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Inksights: Media Intelligence Report | IPO Trends

Apr 17, 2024 Keith Giannini and Sally Brown

Today, we are excited to introduce our inaugural Inksights: Media Intelligence Report, a data-driven analysis of specific media trends. We’ll analyze different media trends throughout the year, starting with IPO media coverage. Our main takeaway? While artificial intelligence (AI) might be the driving force in B2B technology, it doesn’t play a leading role in IPO articles (yet!). 

We walk through three specific IPO media trends below, from volume and tone to how AI is influencing the conversation. This type of research informs our integrated communications strategies, enabling our clients to better connect with target audiences.

1. How Does an IPO Impact a Company’s Media Coverage?

We looked at media coverage volumes for both Reddit (IPO in March 2024) and Instacart (IPO in September 2023) in the months leading up to and in Instacart’s case, the months following their IPOs. 

IPO coverage pops are not predictors of future media coverage levels:

While only the future will tell following Reddit’s IPO, Instacart’s coverage volume is currently even lower than before its IPO. Make sure you have a clear strategy for Day 2 media campaigns before the big day. 

Reddit

Instacart

Maximize the impact of your IPO:

An IPO will generate a tremendous volume of media coverage. A clear strategy and regular collaboration with investor relations and legal teams will help ensure you can maximize the impact of this milestone.

2. IPO Media Coverage Mentioning AI Increased 120% in 2023 

  • Not surprisingly, IPO media coverage mentioning AI increased 120% in 2023 from 2022. This is interesting in that outside of just a few later-stage companies (like OpenAI), the majority of AI companies are early-stage startups nowhere near an IPO. It is another proof point that all media are writing about the topics that keep readers clicking and engaged. 
  • Even so, AI still only accounts for 18% of the overall share of the IPO conversation (even though AI topics were included in more than double the number of IPO articles in 2023). Yes, there are IPOs outside of AI—a lot of them.  
  • But Looking at the first quarter of 2024, it appears AI mentions in IPO articles are only picking up steam — claiming a 34% share of conversation of all articles mentioning IPOs. 
  • Bottomline — if you’re a tech company on the IPO track, you better have your AI story ready to go!


3. IPO Optimism is Back!

Early in the year, journalists speculate on the state of the IPO market and which companies may go public in the coming 12 months. We looked at the tone and sentiment of IPO media coverage in January 2024 compared to January 2023. IPO optimism appears to be back! 

There was a 267% increase in positive or optimistic IPO articles this January compared to January 2023. For context, we also compared January 2024 with January 2021, during the peak of the tech IPO and funding wave. There is actually a slight (7%) decrease this year in positive IPO articles when comparing these two timeframes. 

Inksights: What is the data telling us?

  • Only a 7% decrease in optimistic IPO articles compared to January 2021: While we won’t likely see the IPO markets come back to 2021 levels (there were 1,090 IPOs in 2021 compared to only 171 in 2023) this year, it’s a positive sign that journalists may be more receptive to potential IPO storylines.   
  • Take the blinders off: Our advice? When developing your IPO strategy, be sure to consider the broader macro narratives. You want to keep your corporate messages positive, but you never want to look out of touch with the realities of the market.

Stay tuned for our next Inksights | Media Intelligence Report. In the meantime, check out our case study on CAVA as we supported them towards IPO.


Methodology 

To keep the results focused and accurate, our methodology focused on select tier 1 media. We analyzed recent IPO media coverage at top-tier national business press, including Bloomberg, Reuters, WSJ, Business Insider, Fortune, Forbes, CNBC, Axios, CNN, NYT, Washington Post, U.S. News, Fast Company, Quartz, Marketplace, Crunchbase News, and TechCrunch. We used several tools to conduct this analysis, including Cision and Meltwater.

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