FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

Investors are uncannily good at determining the value of a new social media platform, messenger app or enterprise software suite. Give them a million lines of code and they can determine how much capital is required, what percentage of the company that funding is worth, when to sell their stakes and for how much. But many have forgotten how to evaluate investments in infrastructure upon which we all rely in real life.

In telecommunications or transportation or utilities, there’s plenty of work to be done to modernize and automate physical plants, allowing us all to connect to one another more richly, travel more efficiently and draw breath from cleaner air. That’s why Darien Group is committed to improve the communication strategies of firms that help everybody keep their lights on.

Brand development

As a company develops its portfolio of hard assets, it’s understandable how they might overlook the soft ones. Messaging development and visual branding don’t improve network bandwidth or the scheduling of rolling stock or the efficiency with which motive power is converted to electricity. Still, they’re what differentiate one infrastructure firm from another in the minds of investors, public-sector partners and end users.

Darien Group can help an infrastructure company translate its portfolio and strategic focus into consistent, instantly recognizable cues that make it more approachable and more highly esteemed.

Web development

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Not every website is a sales channel. Not every website needs a cash register. But it does need to make a strong first impression that speaks to the company’s stability, credibility and trustworthiness.

A website with professional gloss starts with eye-catching design and crackling copy, the kind of artifacts that require thorough training, specialized skills and, above all, native talent. Darien Group’s associates can concentrate on wireframes, full-site prototypes and mobile optimization so portfolio companies can focus on building the next generation of infrastructure.

Investor materials

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Infrastructure industries are more insulated than most from the economic cycle, which puts firms that channel funds into them in a unique position: When times are good, they have to make a compelling case for investing in capital-intensive projects involving hardhats and shovels instead of more ethereal ones involving coding and more coding. When times are bad, they need to explain why infrastructure is not only a good investment for today, it’s also a sector where capital can be locked up without regret once the economy turns returns to expansion.

That’s important to bear in mind when developing an Investor Day deck, quarterly report or other record that faces the financial community. In addition, each of these documents needs to ensure brand consistency as well as conformance with prevailing legal standards of fair disclosure.

Darien Group can help infrastructure firms provide timely, professionally crafted investor communications to take all these concerns into consideration.

Video and photography production

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Any presentation, whether targeting the public or investors, can be enhanced by embedded video. But it can just as easily be diminished if the media doesn’t promote the presenter’s narrative, exude high production value and maintain brand consistency.

If the video is presented on the infrastructure investment company’s website, it must be rendered in a way that will promote search engine optimization (SEO) and otherwise aid in the site’s discoverability and degree of engagement.

Whether that company’s goal for the video is to focus attention at the AGM or to mazimize SEO, though, the video could include much the same content:

  • Interviews with executive leadership and portfolio company management teams
  • Supplementary footage of portfolio company business operations
  • Moving case studies of portfolio properties
  • Animations and interactive diagrams

Darien Group stands ready to schedule professional photoshoots that highlight the value propositions of infrastructure projects and the credentials of the leaders who saw them first.

General collateral

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Regardless of industrial sector, every company needs some table-stakes branded materials: business cards, letterhead, evergreen brochures, corporate fact sheets and other touchpoints. But a company that invests in infrastructure has the additional challenge of producing sustainability reports.

Few industries have more potential environmental impact than infrastructure. Then again, no industry is doing more to reduce that impact or conserve natural resources. The trick is explaining that to the public and to investors.

Vague notions no longer suffice. Stakeholders – whether in the local community or the investor community – want to know the specifics of what a firm is doing in terms of material use or reuse, energy efficiency, promoting biodiversity, reducing water withdrawal and controlling emissions and waste.

Investors are at least as concerned with these matters as the public at large. Part of that is because more and more fund charters are specifying that a percentage of their portfolio must be set aside to invest in projects that target a particular sustainability goal – or that 0% can be invested in projects that disregard it.

And environmental protection is only one dimension of sustainability. An infrastructure firm that is committed to improving product responsibility, human rights and labor relations – or having a positive impact on the economy and society at large – has a story that needs to be told. Darien Group can find the words and images to best express it.

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