Every entrepreneur and CEO, at some point on their journey, has envisioned what it would be like to “ring the bell,” taking a company from idea all the way to the public markets. But the road to taking a company public can be a winding one, and there are multiple paths companies may take en route to going public.
As you lay the groundwork for an eventual transition to life as a public company, make sure your PR partner is well-versed in the IPO process to get you there.
Public Relations Strategies for Taking a Company Public
Ultimately, when a company goes public, there are multiple options to assess, including:
- Initial Public Offering (IPO): The most well-known of the paths-to-public, an IPO unlocks capital with the potential of tremendous publicity fanfare. A solid media strategy will incorporate significant brand building and engagement with top-tier media well in advance of the IPO date, as well as a PR blitz centered on Listing Day. Regardless of whether the company elects for a traditional or confidential S-1 filing, a well-architected and well-executed communications plan can add hundreds of millions of dollars to a company’s market cap during the IPO process.
- Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC): A type of reverse merger, SPACs have ballooned in popularity in recent years due in part to their relatively confidential nature. A typical timeline for SPAC communications begins with a PR ramp to build momentum. Following the deal announcement, which is itself a lightning-rod moment for PR, the PR team is especially active during the deal marketing phase, essentially helping make the case to investors, whose approval may be required to consummate the deal.
- Direct Listing: Another alternative to a traditional IPO, a direct listing allows a company to access the public markets directly, or without underwriters. This has implications for the typical investor roadshow a company undertakes, as well as the communications timeline prior to Listing Day. The financial instrumentation of a direct listing also varies from that of the traditional IPO process; for example, a direct listing comes without lockup periods for insiders.
How to Take your Company Public with Walker Sands
Regardless of the path to becoming public, it is critical for companies to identify the right PR partner for the journey. The difference between a well-articulated company vision that is flawlessly executed in the media and one that falls flat can be tens or hundreds of millions of dollars – or more. The stakes have never been higher.
Of course, taking your company public comes with a whole new set of challenges and also opportunities – navigating quiet periods, being subjected to greater scrutiny, and so on.
The team at Walker Sands is well-suited to help you navigate these challenges – and capitalize on the new opportunities available to you on your journey to going public. Get in contact with our team via the form on this page to start the conversation around a PR strategy for taking your company public.