NORWALK, Conn.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--New research from ICR, a leading strategic communications firm, shows that the Investor Relations (IR) websites of the largest U.S. companies utilize best practices, including easy access to the IR website and comprehensive archiving of corporate information. The findings also identified several areas where companies can significantly improve shareholder engagement, including responsiveness to shareholder inquiries and utilizing video on the IR webpage.
According to ICR’s Investor Relations Website Benchmarking Survey of companies in the Russell 3000 Index, 97 percent of companies made their IR website accessible from the corporate homepage in a single click, and almost 100 percent of companies offered a comprehensive archive of press releases and other filings from the previous two years.
Although most companies follow basic IR website best practices, the survey results indicate there is material room for improvement in areas including:
- Responsiveness to shareholder requests: Companies fall short when it comes to effectively responding to investors’ questions/requests via the email address provided on their respective IR websites. Thirty-three percent of companies took over two days to respond while over 35 percent of companies did not respond to these inquiries.
- Leveraging the power of video: Ninety-six percent of companies did not include any video on their IR website, despite a growing trend of using video to communicate with investors.
- Keeping shareholders updated: Sixteen percent of companies’ IR websites did not provide “Email Alert” functionality to push news to their investors.
Don Duffy, President of ICR, said, “Investor Relations has entered the digital age and we’re seeing an increasing shift to the utilization of online tools to streamline investor communications. Investors have come to expect the same functionality from IR websites that they do from corporate websites, and while companies are striving to meet this demand, our benchmarking survey shows that there is room for improvement. The goal of investor communications, whether online or offline, is to engage and build relationships with shareholders, and many IR sites lack the tools to drive engagement and foster that two-way dialogue.”
Investor Relations Website Survey Methodology
In June and July of 2013, ICR surveyed IR websites of 2,894 public companies in the Russell 3000 index. The Company measured different aspects of these websites, ranging from IR website accessibility and press release & SEC filings access, to the use of video, access to IR contacts and companies’ responsiveness to investor-related inquiries. ICR assigned value to each benchmarking indicator to quantify the performance of each IR website. The sample size provides a strong representation of IR website practices across public companies.
Established in 1998, ICR partners with companies to develop and execute strategic communications programs that achieve business goals, build credibility, and enhance the long-term value of the enterprise. The firm’s highly differentiated service model, which pairs capital markets veterans with senior communications professionals, brings deep sector knowledge and relationships to clients in more than 20 industries. Today, ICR is one of the largest and most experienced independent advisory firms in North America maintaining offices in Boston, Connecticut, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Beijing.
Learn more at www.icrinc.com. Follow us on Twitter at @ICRPR.