Corporate Eye

What Makes for Effective Investor Relations Sites? Part 34: Video

I heard a startling statistic the other day; every minute, 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.

When I tracked this down on the YouTube web site, I discovered that not only was the statistic correct, but that 2 billion videos a day are watched on YouTube. I confess to being shocked as I rarely look at a video uploaded to the web. This may be because I spend my day looking at financial web sites and not sites devoted to funny videos about pets. But it did spur me to thinking that perhaps the future of investor web sites should incorporate more video. There is a saying on Wall Street that “You need to feed the ducks” and what the ducks seem to enjoy these days is video.

So I went off in search of finance related videos on investor web sites that went beyond merely running a video camera during the annual meeting or the latest analyst presentation. It was somewhat like hunting for truffles in that I had to nose around a bit (I did not have to use a pig, however), but I managed to come up with a couple of interesting examples.

Dell uses video not only to have their chairman introduce things, but also to feature periodic interviews with management about a variety of topics ranging from quarterly results to business unit strategies.

The videos are usually posted on their investor relations blog, Dell Shares: this is a screen capture of their video featuring a discussion of their storage strategy.

Another company that does a good job with video material is SABMiller, the brewing company. I found that SABMiller had an extensive collection of videos, 147 in all, in the presentations section of their investor site. The subjects of the videos ranged from interim results discussions to interviews with the management team to analysis of the markets for their beers.

In fact, they have so many videos available that they separate them into topic for the viewer to browse, as you can see from the screen shot.

With the technologies and bandwidth available to investor web sites these days, it seems that more companies should be making information available in this manner.

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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.