Blender takes on New York and the IR awards

Last week was a whirlwind! The New York IR awards were a huge success. We had a great time seeing everyone in the investor relations community, as well as presenting the award for Best Use of Social Media. Read on to see highlights of the night, as well as the wrap up of our social media IR champ showdown.

Guess who’s back…back again…

The IR Magazine-US awards (not to be confused with the Canada awards that we attended last month) celebrated 20 years last Thursday, March 26. We flew to New York to celebrate with the investor relations community and to take part in the biggest gathering of IR professionals.We were very excited to be in New York (note the appropriate hashtag on our first night’s dessert) and appropriately played the tourist with a visit to the NYSE.

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So what happened the night of?

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Eventually it was time to get dapper and down to business. We loved seeing old friends and colleagues as well as meeting new faces. And the night was a huge success! We want to say a huge congratulations to not only the winners but all the nominees, it really was a special night. Being totally unbiased, our favorite part of the evening (see, we’re spelling favorite without a ‘u’ to stay on theme with the American week we had) was the social media award. We were happy to give out the award as well as a custom #IRchamp championship wrestling belt to T-Mobile USA, and to Nils Paellmann, the head of their IR department.

The belt in all its glory

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The rest of the night was full of other great awards. Congrats to Grand prix winners Wright Medical Group, Ryder System, and Covidien who won for best overall investor relations for small, mid, and large caps respectively. A special moment of the night was the lifetime achievement award that went to JoAnna Morris of General Electric, who has headed their IR team for all 20 years that the IRawards have been around. Congrats JoAnna!

 

Another great moment was when IR Magazine awarded their president, Ian Richman, with a trophy for ‘Most Loved President.’

 

 

Meanwhile, we wish we could give our Blender president an award for ‘best selfie of the evening’:

 

 

We hope everyone who attended had a great evening. Until 2016!

We’ll just leave you with one more opportunity to get Final Countdown stuck in your head…

 

 

Blender’s shaking up the US IR awards

No, you’re not getting deja vu. 

The IR Magazine-US awards are coming up at the end of this month-March 26th to be exact-and we’re excited to be partnering with IR Magazine to bring something new and exciting to the event’s 20th anniversary. If you feel like you recently heard us talking about these awards, you’re right. Kind of. The magazine’s Canada awards were just last month, and if you want to know what they were all about, click here.

I probably won’t click that link, can I have a refresher? 
Sure thing. The IR Magazine Awards-US was first launched in 1996, and is an awards program set up to recognize and honour the great work of those in the investor relations profession. According to the IR Magazine website, since the launch “tens of thousands of analysts and investors have voted in the surveys behind the awards”. IR Magazine is proud of the result that is “vital benchmarking information on which companies do the best IR”. In this way, those with the best work can be recognized, and others can take the chance to study their methods and learn.

Want some visual highlights?

Here’s a highlight video IR Magazine put out of the 2014 IR awards in New York.

What we’ll be doing there

We’re excited to partner with IR Magazine and to present the award for Best Use of Social Media to one of these four strong nominees:

Best Use of Social Media

Each of these brands holds a wide influence with a formidable presence online, and we’re excited to see who the analysts have chosen! Also, here’s a highlighted list of the nominees for the four biggest awards of the night. For a full list of nominees, click here.

Grand prix for best overall investor relations (large cap)

Grand prix for best overall investor relations (mid cap)

Grand prix for best overall investor relations (small cap)

What we have up our sleeve 

We’re teaming up with IR Magazine to add a little spice to the event’s 20th birthday. You’ll find out more this Thursday, March 19th, but until then here’s a little teaser to get you guessing:

#PDACbestdressed favourites and event recap

What a week! We just returned from PDAC 2015 with a lot of great memories and a bit of a fuzzy head. A big thanks to everyone who participated in fashion’s best kept secret that was #PDACbestdressed. We had a lot of great entries on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:

We gotta say, the sock and footwear game was on point this year:

Here are some of our favourite fashion gurus of the convention! 

The Blender men at PDAC also took their time to represent…

 …And Tony (aka Blender’s ‘nighttime correspondent’) took his job of promoting the #PDACbestdressed very seriously:

All in all #PDACbestdressed was a smashing success, thanks to all who participated and made the convention even more memorable.

Blender sponsors IR Magazine Awards – Canada

What are they exactly?

The annual IR Magazine Awards-Canada is the Canadian IR community’s largest annual gathering. The night celebrates feats in the industry by many exceptional nominees and provides great networking opportunities. IR Magazine states “for the last quarter-century the IR Magazine Awards have honoured excellence in investor relations around the world”.

