Last week (on Cision US) via Question 1 of the 2017 Shareholder Communications 365 Study, we learned that 65% of institutional investors consider an investor relations website as “must-see-TV.” They will not take a position without a company having one.
But how frequently do institutional investors actually visit? This is a fairly common cost-to-value discussion we have with IROs when moving their IR website onto our IR Room platform. ( examples being http://ir.hertz.com/ and http://investor.weyerhaeuser.com/interactive-chart )
The verbatim comments are rather general:
- For certain significant events e.g. management changes, M&A activity, R&D news, etc.
- Only when looking for something specific like an old 10-K or the like.
- Seldom. Only when I want to know what's wrong.
- Depends on company some have a great deal of activity, e.g. Apple.
- Randomly, during reporting time, when I hear news about the company, if I am considering adding or deleting from my position.
- When I am seeking to access financial data.
- When I am research specific company activities of importance.
With almost 2/3 only visiting monthly or less, IR website visits appear to be a scheduled event for Wall Street… similar to a cop walking their beat. This makes sense considering that the key financial data is very redundant on their Bloomberg terminals, etc. They are just checking in to see what’s new. What are you offering them?
How shareholders consume shareholder communications content
The follow up conversation with clients ultimately flows into a strategic look at cost-containment within the IR budget. Generally, I express the opinion that the budget heavier weight is best placed into active outbound initiatives i.e. targeting and news. Tasks that seek-and-find investors. The IR website is an essential but passive tool. Exactly like any of the content a corporation produces from any communications group (PR, marketing, scientific), IR needs to evaluate and use earned channels. The mosaic.
About the Shareholder Communications 365 Study
Now in its fifth year, this exclusive study asks investors 30 tactical questions regarding how they consume your shareholder communications content. Beyond the IR website, we asked about earnings calls, annual reports, news releases and overall transparency. From these tactical answers, IR teams can sculpt their shareholder communications efforts and budget.
Since 2012, the study has evolved. Initially, it was predominantly retail investor-based. In 2016 we added a Wall Street v Main Street comparison (CLICK HERE). This year, per client discussions, we cut to the chase: 3,780 responses from 100% institutional investors.