Financial news travels instantly, and investors must process its market impact and take action at a similar pace. To help investors analyze new information and make key investment decisions, they look to the IR portion of your website — often a microsite available from your corporate website. An easy-to-use IR website must contain readily available information including up-to-date financials, a recent corporate presentation deck, event listings with access to replays, stock information, and news releases. How do you know if your IR site is any good? Here are five must-haves.
- A good user experience that helps you clearly explain your corporate objectives, story, and vision. Analysts and investors will visit your IR site frequently to glean the most up-to-date information about your company. Whether your IR site is housed on your corporate website or as a microsite, there should be design continuity and integration so a visitor can move through your story seamlessly and with ease. That goes for your mobile version as well. An “about us” section should be part of your IR site, and it needs to be updated as your strategy evolves, or when the status of a pipeline program changes. Your investment thesis or “why invest now” can also be included in the “about us” section or as a separate, standalone piece of information. After all, informing investors what you think is most compelling about your company will help them understand your goals and objectives as well as what matters to the management team. Short, topical videos are another way to engage with investors and are a great tool to have in your communications arsenal.
- Access to presentations and events. These are highly relevant sources of information to investors and analysts, and they must be easily accessible. Future events with the time and date should be prominently displayed, and past events should be archived so that visitors can listen to replays and pick and choose the ones they wish to access. If a slide deck is needed to better understand a replay, make sure it can be easily found in the archive. Sixty to ninety days is a good rule of thumb for the life of a replay, except in the case of an investor day, which could have a life cycle of six months or longer. Remove archives that are no longer relevant or have aged, and post your most recent corporate presentation in a highly visible location. When you make changes, take the old presentation down and replace it with your new version. An archive of old presentations is usually not of interest.
- Prominently displayed financial data and stock information. Regulatory filings, covering analysts, corporate governance documents, historical price lookup, proxy materials, and annual general meeting information are just some of the materials that should be easy to find in this section of your IR website. Offering documents as a PDF, instead of linking to the SEC website, is preferable as it keeps visitors engaged and the information is already properly formatted for printing. Providing financial information that goes above and beyond what is required is an important way communicate your history as well as current story, and a great way to engage and build trust with investors.
- Instructions on how to get more information. There may be times when visitors to your site need additional information. Detailed contact information for your investor relations team should be clearly displayed in order to satisfy this need. Specific information including a name, phone number, and personal email address is preferable to a generic email. A street address for your corporate headquarters, including directions from nearby freeways or airports, can help visitors easily find their way. For those who want to follow your progress closely, have a place for them to sign up to receive email alerts for your news releases. Financial filings and closing share price, as well as social media platforms, can also be part of this section on your IR site.
- Management and board bios. Usually, this is included on your corporate website, but it should also be accessible on your IR website. Investors want to know who is leading the company and may know some of the players by reputation or from a previous interaction. Keep the information current and written in a consistent style. When a new board member is named, be ready to post their bio simultaneously. For biopharma companies, it is sometimes appropriate to list members of the scientific advisory board but be prepared for investors to try to contact them.
Remember, a great IR website serves as an effective way to communicate important information about your company with a large number of investors and analysts. Update your IR site frequently and in a timely manner. The vast majority of people who want to know about your company will use your corporate website as their first source of information. But investors in particular have specific needs, which should be addressed on your IR website in an easy-to-use and highly accessible format.
For a review of your current IR website or to start a conversation about how to improve what you’re doing, reach out.