Earlier this year, the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA) released the findings of a major survey it had conducted into online investor communications. Here, we cover some the survey highlights, with thanks to AIRA.
AIRA CEO, Ian Matheson
The biennial AIRA Benchmarking Survey has revealed that 72% of companies are now either using social media or may do so in future.
Core social media delivery channels
LinkedIn is the favoured site companies are using to communicate with investors, with numbers growing fivefold compared with the 2010 survey.
Facebook and Twitter are the second and third most favoured services. Companies revealed that they also monitor what is said about them on social media, with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and HotCopper ranking as the services most mentioned.
Another highlight of the survey was the rapid expansion in the use of IR apps, which allow investors to receive company information on their mobile devices. Some 30% of respondents said that they either had developed an app or were looking to provide one in the future, in a sevenfold increase since the last survey was published in 2012.
AIRA’s CEO, Mr Ian Matheson, said:
“Leading Australian and NZ listed companies are embracing technology because it is a very effective way of engaging with investors. People want to receive timely information, and online communication channels are the effective way of achieving that. Clearly, we have reached a tipping point and I would expect that many more listed entities will upgrade their communications.”
Choice is important
Choice is important
Apart from giving investors greater access to information, the survey also highlighted the importance of giving investors a number of choices in how they are communicated with.
While email is still the primary means of shareholder communications for 87% of respondents, most companies have optimised the investor information on their websites for Apple devices and nearly half make webcasts available on mobile devices.
The trend shows up also in the delivery of annual reports. Some 83% of respondents said that fewer than 20% of shareholders were now opting for printed annual reports.
Other key findings
Other key findings
Other significant findings from the survey include:
- On the sensitive issue of earnings forecasts, 66% of companies derive and maintain their own version of consensus and update it monthly, but most use it only for internal purposes. Sixteen percent are considering publishing consensus estimates or lists of broker forecasts over the next 12 months
- Forty percent of CEOs and CFOs are spending more than 15% of their time meeting on IR matters. Most boards spend 1-10% of time on IR
- Boards are also engaging more with IROs, with 63% of Australian respondents regularly attending board meetings and 23% of NZ respondents
- The primary responsibilities for IR are shareholder and analyst meetings, shareholder communications and share register analysis
- Investor Relations Officers now assume more responsibility for crisis communications, transactional and M&A communications and site tours
- Almost 75% of respondents engage with the Australian Shareholders’ Association
- More than 75% of respondents have a black-out policy for meeting with analysts and fund managers, and most have aligned that policy with their share trading policy
- The most popular time for releasing major periodic reports to the securities exchange was 8.00am – 8.30am.
Read the full version of this article
This summary came from an original article written for AIRA members – our sincere thanks to the AIRA team for allowing IRM to republish it.
To access the full article, as well as a range of other resources, please visit www.aira.org.au or contact Melissa Wheeler at AIRA, via firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 2 9872 9100.