Corporate Communications app for iPhone, iPad and Android – theCOMMSapp

Mobile MindShare May 2014


Welcome to the May edition of Mobile MindShare, your monthly source for all things mobile, brought to you by theCOMMSapp. This was an exciting month as theCOMMSapp was featured on CNBC’s Mad Money with Jim Cramer. I joined Jim to discuss our flagship products, theIRapp (for public companies) and theEMPLOYEEapp (a secure internal communications mobile solution). Jim and I also spoke about the role mobile apps play in enabling companies to communicate directly with and push important information directly to their targeted audience – whether it’s an investor, employee or customer. If you didn’t catch the segment, feel free to watch it below.

Continue reading below for the latest trends in annual reports, an update on Samsung’s selfie marketing campaign as well as to learn about some of the newest companies to join theCOMMSapp family of apps.  We hope you are enjoying our newsletter and look forward to connecting with you again next month.

Jeff Corbin
Founder, theCOMMSapp



The Annual Report Trend – Print Isn’t Dead…Yet

With annual reporting season in full swing, we wanted to take a look at current trends in print and digital annual reports.  In so doing, we scoured the web and spoke to Eisenman Associates, an agency specializing in digital annual reports.

Based on all the information we gathered, print isn’t dead…yet.  The National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) publishes a study every other year on just this topic and the results from the 2013 study found that after a four year decline, print budgets actually increased by two percent in 2012 compared to 2010.  However, that number pales in comparison when compared to the 30 percent increase that electronic/online annual report budgets experienced over the same time period.

While NIRI took a look at annual report budgets, PR Newswire was able to survey both the investment community and IROs on this subject.  Of the investment community, 32 percent said they plan to read annual reports online. Surprisingly, only 11 percent of the IROs surveyed noted that they would be going purely digital for their upcoming annual report.  We at theIRapp expect this number will continue to rise as video and other digital-only content infiltrates the annual report.

In addition to NIRI and PR Newswire’s findings, we spoke with Nina Eisenman, President of Eisenman Associates.  Eisenman Associates is a strategic communications firm that helps public companies, investment firms and funds turn complex business initiatives and investment theses into clear, compelling marketing and communications. Below are excerpts from our conversation with Nina.

theIRapp: In regards to creating annual reports, what are the one or two major trends you are seeing today versus what you were seeing five years ago?

Nina: There’s a big trend in annual reports with companies scaling back, not many companies are doing traditional annual reports anymore.  A lot have gone to a 10-K wrap or a summary annual report.  For a company doing a 10-K wrap…in the past they might have gone to an automatically generated flipbook…but now companies are starting to add more content to the online version because they don’t have to pay extra printing costs for it, they basically can just publish extra content on the online version and not have to support the expenditures that are associated with having that content printed up.  For example, a company’s financials highlights might have additional interactive charts that are not in the printed copy, videos to go with different story lines…and of course the classic CEO message video.

theIRapp: In the debate of “print” versus “digital”, about how many companies that you work with are going purely one way or the other?  Or is it a hybrid approach?

Nina: At this point pretty much all of the Fortune 500 have some sort of digital publishing for their annual report.  There are very few, some of the more traditional companies, that only do a print version through a plain 10-K and Edgar filing.  In terms of companies that want to maximize their communication value, those companies are really starting to explore doing more online, while they scale back the print.

theIRapp: What is the reaction you hear from investors with regard to the consumption of a digital versus printed annual report?

Nina: So we had the opportunity to interview some buy-side and sell-side analysts about this topic, and most analysts will go directly to the 10-K.  The interesting thing that we found in our interviews is that if there is video content, and the video content is not just a reiteration of the content they just read (so it can be something like a virtual investor day by showing new facilities or a new product line) investors are very interested in seeing that type of content. It adds another layer that they couldn’t get from the print.


