Some time back, following the trend set by #stocktwits, #twitter introduced a $cashtag. For those daunted by the concept of Twitter (let alone the $cashtag) we take a moment here to demystify the cashtag feature and provide some simple tips on how to be more across what’s being said about your company on twitter, because despite whether you’re participating in social media conversation about your company, it’s most likely occurring anyway.
Many ASX listed clients of IRM are already actively engaging with investors through Twitter, using IRM Newsroom to publish their announcements there.
However, even if you “don’t use Twitter” – you most likely are already on the forum. This is because if you’re a publicly listed company, with interested shareholders or under the scrutiny of media, you’re probably already being discussed.
Checking Twitter conversations
One way to find references where your company is being discussed is to look for a Cashtag, – a little symbol, where a ticker code is preceded by a $ sign. In the case of IRM client, Primary Healthcare, their cashtag would look like this: $PRY. The cashtag is like the conventional hashtag, where users insert a hash, or pound symbol: # in front of an important term or phrase – eg. #primaryhealthcare or #investorrelations, and the cashtag is used to specifically highlight news about particular stocks.
Many financial users are now routinely tweeting using cashtags. For example, Commsec tweets several times a day and every time they mention a stock they give it a cashtag. So almost certainly, a search of an ASX listed company’s cashtag on Twitter will reveal a number of posts. In the pic below, we searched Twitter using the code $PRY and found a list of references to Primary Healthcare, including one from Commsec, where they’ve used the cashtag to highlight and categorise their post:
If you are posting about your own company, and know that your ticker is shared with other companies on different exchanges, we’d recommend applying the .AX extension after your ticker – so it reads $XYZ.AX.
Why use cashtags?
Twitter introduced this functionality in July 2012 as a means of tracking investor- focused updates and it has since been used by the investor community online to save time when searching for updates regarding specific listed companies. This is what Twitter said when announcing the use of “cashtags”:
“When you’re talking about a publicly-traded company on Twitter, make sure you remember to use their new clickable stock tag. It’s also being called a “cashtag,” by some Twitter users. Whatever you call it, Twitter’s new hashtag functionality for stock symbols means that users can view streams of tweets about certain companies’ stock with ease. The cashtags work like hashtags in that they are highlighted blue and clickable. Instead of the “#” that precedes normal hashtags, “$” precedes the cashtags.”
Cashtag fast facts
- Cashtags were created so that users could more easily categorise and find stock news for a specific company or ticker symbol
- Cashtag tweets can be used to derive new insights about stocks and companies if we know how to mine the data correctly.
Essentially, cashtags are a distinct way of listing updates regarding news and financial data for a specific company and making these posts easily searchable for quick review. You can search for and click on ticker symbols like $BHP or $BHP.AX within Twitter, to see search results about stocks and companies of interest.
Want to include cashtags in your Twitter posts?
Here are some suggestions on how you can do so:
- Set up or activate your Twitter account
- Choose a cashtag to use – eg. $PRY for Primary.
- Set up IRM Newsroom to post your (selected) ASX Announcements to your Twitter account using your cashtag
- In tandem, suggest to your contacts (such as analysts / reporters), who might be tweeting about you that they use the cashtag.
- Take a look at your cashtag every so often to see what your overall voice looks like on Twitter.
You may also like to consider encouraging investors to use your cashtag by noting it within your ASX announcements and other investor materials
Including cashtags to your Twitter posts as a default is something IRM can quickly and easily assist with via settings in our Newsroom product.
Get started today
In this post, intellectual property expert, Tony Shaw, Patent Attorney with Allens Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys discusses where investors should look for value when assessing tech, biotech and lifescience stocks, and provides tips for companies on how to manage a successful IP strategy.
Investment in early stage tech companies, in particular ASX listed small-cap life sciences and tech companies is used (or should be used), primarily to fund technology development. Why? Because valuations improve as companies begin to demonstrate that their technology is becoming commercially relevant. Just look at how Spinfex’s phase II trial data helped them sell to Novartis for US$200 million cash up-front, in a deal that also included clinical development and regulatory milestone payments.