Why they’re pretty cool

The IR Magazine awards are unique because companies cannot enter the competition or put forth their names to be considered for a nomination. IR Magazine writes that “for our awards, companies do not enter. The winners are identified by research so any publicly traded company is eligible to be considered”.

Kind of like how The Academy selects a winner at The Oscars?

Kind of, if by ‘The Academy’ you’re thinking of and thanking the investment community. “The IR Magazine Awards – Canada 2015 were decided by an independent telephone survey of more than 270 analysts and investors based in Canada”. The method is “via a combination of an electronic survey and one-to-one- telephone interviews, and canvass[ing] the opinions of the people who matter most to you.”

So what happened?

The 2015 IR Magazine Awards took place last week on February 4th, and was a smashing success. The event was held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, ON.

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Three of Blender’s finest, Arash, Andree, and Pooya,  at the pre-show cocktail hour

Who got the hardware? 

The big award of the night, or what IR Magazine called “the grand prix” went to TD Bank for best overall IR by a large-cap company. They also won awards for best IR by a CFO and best IR by a company in the financials sector. TD Bank garnered six total awards at this year’s event, and also secured their first place ranking in IR Magazine’s Canada’s Top 50 public companies list for another year.

Another big award of the night was for best IR by a CEO, which went to Charles Brindamour of Intact Financial. Some other winners included ARC Resources, the energy company, who won grand prix for the best IR by a mid-cap company, and CN, who won five awards and is ranked third in Canada’s Top 50.

What did Blender do?

We were excited to be one of the sponsors of the event, as well as getting to present the award for Most Progress in IR. Congratulations to Loblaw Companies for that win!

Here’s our page in the IR Magazine Awards program (now you can finally see what some of us look like!)

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Our president Arash Adnani presented the award and tweeted his eager moment of anticipation backstage beforehand:

What were people saying about it?

Was it a party?

Of course it was! It was a great night of celebration for all the hard work done in investor relations this year. Don’t believe us, here’s some more fun photos of the night (check out that pirate and cowboy).

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blender sponsor

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TMX ice sculpture

IR MAG ballroom

IR MAG bar

See the rest of the photos from the event here.

BONUS: 

There’s something special coming for the New York awards next month…

The Colder War: Blender sponsors event for NYT bestseller

As December came to a close, we were excited to sponsor a gathering  in downtown Vancouver of some of the most influential people in the global resource sector, brought together to honour New York Times bestselling author Marin Katusa and his book The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp.

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The event featured a panel of some of the biggest names in the industry, including GoldCorp Chairman Ian Telfer, Copper Mountain CEO Jim O’Rourke, Casey Research CEO Oliver Garret, and Uranium Energy Corporation President and CEO Amir Adnani. Each speaker shared his insights about the industry, poked fun at Marin’s success, and praised the new book. The panel was emceed by our very own Blender president Arash Adnani.

Each member on the panel spoke of Katusa’s fresh new ideas and meteoric rise. “He’s bringing an intellectual intensity to our business and it’s going to serve him very well,” says GoldCorp’s Ian Telfer.

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Marin Katusa, left, and Uranium Energy Corp’s CEO and President Amir Adnani
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Jim O’Rourke, left, Copper Mountain Mining CEO, with GoldCorp Chairman Ian Telfer

In a special segment before the panel, the attendees got to hear from former U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham via video conference. Abraham shared his thoughts on oil’s price drop and on The Colder War.

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Former US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham

The event yielded a great turnout; friends, colleagues, and industry leaders attended to support Katusa and celebrate his great success. We’re happy all could make it!

There was a great turnout for the event; many attending to support Katusa and celebrate his success.

Check out a video recap of the event below!

Some more photos from the event:

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Airbnb gets glossy with new print magazine

Airbnb, the popular online website and community for renting lodging, made a bit of an unlikely move and announced in a press release on November 17th that it was going to steer it’s brand in a new direction: that of print media.

Their new quarterly print magazine will be called Pineapple (fun fact: aptly named because pineapples were a traditional symbol of hospitality in colonial New England). According to the press release, ‘Pineapple will cover a wide variety of topics-such as culture, art, food and style-from a local’s perspective with neighborhood guides, insider tips, and unique, personal stories.’