The Water Cooler  

theEMPLOYEEapp Receives Rave Reviews

Last month we unveiled theEMPLOYEEapp, a native app platform that securely integrates with an organization’s active employee database and allows companies to push important company information and content (documents, audio and video) to their employees.

Since its ‘official’ debut, theEMPLOYEEapp has been embraced by companies and the media alike. By the end of Q2 2014, we expect that more than 250,000 employees around the globe will have their company’s EMPLOYEE app on their mobile device.

In a recent conversation with Simply Communicate, an online community for internal communications professionals, theCOMMSapp Founder, Jeff Corbin, discussed the impetus behind the creation of theEMPLOYEEapp: 

“The thinking behind our platform was based on hundreds of conversations that we had for so many years with both public and private companies on the challenges they were facing when communicating with their non-desk workforce,” says Corbin.

 Since more and more employees are on the road, work remotely and are not tied to a desktop computer, organisations find it difficult to ensure that important company information is received simultaneously and in a timely fashion.

 So, Corbin developed theEMPLOYEEapp extending the reach of its existing app solutions (such as theIRapp for public companies and investment funds and theCOMMSapp for external communications) to support the relationship between employer and employees. Read the full article by clicking here.

Upon learning about theEMPLOYEEapp Mobile Enterprise Magazine interviewed Corbin and said:

theEMPLOYEEapp Untethers the Intranet

If there’s one frontier in the enterprise that hasn’t yet gone mobile, it’s the all-important intranet and the many timely internal files shared there with employees — but theCOMMSapp is hoping to change that. Read the full article by clicking here.

theEMPLOYEEapp is looking to solve a problem that many internal communications professionals face on a daily basis – engaging with employees and communicating company information to a dispersed workforce. It is widely recognized that poor employee communications directly leads to a disengaged workforce that then correlates to decreased productivity and revenue. As employees are increasingly not beholden to a desk but rather on the road, in a factory, driving a truck, etc., internal communications professionals have struggled to find a solution to this problem.

theEMPLOYEEapp takes advantage of mobile technology and its rapid proliferation to provide organizations large and small with a secure way to directly communicate and push information to their employees simultaneously and instantaneously. The importance of mobile as a business strategy cannot be ignored; by the end of 2014, 40% of the Fortune 1000 is expected to incorporate mobile into their business operations. Check out the video below to learn more about how theEMPLOYEEapp works and how you can build one for your organization.

Mobile Views

Mobile is the New Black

According to a recent study by Flurry, a mobile analytics firm, the average U.S. consumer spends 2 hours and 42 minutes per day using mobile applications. Many of those are applications specifically dedicated to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While companies are increasingly embracing “desktop-based” social media as an avenue to connect with their targeted audience, many are not considering how these audiences engage with a brand via “mobile social media.”

A mobile social media strategy can go a long way in furthering brand engagement. Here are a few ways to make your social media mobile friendly.

    • Consider the platforms you are using: 60% of Twitter users are mobile only! And although you’re limited to 140 characters, humans are visual creatures. Image tweets receive 91% more retweets and favorites than those that just contain text. There is nothing wrong with having a “desktop” versus “mobile” social media strategy. Choosing a specific platform, such as Twitter, to target your mobile audience is a tactic that is proving successful for brands.
    • Make your content “lightweight”: When on their mobile device, consumers are “on the go.” As a result, you only have a very short period of time to capture their attention and drive home a message. Make your content easily accessible, create clear and concise headlines; make sure your call to action is in the beginning. Mobile users don’t want to scroll through a novel – they want a company to get to the point!
    • There’s an app for that: Before engaging with a mobile social platform, download the app and test it out. Consider this thought – the way in which you as the marketer experience the app is probably the way your targeted audience will experience it.
    • Tailor your advertising efforts to a mobile audience: If you are utilizing ads as part of your social media marketing efforts – be smart! Make sure the avenues you choose to advertise actually fall into or can be seen on mobile devices. For example, if you advertise on Facebook’s “Sponsored Stories,” it is guaranteed that you will show up in the feed of your mobile audience.