Good clinical trial or market data are key to attracting attention, but without solid intellectual property (IP) and an IP strategy, even the best new drug won’t be worth much. While a press release that says ‘we just got a patent’ is yawn-inducing, a good IP strategy is fundamental for success.
“A good IP strategy doesn’t require luck or coincidence, it requires process and a systematic approach.”
For some, an IP strategy just means giving their patent attorney a brief outline of their technology and telling them to file a patent application that broadly covers the entire field. At best, this leads to weak patent coverage, at worst no useful IP at all. Ideally, patents should be targeted to cover particular inventions that are commercially important to the company, whether they be a product per se, a technology that enables production of the product or technology that may not be the company’s core business but may nevertheless be out licensed to generate revenue. Any investment in IP protection should be made with consideration to the value that IP brings to the company. It should be remembered that the patentability of an invention is not solely determinative of the value of that invention.
Every tech company that is serious about success should have an IP strategy. This requires an understanding of patent and trade mark law, commercialisation of new and evolving technologies, and a clear vision of what makes up the company’s research and development program. A firm view of the future of the industry also helps – because a patent needs to cover what the product will be when it goes on sale, not just what it is early in development.
An IP strategy should be developed early and periodically refined in a process that involves both the company and their patent attorney. The company should provide their attorney with future goals, their core competencies and a realistic analysis of their existing and planned R&D. This should be combined with market analysis, consideration of commercial opportunities and an analysis of existing and potential alliances.
Keep in mind that getting a patent, while sometimes not straightforward, is the easy part. What is really needed is a patent covering a commercially useful technology which can then be leveraged to create value for the company. This doesn’t often happen without a well thought out and well executed IP Strategy.
“Some companies succeed without an IP strategy, just like some people win the lottery.”
There are always exceptions, some companies that have short-lived products, like apps often don’t utilize IP. Some companies succeed without an IP strategy, just like some people win the lottery. A good IP strategy doesn’t require luck or coincidence it requires process and a systematic approach.
Allowing for mistakes
Busy people doing several jobs at once usually run small tech companies. They often don’t involve their patent attorneys when making decisions about what will be protected (even though they should!)
Sometimes management doesn’t appreciate the value of a potential IP asset and the chance to acquire an asset is missed. Conversely, sometimes patents are filed for no clear reason and add little value. A company needs clear criteria as well as preferably independent checks to control the execution of an IP strategy to ensure that a mistake or oversight doesn’t lead to a missed opportunity to create value.
“Periodic IP audits by a patent attorney are always a good idea and one that more often than not will result in identifying previously unknown assets.”
The boring stuff – IP audits and IP training
Its always surprising how some people think obvious things are patentable and will make them millions and others think that great innovations are so obvious (to them) that they can’t be patented. Patentability analysis should be left to patent attorneys. A company should use its attorney to train their R&D team to understand patentability requirements so that they are better placed to inform decision makers when they have developed something that is potentially patentable.
Periodic IP audits by a patent attorney are always a good idea and one that more often than not will result in identifying previously unknown assets.
Learning from Success
Almost daily, I see tech companies that are still trying to develop products based on 10 year old patents. These companies have not learnt or have ignored lessons from dominant tech companies. Companies like Genentech, any big pharma company, Apple, IBM (the list goes on) all have carefully developed IP strategies. Granted, an ASX listed small-cap life sciences company doesn’t have the R&D nor legal budget of an Apple or IBM but that is no reason why their executives should not be thinking like a bigger company with their approach to IP.
Having a great IP strategy is not easy but a tech company (a good one at least) will have a board that understands and knows how to leverage IP to create value. It will train its employees to identify patentable assets and will conduct periodic IP audits.
Reviewing or considering your IP strategy?
