DESPITE major advances in web technologies over the past few years, most investor relations websites are little different from what they were a decade ago.
However, there are always exceptions — and now Q4 Web Systems, which provides content management software and tools for IR and corporate websites, has compiled a free compendium of best practices from a wide range of companies around the world as a resource for IR departments seeking to improve their online presence.
Unlike what you typically get from a vendor whitepaper, Q4’s best practices report doesn’t highlight examples only from its own clients. The report’s author, Sheryl Joyce, has looked far afield to find exemplars.
Companies mentioned include General Electric, HP, The Coca-Cola Company, Royal Dutch Shell, Danske Bank, PotashCorp, Femsa, Cameco, BASF, Aviva plc, and Q4 clients like Agnico-Eagle and TVI Pacific, to name few.
The 84-page report is a richly illustrated resource that anyone can use, regardless of which IR website service provider they are using. In this sense, the paper adds to the body of knowledge about IR website best practices without being overly promotional of Q4’s products.
It is divided into six sections, each containing recommended best practices supported by screenshots and links to live example sites. The chapters are:
- Make investor content easy to access;
- Convey a compelling investment proposition;
- Provide content in formats that engage visitors;
- Be accessible and offer multiple way to stay connected;
- Offer investor tools and package useful information; and,
- Highlight social media channels and embed multimedia content.
The final chapter on social media is an area where Q4 and its CEO Darrell Heaps have expended substantial time and effort to help educate and inform the North American IR community. Heaps is a frequent speaker on the topic at events hosted by the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) and the Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI).
However, it would be wrong to characterize the IR website best practices report as pushing the use of social media in IR. The topic accounts for just 10 pages of the report, and some of the best ideas are actually contained in the earlier chapters.
The report is available free of charge via email after you fill out a short registration form.