s stock price and market cap were tracked as part of the campaign and, although much of their performance was directed correlated to the company’s financial results, our communications initiatives did have some impact. At the start of our campaign, RPM’s stock closed at $33.13 and its market cap was $4.4 billion. By our campaign’s conclusion, its stock price had increased by 28% to $42.42 and the market cap rose 30% to $5.7 billion.