Dr Tony Shaw is a patent attorney with Allens Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys, and specialises in IP advisory for listed company clients. If you’d like to speak with Tony about your IP strategy, please contact him via email@example.com or +61 2 9230 4622.
Many thanks to Tony for this insightful post. The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do no necessarily reflect the views of Allens Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys.
Attracting good candidates can be a challenging and costly task in highly competitive jobs markets. Recognising this, more and more IRM clients have been investing in their own function-rich careers centres.
In this post, we look at how diversified mining and exploration company, Independence Group (ASX: IGO) has recently released a candidate-rich Careers section on their website, using specialist functionality available through IRM’s recent HQi 4.2 software upgrade.
About Independence Group
Independence Group is an ASX listed diversified mining and exploration company that is currently producing gold, nickel and copper, zinc and silver from three mining operations in Western Australia. Independence Group’s gold production comes from its 30% interest in the Tropicana Gold Mine (AngloGold Ashanti 70% and manager) in Western Australia. Independence produces nickel from its 100% owned Long Operation in Kambalda in Western Australia and produces copper, zinc and silver from its 100% owned Jaguar Operation 60km north of Leonora in Western Australia.
The challenge – setting up a careers centre with advanced functionality
With projects in a range of locations across Australia, and the need to ensure ongoing access to good people, Independence Group determined it needed to make the experience of searching and applying for a job through the corporate website as streamlined and user-friendly as possible. It also needed to ensure potential job seekers had access to a thorough set of resources which highlighted the benefits of working for a company like Independence Group.
While the company already had some pages on its site which provided detail for potential candidates on the benefits of working for Independence Group, the application process needed to be much better streamlined. The HR Manager also needed a strong set of tools behind the website to keep the job application process simple and time efficient.
The solution – information, functionality and reporting
Recognising that the success of the business depends upon the success of its people, Independence Group worked with IRM to upgrade the Careers centre to ensure that it provided the right mix of information, functionality and reporting to satisfy both candidates and the company.
The updated Independence Group Careers centre contains:
- Detail on the IGO difference – which sets out why working with an Australian mining company with a bigger vision, like Independence Group comes with a great deal of opportunity for employees
- Working with us – which details the ways in which candidates can find work with IGO, including detail on full time roles and info on their Apprenticeships, Undergraduate, Graduate and Post Graduate programs, comments from IGO alumni as well as a set of FAQs covering the recruitment and selection process
- An overview of the projects and locations through which job seekers can find roles with IGO
- A benefits summary – including info on career development opportunities, competitive salaries, access to employee discounts, and more
- A photo gallery which shows IGO people at work on the job
- A list of current vacancies, through which job seekers can browse to find jobs of interest. Drop downs allow candidates to filter for jobs in particular locations, and fields of work
- Register your expression of interest enables potential candidates to submit a cover letter, resume and note their interest in working with IGO across a range of disciplines – from administrative roles through to engineering, geology, IT, safety and a number of other job types
At the back end, we developed a solution that allowed the HR Manager to easily filter through job applications, and to load new ads up to the website as and when required.
A summary of the features included in the new Careers module is as follows:
- Simple user-friendly, interface for uploading job listings
- Ability to edit, hide, duplicate and manage listings
- Ability to add PDFs or link to alternate hyperlinks to more information
- Listings are automatically removed from the website after application expiry date (set by you)
- Visitors can filter opportunities by Location and Career Field (eg. Marketing, Sales, Engineering etc)
- Customisable online application form with the ability to upload a Cover Letter and CV
Well done, Independence Group
We appreciate the opportunity to have worked with you through the development of your upgraded Careers centre and think it is an excellent resource for new employees.
Considering including a Careers centre in your website
Delivering enriched functionality through your corporate website’s Careers area is easy with IRM’s new Careers module. If you’re interested in a discussion about how to get set up, please contact Danny Hunt via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: +61 2 8233 6168, or see www.irmau.com for more detail.