In 2013, eMarketer, a digital marketing and media research firm, stated that the amount of time people spend on their mobile devices is growing 14 times faster than the amount of time they spend at desktop computers. Making sure your social content is mobile friendly is therefore a necessary element of a successful social media marketing campaign.

To check out more great tips on mobile marketing and social media, we recommend you read How to Make Your Social Media Mobile Friendly in Social Media Today.


Need to Know

Samsung Trying to Increase Market Share One Selfie at a Time

In comScore’s recently released report on smartphone market share in the U.S., Apple was ranked in first place with 41.3% and Samsung in second at 27%. While Apple remains in the lead, Samsung is giving Apple a good run for its money.

So what is Samsung doing to build awareness and market share (and combat Apple)? They have embarked on an aggressive public relations campaign that includes using high profile selfies. The selfie has become a massive trend and one that Samsung has exploited for better or worse over the last few months. First there was the Oscars’ selfie that was taken after Ellen DeGeneres handed Bradley Cooper a Galaxy phone to take a group selfie including A-listers Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Angeline Jolie, and Meryl Streep, among others. Samsung sponsored the Oscars and claimed that DeGeneres “organically” incorporated the brand into her selfie. Meanwhile, the image was retweeted 3 million times (crashing Twitter temporarily).  And we’re sure Samsung wasn’t complaining.

More recently, David Ortiz, a Boston Red Sox player, was visiting the White House celebrating the team’s 2013 World Series win, and asked President Obama if he could get a picture with him. Ortiz took out his Samsung phone and snapped a selfie with the President. What most didn’t know, including the White House, was that Samsung paid Ortiz to take the photo as part of an advertising campaign. This didn’t sit well with the White House but now the story has gone viral.

While it’s still unclear whether or not this selfie tactic will pay off in actual sales and increased market share, it has certainly paid off in building Samsung’s brand, as the sheer amount of media coverage and attention it has garnered is substantial. Samsung generated 5.5 million direct interactions with their branded products from these two photos alone. Will these millions of interactions convert to increased sales? Do you think more people will be jumping on the Samsung bandwagon after these selfie stunts? Tell us what you think on Twitter


Mobile Music of the Month

Change The World
Eric Clapton

In honor of Eric Clapton headlining the 45th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, we bring you one of his classics, “Change the World”.


theCOMMSapp Welcomes

Who: The 15th annual Depositary Receipt Issuers’ Conference (DRIC), Emerging Europe, Middle East & Africa.

What: theCONFERENCEapp

Why: To communicate directly with attendees of the recent DRIC EEMEA conference both before, during and after the event.

Interesting Fact: DRIC World EEMA is the region’s only annual Depository Receipt event and is now in its 15th year providing a unique opportunity to collaborate with leading issuers and capital markets experts from around the globe.



 Lexington Partners is one of the world’s largest and most successful independent managers of secondary private equity and co-investment funds.

What: theEMPLOYEEapp

Why: To communicate important company information directly to its employees.

Interesting Fact: Lexington Partners is a global firm with offices located in major centers for private equity and alternative investing – New York, Boston, Menlo Park, London, and Hong Kong. In addition, Lexington Partners has senior advisors located in key areas of emerging interest – Asia, Australia, and Latin America. Since 1990, Lexington has acquired over 2,200 secondary and co-investment interests through 500 transactions with a total value in excess of $30 billion, including $10 billion of syndications.


Mobile News

04/24/2014 NEHRA News: Employee Engagement: A Mobile Communications Strategy is the Solution
04/04/2014 Simply-Communicate: theCOMMSapp, a new platform designed by communicators
04/02/2014 The Mobile Browser Is Dead, Long Live The App
04/01/2014 theCOMMSapp featured on CNBC’s Mad Money with Jim Cramer
04/01/2014 Apps Solidify Leadership Six Years into the Mobile Revolution
03/31/2014 App security the elephant in the room