Optimize your IR web!
Surfing around on the websites of Swedish large cap companies and in particular their IR websites, you can quickly establish a good deal of conformity. Of course, different websites distinguish themselves in a number of ways, but maybe mostly from a design perspective. Some websites feel very modern, while others have an expiration date that passed a long time ago. The conformity is more about content. It feels like most of the IR-pages were created based on the same template, some form of IR Web 1.0, and after that not much has happened. Perhaps it is time for an upgrade?
Quoted Swedish companies seem to have a tendency to see the IR web as a necessary evil, and publish information accordingly, i.e. mostly living up to the existing rules and regulations on information disclosure and have similar information as everybody else. If companies had invested the same energy and resources in developing the IR web as they seem to do with their annual reports the picture would probably be different.
The IR web should be dynamic and, above all, the main source of accurate and updated information on the company and its operations. On the IR web, existing and potential shareholders, and others, should find easy accessible information to facilitate investment decisions. One way to achieve this is to highlight the company’s investment case.
A somewhat unscientific survey of 57 Swedish large cap company’s IR websites show that no company has as a specific section about why to invest in company shares.
A best practice example
The Canadian company Potash Corp. may exemplify a best practice in that regard. Below is an excerpt from their IR website. In addition to being very investor friendly in general the first thing that greets a visitor on their IR Web is the question, “Why invest?”. Without going into details or valuation issues the company presents six key factors why an investment is a good idea.
To describe the investment case in a comprehensive and accessible way gives visitors a quick understanding of the company’s activities and hopefully creates an interest to investigate other information on the website in more detail. There is, of course, many more changes needed in order to upgrade to IR web 2.0, this may be a first step in the process.