Corporate Eye

What Makes for Effective Investor Relations Sites? Part 27: Can Your Investors Get in Touch with You?

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Hunting for your contact information…   
In the early days of the internet, anonymity ruled; it was not uncommon for people creating email addresses to create fanciful monikers such as and to conduct themselves in the expectation that nobody would know who they were.

As the medium has matured, much of this has gone away, and most email addresses you see these days resemble a person’s name. However, companies often seem to create their websites in the belief that they don’t have a physical presence, and that investors don’t need to contact a real live person. In any number of instances I have researched company websites and asked the question, “Where are they located?” and proceeded to spend the next five minutes in a fruitless search for a physical address. The same goes for trying to find the main investor relations contact.

Some companies have made this easier and good investor relations practice dictates that it should be fairly simple.

Tullow Oil contact

Take, for example, the web site of Tullow Oil. Oil companies are by nature spread out across the globe in the never ending search for petroleum products, and Tullow recognizes that investors will need to know more than just the address of the corporate headquarters. So in their section entitled “Our business” the company not only give the headquarters address, but also provides an overview of the company’s assets.

Tabs then provide a deeper look at exploration and appraisal sites, production and drilling locations, and reserves and resources. In all, they provide a good overview of the physical footprint of the company.

Reckitt Benckiser contact

On the investor and shareholder contact side of the equation, Reckitt Benckiser has done a good job of addressing the numerous constituencies a consumer products company faces. Reached via a pop down list in the Investors tab on the main home page, Reckitt’s Contacts page provides contact names, telephone numbers and an email portal for investors, shareholders, consumer enquiries and the media.

It’s a well done example of how to easily supply information about the right person to get in touch with in the event a person needs more information from a real live person.

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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.