Investor relations has changed considerably in response to the global pandemic. Virtual has become the new reality – including virtual NDRs and conferences, live streamed investor days, and online annual meetings. Investor Relations (IR) websites should not only seamlessly serve as the repository for IR materials, but also grab the attention of potential investors by emphasizing your company’s investment thesis and fundamentals. The IR website should hook investors upfront by tailoring the narrative, introducing the operations and management team via video communications, displaying organized information in order to help get investors up to speed quickly, and promoting important initiatives on behalf of the company. Not only are more people looking to IR sites for information, expectations are heightened because companies are now more frequently updating their sites.
Below is a list of tips for advancing your IR website to better attract investor interest virtually:
- Promote key messages:
- Highlight the investment thesis upfront to depict why your company is a compelling investment, and dedicate a page to the investment thesis.
- Give prominence to the actions your company has taken to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- See the SEC’s recent guidelines here: 4 SEC Recommendations on Additional COVID-Related Disclosures
- Emphasize the long-term vision / strategy to assure investors what the path to recovery looks like, and remind them what they are investing in for the long-term.
- Facilitate investment materials, so investors can easily get up to speed on the story; be sure to include an “Investor 101”.
- Use video to give your IR site some heft:
- Create a more intimate experience and allow investors to “get to know” the Management team.
- Consider new avenues to connect, such as posting a video of the CEO/CFO answering typical investor questions in place of or in addition to the static investor FAQ document.
- Propose one-to-two minute “video events” that highlight competitive differentiators, strategy, and other key message points.
- See an example from Home Depot here: One Home Depot Strategy
- Showcase the operations in lieu of in-person plant tours and consider hosting a virtual plant tour or use video to create a plant tour experience.
- Ensure functionality of website is efficient and intuitive:
- Include links to materials, including virtual investor days, webcasts, and virtual NDRs, to give investors more touchpoints with the management team.
- Decrease clicks by structuring the website and content intuitively, so investors can get to the content they are looking for more quickly.
- Focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives:
- Dedicate a section of your website to ESG – reviewing and updating commitments, policies, and practices.
- Include quantitative disclosure and targets to create accountability for the company.
- Add a video of CEO and/or Board Chairman endorsing ESG priorities.
- See video from Interface Founder Ray Anderson
Ultimately, it is not just about bulking up your IR site; content should be strategically placed throughout the site to ensure a succinct, yet holistic story. The IR site should feed investors with the information needed to make an investment and deliver the key messages the company wants to portray. By strategically bulking up your IR site, it can serve as a one-stop-shop for investors to get up to speed on the story, build a model, and ultimately take a position in the company.