Business Insider jokingly calls it a ‘glossy coffee table production’, and others wonder about the necessity of the high quality and advertisement-free endeavor. But a big, glossy magazine full of personal stories and travel recommendations might be exactly what travelers want to see when checking into their temporary home: a connection between their original online experience and the end result. Airbnb’s head of brand creative, Andrew Schapiro, said,

A couple of years ago we mapped out the user journey of the experience of Airbnb hosts, guests and travellers…the realization is the majority of experience [after booking online] is offline in people’s homes or neighbourhoods around the world. So it was a natural transition to tell stories in a printed format.”

 If you’re curious, here’s what it’s going to look like:

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As with many unexpected moves, there have been mixed reactions after the announcement of the publication. FastCompnay reminded readers,

Whereas Lyft is known for its pink mustaches and even hotel chains like Days Inn have nationally recognizable logos, it’s worth noting that Airbnb has never had such a consistent offline presence. When you arrive at Airbnb, your interaction with the brand itself essentially ends with the app; there’s no Airbnb flag outside the door welcoming you when you check in like there is at, say, a Hilton. That’s finally changing. 

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Photocred: B2Community

“Airbnb’s new magazine isn’t the company’s first effort to bring its brand into the offline world…the company also announced [this summer] a partnership with Zazzle to create Airbnb-branded merchandise…the magazine is another step toward getting consumers to see the Airbnb experience as a lifestyle”

The New York Times quoted travel analyst Henry Harteveldt saying the he believed the magazine effort was misguided. “Investing in sound advertising and customer and host communications, as well as improving its digital channels’ usefulness, ‘are all far more important.'”

A peek inside the first issue:

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photocred BusinessInsider

 

According to their press release, Airbnb will begin distributing the first Pineapple issue during their Airbnb Open Conference on November 21st, and will then begin issuing 18,000 copies of Pineapple for free to its global hosts. A limited number of copies will be for sale ‘in specialty bookstores, newsstands and boutiques across North America and Europe’.

“Open Sesame”-Alibaba’s historic opening day

Only two hours into trading on its first day on the market, and the e-commerce giant Alibaba has lived up to all the hype.

This morning in New York, live-blogs scrambled and the media stood by when, at 12:00 noon, shares still hadn’t begun trading. Bloomberg Businessweek quoted NYSE Group president Tom Farley saying “the auction could take two to three hours to settle on a price before trading begins.” Extra precautions were taken before such a huge stock went public, including an “extra-long auction process this morning to settle on a price… making sure the exchange’s electronic matching engine is ready to handle the demand.”

At 11:54 am EDT, it opened, with the first share trading at $92.70, well above the IPO price of $68.  At 12:04 pm, Forbes announced on their liveblog that 100 million shares of Alibaba had been traded in the first 10 minutes. With a market cap now around $228 billion, Alibaba has shot past Facebook. Forbes Media included this Market Cap chart to help break things down:

Most Valuable Companies on U.S. Stock Exchanges

Early this morning, NYSE tweeted a picture of Alibaba founder Jack Ma, with the Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO on the trade floor.

 

 

However, when it came time to ring the opening bell, Jack Ma watched from below, instead electing for a group of Alibaba customers to mark the historic moment, echoing his sentiments that “Customers must come first.”

 

 

At the day’s end, The New York Times reported that the company with the largest ever U.S. listed IPO,  “closed the day at $93.89 share on the New York Stock Exchange, up 38 percent from its initial public offering price in a strong trading debut.”

 

BONUS:

You gotta love Jack Ma’s face right before trading opened:

My GIF

 

Hey Blender, What Happened?

After a social media hiatus, we’re back! Keep checking in with us for new material, and click here to follow us on Twitter! For now, here’s a list we compiled of 10 things that happened when we were away:

1. We moved into a new office!

Our growing Blender team has expanded into a new office! We’re now located at 1190 Melville Street in Downtown Vancouver. Stop by and say hello!

2. Conan O’Brien joined Tinder with the help of Dave Franco

What exactly is brown lightning? Watch the video here and find out.

3. Mark Zuckerberg out-riched Larry Page

At $33 billion, Zuckerberg is now worth more than both Google co-founders after Facebook “beat the street” in late July with its stock price reaching a whopping $76. 4. We hired two new Blenderians!

