Corporate Eye

What Makes for Effective Investor Relations Sites? Part 24: Let Investors See What You’ve Been Talking About

I was recently doing some research on company presentations and so I went out to the Internet to look for good examples of that staple of corporate communications, the PowerPoint slide show. If you go to investor conferences, almost every presenting company will accompany its speech with a slide deck illustrating their main points. As any investor can tell you, the slides are often full of very useful information. So when I wanted to look at how companies approached a particular communications issue, I thought it would be a relatively easy thing to go out and pull up the presentations of the various companies and analyze what I was interested in.

Xstrata Presentations

As so often proves to be the case these days, my initial presumption was incorrect. It’s not quite so easy to go out on the Internet and find a representative sample of corporate investor presentations. In fact, what I found was quite surprising: in a random sample of 20 U. S. companies, only five companies (25%) posted their investor presentations (excluding quarterly presentations).

This seems like a serious oversight. It’s not as if the companies don’t want to make the information public – it’s already been placed in the public domain at a conference. It doesn’t seem rational that company management would wish to limit the dissemination of the information on the slides only to those attending the investor conference where they were originally shown. I prefer to think that it is more likely to be oversight.

So here’s today’s thought for making your investor website more effective: place a history of your most recent investor presentations at investor conferences on your website. Not everyone can attend the conferences that you present at, yet this is information that you clearly think investors should know, otherwise it wouldn’t be in the slide deck. So let everybody see them. And keep them there for a while, as they serve as a good reference point to company operations and thinking at any particular point in time.

Above is a good example of a complete history of presentations placed in their investor section by Xstrata, the mining company.

This is a relatively simple thing to do and it helps investor transparency. It should be part of every well designed investor site.

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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.