Not just public relations
I sat down with Kevin Brett, a professor here at the University of Oregon, to ask him some questions about his investor relations career and learn about his new strategic financial business communications class he started in the winter.
Kevin was the press secretary for Duke Deukmejian, who was running for governor of California at the time and won by the closest election in the history of the state. From there, Kevin started his investor relations career working for LSI Logic as the director of corporate public relations. He soon began his large trek up this steep new learning curve before getting into investor relations.
Kevin also started a new class called strategic financial business communications, J410, which he started teaching in the winter of 2013. The class goes in depth to the skills needed by investor relations professionals. Some of those include being familiar with a majority of business documents, such as balance sheets and income statements. This class is not taught in many universities and has a unique course objections.
Tips for aspiring investor relations students
1. Leave your ego at the door.
As you become part of the executive circle for a company, be sure to be humble and open to your ideas potentially being shut down. “Being asked my opinion by the CEO and CFO on how we should tell our story about our numbers, and when you do that, you have to check your ego at the door because they aren’t always going to agree” Kevin said. It’s important to realize that you’re giving advice to powerful people, that can have major repercussions if not handled correctly.
2. Who’s fit for the job?
Kevin started to go a bit deeper for the type of person that would thrive at an investor relations position. “Investor relations isn’t for everybody. . .If you get intimidated easily, don’t get into investor relations.” Kevin explained how cut throat the investor relations industry is and how competitive it is. Having thick skin is important because you are constantly getting ideas shot down by powerful people, and it can sometimes bring you down if you’re taking it personally.
Kevin’s knowledge and experience in the investor relations field is vast. He has a blog that he updates regularly; follow him at Almost Daily Brett to keep up with investor relations issues and events. Hopefully you found this helpful for those of you thinking about getting into investor relations.