Turning the invisible, visible
The Private Equity (PE) sector is quietly transforming. From one which has, as the name suggests, been largely private and to all intents and purposes largely invisible online, to one where an online presence is expected and appreciated. To date many firms have preferred a limited digital presence with much of the information held securely behind login screens. This opacity has largely been driven by a belief that as an industry, it just does not need to communicate online - preferring and believing its stakeholders seek personal direct communication.
But the world has changed and ‘private’ no longer means invisible. Stakeholders expect an online presence. Many firms have struggled to make what is arguably the biggest step, the first one, where much time is spent considering which channels to use, what should be said and how often to say it.
Why is this shift taking place?
As demand for online communication has soared a PE firm’s lack of presence has increasingly jarred. At best the void has been filled by nothing. At worst it has been filled by less than kind voices or competitors. Therefore, taking control of your website and your key digital channels is imperative. It allows you to remain competitive, not only owning your own story and reputation but also your narrative. By not having a presence there is a danger that someone else will tell your story.
Your audience is out there, and with 91% of all business searches starting online*, taking control of your online messaging is key. How far you go in terms of communication is down to a matter of choice and comfort. At its simplest, start with a search for yourself. Do you appear, does a competitor, what else fills the search page? Perhaps you find an unclaimed LinkedIn page promoting jobs at your competitors or a misleading Glassdoor profile from 10 years ago? Start with your website. 92% of stakeholders do.**
A new online presence
Your presence doesn’t need to be significant but it does need to represent you. Just like buying a new suit, you need to be comfortable wearing it and happy with how it presents you. It is the same with creating an online presence, you won’t necessarily need a full brand system and stream of content and news, but you do need a clear narrative and an identity that goes beyond a logo and colour palette. A typical narrative starts with your approach, then considers scale and reach, leadership, values, and ultimately contact.
…And there you have the basis for a typical narrative.
We have worked with many PE and global investment firms over the years creating new brand identities, building engaging narratives, and launching innovative digital platforms. These include Riverstone Holdings, Rhone Capital, HPS, Hysan, WorldQuant and Exponent to name a few. We work closely with them to revamp, refresh and transform their digital communications to reflect the businesses that they are today.
If you have any questions about evolving your digital presence, please get in touch with James McCobb, Partner, Digital.
91% of investors report using Google search results to investigate an issue.
**Source: 2021 Brunswick Digital Investor Survey
92% of investors report using the investor relations section of a company’s website to investigate an issue.