A quality investor relations website is a valuable dissemination tool that can inform and influence opinion. Given the size of audience that it is possible to reach, it pays to develop the most content rich site possible. Having rich, up-to-date content is key to building a quality investor relations website. The most oft cited frustration for online audiences is out-of-date information. Posting new content as soon as it is available, periodically reviewing all content for relevance and checking links to ensure that older information is still accessible are all ways to increase user satisfaction.
With increasing competition for investor dollars, a robust, user-friendly IR section can support the generation of new interest in your company while at the same time ensuring that existing shareholders have quick and easy access to the information they require. A quality IR website can also “level the playing field” among issuers as it is relatively easy (and relatively inexpensive) for a smaller issuer to provide the same level of information to investors as a larger one.
The website and all other electronic disclosure media should be considered an extension of your normal disclosure practices and are therefore subject to the same laws, rules and regulations. At least in Canada, the corporate website is not a substitute for regular continuous disclosure through an approved newswire, but rather an adjunct to proper disclosure practices. The IR section should provide a constant flow of valuable supplementary information to all investors on a regular basis, keeping them well informed and allowing them to make quality investment decisions.
Best Practices for Publishing News Releases to IR Websites:
In today’s world of instant, or real-time, information flows and with the corporate website being a go to source for the latest, verified information on any given company, more and more listed issuers are incorporating automated, real-time news release publishing to their sites. Manually uploading news releases to the website results in delays to publishing, or worse yet, omissions. Delays and omissions provide the wrong message to investors and other stakeholders – that your website is not the best place to look for the most up to date information on your company. Leading IR website vendors such as Q4 Web Systems, DisclsourePlus and others make automated, real-time news release publishing a cinch. You can also purchase the feeds for your releases direct from most newswire services.
In addition, we recommend posting all of an issuer’s news releases on the website and that releases be archived for at least a year. Archive releases by year, using specific links, rather than providing one large list that takes a long time to search.
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