Best Practices: Digital and Visual Investor Relations Support (Part 2)

“In a digitally visual world, how you present your communications matters.”

By Christopher Chu, Vice President, The Piacente Group

Utilizing science can help you shape investor communications. From eye tracking studies that investigate attention, to corporate communications/PR best practices that restrict thought leadership articles to 2,000 words or less, to the rise of infographics and the science behind it, as we come to learn that 65% of the population are visual learners.

The takeaway is that with or without the help of resources from an organization’s graphics department, corporate communication or PR teams, message dissemination and retention is markedly improved through the use of visual communications strategies.

Example:

Let’s explore the treatment to J.P. Morgan’s earnings from a visually enhanced point of view. As you will be able to clearly see, this is a management and IR team who have clearly decided that they were looking to be more than just proficient in their investor communications.

Enhancing Earnings Releases Visually:

Link to J.P. Morgan illustrative earnings release 4Q2014

and

After:

Link to J.P. Morgan illustrative earnings release 4Q2018

Post-mortem:

The creators of this format:

  • Continue to maintain S.E.C. guidance on the use of “plain English” in the company’s story-telling
  • The release was clearly visually enhanced, color blocks to accent KPIs and utilizing different versions of the ER to maintain compliance with filing requirements and e-distributions
  • Control of information continues to be tight as notification of an earnings release takes the reader back to J.P. Morgan’s IR pages
  • Repetitive content has been cut back in the new formatted earnings release
  • Levels of control have been properly maintained

Sources for corporate information have already been transformed.

Traditional methods of information dissemination now have shorter staying power than ever and even less reach than ever before. As information pathways increase in complexity; portfolio managers, analysts and retail investors leverage multiple sources of information as part of their due diligence process. For corporates, the ability to direct investors back to its own sources of information is becoming increasingly important, while providing opportunities to engage with a broader spectrum of investors in a familiar manner.

In our final segment of Best Practices: Digital and Visual Investor Relations Support, I’ll provide a checklist of ideas for how you can begin one’s journey into visual investor relations but before that happens here’s a little hint:

When going digital it helps to collaborate.

For IR teams who want to broaden their digital IR footprint, taking stock of internal resources is a good way to start. Exploring how corporate communications, marketing, PR and graphics departments can assist is the easiest path to adding digitally and visually enhanced program elements to an IR program.

Link to part 1 of this series.