We’re excited to have Miranda Jacobsen and Marika Hirsch joining our Blender team! Miranda is from Penticton and joins the team as our newest web developer. Marika recently moved from San Francisco and is our new content manager. Welcome M&M! 5. LeBron James: Cavalier after all

That’s right ladies and gentlemen. In his words, “I’m coming home.” After four years with the Miami Heat–an experience James likens to going away to college-he’ll be playing for Cleveland once more. 6. GoPro went public (and can’t be stopped)

Their faces in this picture say it all. GoPro’s IPO at the end of June, according to Forbes, “amounted to one of the largest consumer electronics IPOs ever.” 7. Client website redesign and case study

We developed a case study for a client’s new website that’s unlike any we’ve ever done before, and we’re excited to unveil it soon! Here’s Jess working on the new site:   8. Germany won the World Cup and smoked Brazil along the way

7-1?! 9. Airbnb made things comfier

The popular online company for renting lodging launched a massive redesign in July, aimed primarily at streamlining listings and making navigation easier for users. 10. We lost a legend

Actor and comedian Robin Williams passed away on August 11. We at Blender all have our memories growing up with his work. O Captain, my captain! You’ll be missed.  Here’s our favourite Robin Williams tribute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6csfDT5ovps 

Sincerely,

The Blender Team

Don’t You Like Me Anymore?

The Truth Behind Opt-In Campaigns

So you’ve kept your list (and nose) clean and your opt-in process is now compliant. You’ve even gone through the effort of contacting everyone who signed up before July 1st to ask if they would like to reconfirm opt-in. How nice is that? This is nearly 3 years before the deadline of June 30, 2017.

So you should get a gold star right? Maybe a medal for compliance above and beyond the call of duty?

Except that it’s been a couple of weeks now and you’re seeing only about 10 to 20 percent of your existing list confirm opt in.

Don’t they like you anymore?

Well, first, there are a number of factors that should be considered when determining the success of a mailing campaign to confirm opt in (a.k.a., a subscription retention campaign).

Frankly, in the lead-up to the compliance deadline of July 1st, a lot of people were inundated by similar requests. Your average subscriber likely received multiple requests per day or per hour if they’re analysts/brokers. You can’t really blame them if they start to ignore the emails after confirming subscriptions for 10 to 12 lists before their morning coffee.

Of course, when subscribers evaluate and prioritize their lists, they’re probably considering basic questions:

  1. How important is it that I hear from so-and-so?
  2. How often is so-and-so going to email me?
  3. Does so-and-so actually send me useful information?
  4. Can I get this information elsewhere?
  5. Is this relationship going anywhere?

All fair questions and the answers may help you evaluate your own level of engagement with your subscribers.

  1. How important is it that I email my subscribers?
  2. How often should I email my subscribers? (How often have I emailed them in the past?)
  3. Is the information I am sending relevant to my subscribers? (Are they even reading my emails?)
  4. Can I simplify the communication process or content (ie., direct them to our website instead of sending them a complete technical/financial summary within the body of an email)?
  5. Is this relationship going anywhere?

As sad as it may seem, losing subscribers is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you don’t see the possibility of the relationship furthering to the point of conversion. If anything, the implementation of Canada’s anti-spam legislation serves as a useful wake-up call, allowing us to re-evaluate our relationship with  subscribers as well as the effectiveness of our communication strategies.

Hope Recovery Project – Restoring Hope in Our Community

As an interactive agency, building investor awareness is what we do best. We influence people to think, talk, act and react! Our mission not only includes inspiring investor confidence, but also inspiring change in our community. The Hope Recovery Project is a project that is doing exactly that – inspiring change!

The Hope Recovery Project is a partnership between the Vancouver mining sector (that’s where we come in!) and the Union Gospel Mission (UGM). The project is raising funds to sponsor men through UGM’s intensive 6 month Alcohol and Drug Recovery program. The program rediscovers the forgotten and powerful – hope – for individuals in Metro Vancouver. Through this life-changing experience, men break free from addictive lifestyles and recover their best chance to succeed.

The collaborative efforts of Arash Adnani (Blender Media), Amir Adnani (Uranium Energy Corp.), Neil Adshead, Darryl Cardey (Millrock Resources), the Vancouver mining sector and UGM have been successful in creating a brighter future for people in our community. Last year, the project helped 12 men take part in this life-changing program.

This year is off to a great start. We’ve raised $92,310.00 and hope to raise another $17,690.00 to reach this year’s goal. This will help 10 more men get their lives back on the right track through UGM’s transformative 6 month program!

Will you consider a gift to help make this hope possible? Read some of the success stories at http://www.hoperecoveryproject.com to learn more about  how these funds make a difference in the lives of men in need.

We are passionate about making a difference in the lives of people in need, not only in investor’s confidence! We are excited to keep on thinking, talking, acting, and reacting to issues in our community! Join us and learn more about what you can do to spread hope and second chances @BlenderMedia and @UGM.