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IR Website Best Practices - April 30, 2009


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IR Website Best Practices presentation learn five common barriers to effective Investor Relations Website communications.

Published in: Investor Relations
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IR Website Best Practices - April 30, 2009

  1. 1. IR WEB SITE BEST PRACTICES WEBINAR April 30, 2009 Presenter: Catherine Crofton, VP Sales & Marketing Moderator: Sheryl Joyce, Director, Marketing Communications Manage your disclosure faster, easier and with less compliance risk.
  2. 2. Q4 Web Systems – Introduction  Software to help public companies manage online disclosure  Faster, easier & with less compliance risk  Solutions for the corporate/investor web site  Experience provides insights into challenges that issuers face  Catherine Crofton VP Sales & Marketing
  3. 3. Methodology  CICA Corporate Reporting Awards experience  Annually audit 50+ sites  Selected from Fortune 500, ROB 1000 – all sectors  Input from:  IR Leaders  Third-party surveys  Webinars, conferences & industry sources  Regulatory guidelines
  4. 4. Importance of IR Web Site:  75% of portfolio managers use weekly if not daily Never Yearly 3%  47% of investment 8% Daily professionals rate as very Monthly 32% or extremely important 14%  45% of US portfolio managers say their perceptions are substantially impacted by a Weekly 43% company‟s corporate site Source: Rivel Research
  5. 5. BARRIER #1: Information not geared to various investor audiences
  6. 6. User Motivations  Introduction  Who, what, why, how? Market position. Investment proposition.  Should I recommend/invest with you?  Assurance  What‟s new? Why does it matter?  Did I make the right decision/recommendation?  What‟s next?  Reference  Where can I find it?  Access data quickly and easily  To stay informed and source new information
  7. 7. Entry Points for all Users Example of a fairly standard best practice approach to a home page with investor content integrated. Multiple entry points to Investor section & content– directly from the home page. Intro to company in centre panel provides content to the new user (should link to more) because that‟s the route they‟re going to take. Latest news, reports, results, stock quotes all available off the home page for all users. Longer-term user will likely go straight to IR section.
  8. 8. BARRIER #2: Key information not easily accessible
  9. 9. Difficult to Access Key Content  Navigational structure is not standard or consistent  Home/investor index lack quick entry points to key content  No navigational aids - „You are here‟  Lack of quick links to bring information forward  Information location is not intuitive  No helpful aids to sort/search information
  10. 10. Homepage Boxes in middle provide quick links to bring key information forward. Tag cloud is a helpful aid to search information. It automatically updates page with prioritization of most frequently accessed content for next visit.
  11. 11. Homepage Integration of Investor Content Clean, uncluttered home page. Long-term investor: Flash panel Quick entry and exit – highlights What‟s new? (RSS upcoming prompt right from here). events/key messages. Pull Recent investor: downs News provide Latest financials immediate Upcoming events. access to key content. Mobile access – easy way for all investors to stay informed. New Investor: Pull down – Why invest?
  12. 12. IR Index Page Centre panel keeps investors updated on new IR information and upcoming events/presentations – great for long-term user. Ability to print or email page, sign up for Immediate access RSS feeds. to „Why Invest?‟ Stock price Comprehensive information. sub-navigation gets all users into content quickly. Explanations for things like icons & quick troubleshooting for file access problems demonstrate intent to make easy for users. Latest news releases. Quick Links & pull down for frequently Plain language accessed information. URL– easy to maintain bookmark
  13. 13. IR Index Page Great use of feature boxes to highlight priority content. Tabbed pages allows users to Comprehensive sub- choose info of navigation provides interest right off entry into great the index page supporting info re: – defaults to investment proposition. News „At a Glance‟. Executive perspectives help you „know‟ the people. Also has Customer stories & product reviews.
  14. 14. IR Index Page Lower part of Sun‟s investor index “Highlights” provides quick entry into all other frequently accessed content.
  15. 15. News Releases Great feature to enable user to look up press releases by year, subject & keyword.
  16. 16. News Segments news in one area. Offers ability to search right off tab to go into Library where you can search all segments at once by year. Can sign up for RSS on any of them or all news.
  17. 17. Quarterly Results Great summary of information for Q3 results – a picture and quotation from the CEO, financial highlights followed by key bullets and then the entire document, with links to all relevant info/formats at the top of the page.
  18. 18. Quarterly Reports Great annual view with archives immediately available. Segments quarterly information under “item”.
  19. 19. BARRIER #3: Content does not convey or summarize a compelling investment proposition
  20. 20. Why Invest? – Requirements  Company background  Market data  Unique strengths & why they‟re important  Mission  Strategic objectives  Leadership  Past performance
  21. 21. Define Your Story Uses interactive online annual report to aid in defining their story. “More per acre” encapsulates vision statement. The problem and the need are intertwined Vision Statement: “Play a key role in the throughout all of the Company‟s global food solution while building long-term communications. It directly connects to their vision value for all our stakeholders.” statement.
  22. 22. Why Invest? Potash provides top level information on the global market opportunity for their product „potash „and how their company is poised to capitalize on this. Embedded links pop out charts and graphs to illustrate problem & opportunity.
  23. 23. Why Invest? Why Invest linked to in-depth information on all aspects of their business including global trends & statistics that really illustrate their market opportunity & investment proposition. See “Global Development” pull down for details. Pull down: have downloadable „Business Overview‟. This entire section on Global Development plays as a slide show. Have also included a glossary of terms.
