NIRI (the National Investor Relations Institute) recently reviewed the investor relations Web sites of the 100 largest publicly traded companies in an effort to develop a set of best-in-class practices. The results were presented in a comprehensive Executive Alert distributed to members.
Some highlights to keep in mind when reviewing or building your own IR site:
- Provide direct contact information for the IR team (include both internal and external contacts).
- Use common names for standard pieces of information to make them more easily identifiable to users.
- Don’t burry important company messages in your FAQ. Create separate sections for key information such as shareholder services.
- Avoid having the site launch new windows as a way of accessing content or functionality.
Additionally, certain core elements were found among the Web sites that were reviewed:
- 92% contained earnings press releases;
- 92% contained stock quotes/charts;
- 89% provided transfer agent information;
- 87% offered webcasts;
- 82% offered e-mail alerts;
- 80% gave dividend information;
- 77% included a historical stock price lookup feature and a history of stock splits; and
- 62% included an investment calculator.
If you haven’t looked at the content on your investor relations Web site recently, now is a good time for a check-up. As we reported here on August 5, 2008, the SEC recently released new interpretive guidance that could give companies the ability to use their Web sites as an appropriate full disclosure outlet. The more up-to-date and feature rich your site, the better chance you’ll have of meeting the SEC’s Web site disclosure guidelines.
– Laurie Berman, Senior Vice President, email@example.com