Corporate Eye

Do Tech Companies Give Good IR Web? (part 3)

Tech companies should be good at this stuff – but they’re not. My search for a perfect IR portal from a company’s home page has led me to disappointment so far by both Microsoft and Apple.  It was with diminished expectations that I pointed my browser at Sun Microsystems.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It turns out that when you arrive at the Sun home page all you need to do is to scroll your mouse over the tab labeled “About Sun” at the top of their home page and a descriptive menu drops down showing you all the places you can go to get information about Sun, with short descriptions.

A single click, with very little hunting.  It doesn’t get any better than this.  On my arbitrary scoring system I give Sun a 9 out of 10.  The only way they could have scored higher is if they had set the link to investor relations out separately in 36 point type and surrounded it with flashing lights, so for all practical intents and purposes, they received a perfect score.  Not only that, but when I went to their investor relations page, I also really liked the way they laid out their information, with an easy to follow layout.

Sun Investor Relations Page

Sun Investor Relations Page

As an investor, this tells me a couple of important items: 1. Sun understands the web and how to use it to make your life easier, and 2. Investors are an important constituency for them.

I am encouraged and my faith in mankind restored (at least when it comes to web sites dealing with investor relations, an admittedly small field).  Next I plan to look at how a couple of retailer approach the same issue, before moving on to more weighty issues.

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John Palizza

John recently retired as a Lecturer in Management at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Management, where he taught investor relations. Prior to that, John was in charge of investor relations for Sysco Corporation and Walgreen Co. He holds a MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago. You can learn more about John’s thinking about investor relations at his blog, Investor Relations Musings.