  24. 24. Why Invest? Intertwine the six keys to understanding their business in repurposed sections from their online report – use some flash but mostly static pages with embedded links, lots of charts providing market data. And they repeat this story – „Helping Produce More Per Acre‟.
  25. 25. Company “About Us” – Answers question of “Who we are. What we do. Where we‟re going. How we‟re going to get there. History includes a Addresses leadership and accountability. pull down for each year with performance overview and stories on achievements in ESR. The Strategy is also highlighted on this page. UK survey by Real World indicates that 91% of investors said they wanted more background on a company and its competitors.
  26. 26. Markets Information The “Markets Information” section provides extensive information on the markets as well as the ability to sign up for email alerts and RSS feeds for changes in market conditions.
  27. 27. Management Views This page adds value as it provides insights related to management expertise such as: impact of climate change, safety, customer relations, workplace skills, competitive landscape, risk management. Available as MP3 with transcripts.
  28. 28. BARRIER #4: Key content is missing, in wrong format or just not engaging
  29. 29. Common Mistakes  Content is missing  Too much information in PDF format  Overuse of dark background with knockout type  Long monotonous scrolls  Amateur photography  Little/no use of multi-media
  30. 30. Snapshot Info/Relational Links They use the right rail for relational links – as a way of bringing information forward & moving users deeper into the site. Danisco uses the centre panel to provide fast facts on their company. Often we see Fast Facts in the right rail along with Quick Links as a way of highlighting key information from the centre panel. Most companies underutilize this.
  31. 31. Imagery Provides Visual Break + Smaller companies have indicated they typically don‟t have big + budgets for visuals. To illustrate how inexpensive, we found the same images on istock for $12. + Without imagery, this page wouldn‟t be nearly as inviting. Images = $12 prompt a user to dig further.
  32. 32. Beyond the PDF – Communicating Board Skills Many companies normally include Board and officer bios, but usually only include a reverse chronology of the positions they‟ve held with no emphasis on expertise. Nexen does a great job on this page - spell out areas of expertise and puts this information in a matrix. The matrix describes how the expertise of their directors combine to help execute the company‟s strategy and ensure appropriate oversight.
  33. 33. Detailed shot of Nexen matrix below. It provides Beyond the PDF the combined skills of their directors. They also provide their process for evaluating the performance of their board.
  34. 34. Scorecards Provide Quick Snapshot The use of score cards is a growing trend. It is useful for showing investors how they measure their performance against goals and then update their progress. Details performance against annual governance goals and targets. Allows user to call up performance records for previous three years.
  35. 35. Beyond the PDF – Communicates Transparency This section summarizes information pertaining to each Board member. The notes link to an explanation of terms. One area not covered in this chart is compensation – which is covered in detail in a different section. Would be even better if they included it all in one spot.
  36. 36. Offering Multiple Formats Information is provided in a variety of formats – a complete PDF report, a summary report, an online version and a print version.
  37. 37. BARRIER #5: Lack of methods/tools to aid relationship/brand building
  38. 38. Communicating Accessibility A lot of companies miss the opportunity to make it easy for investors to call and ask questions. Instead of providing a contact name and their information they use a generic address such as info@investors. Making IRO‟s (and their teams) easily accessible gives a company credibility. In addition to providing full contact information, Bayer even puts a face to the person – a very good way of engaging current and potential investors.
  39. 39. Communicating Accessibility Ability to contact the Board varies by company, from anonymous email forms (Petro Canada) to mail /email specific titles such as Chair, Audit Committee, Ombudsmen (Potash & GE – which also provides a phone number) to providing a specific contact name, as Nexen has done.
  40. 40. Communicating Accessibility Coca-Cola details exactly how mail is handled and indicates that the majority of information actually makes it to the board.
  41. 41. Customization – 'My Page' Aviva has a “design your own information” page – very simple to set up; you just check off items you want or choose a profile from a pull down menu.
  42. 42. Customization – Investor Briefcase The term “Investor Briefcase” means many different things – here it offers „wish list‟ functionality that let‟s you choose items as you move through the site and view them in a summary area.
  43. 43. Frequently Sought Information – Investor Briefcase Cameco also uses an “Investor Briefcase” which allows users to consolidate the most sought after information.
  44. 44. Staying in Touch – Newsletters Companies of all sizes offer regular newsletters to provide greater insight into operations etc. This helps keep investors up-to-date and engaged.
  45. 45. Staying in Touch – Segmented Email Alerts We surmise that approximately 90% of companies offer email alerts. More and more are now using segmented email alerts. Aviva maximizes this tool through the various types of information they allow users to download on the right-hand panel – i.e. news, earnings releases, presentation, reports.
  46. 46. Staying in Touch – Segmented RSS Feeds RSS feeds are one of the best aids to address the SEC‟s new disclosure guidance under Reg FD. Unlike email, which can be blocked in spam filters, RSS feeds can distribute timely information to your users as soon as that information becomes available. Leading companies such as GE are now offering segmented RSS feeds – which again, allow users to select information of their choice.
  47. 47. Social Media Integration Here we look at a web site that integrates „sharing‟ through social media, one way of gaining a greater exposure online.
  48. 48. Conclusion – Ask Yourself These Questions  Am I addressing all user motivations?  Am I getting people into key content quickly?  Am I connecting the dots on our investment proposition?  Am I engaging my users?  Do I have tactics/tools to aid relationship building?
  49. 49. IR WEB SITE BEST PRACTICES Manage your disclosure faster, easier and with less compliance risk.