Hosting Corporate Financial Data: Online Newsroom or IR Site?

Ibrey-Woodall-headshotBy Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire VP Web Communications Services

When it comes to online newsrooms and IR sites, some communicators have considered hosting corporate financial data in the same site that contains content normally geared toward journalists. This consideration is usually due to either a limited budget, or because a sole communicator has been tasked with handling both media relations and investor relations for the entire company. Despite the obstacles, it is always best practice to target your content to your audience.

An organization’s online newsroom should contain content focused on general media, bloggers, consumers, and influencers. Content housed within the IR site, or investor center, however, should focus on information most likely needed by investors, analysts, financial media and bloggers. In most cases, both the corporate communicator, who usually manages the online newsroom, and the investor relations officer, who usually manages the IR site, prefer that their content, traffic analytics or message distribution not be intermingled.

Over half of the reporters that participated in the 2014 Business Wire Media Survey agreed that financial content should be packaged within the IR site and have a direct link from the online newsroom. Survey results also showed that content should be updated frequently, spanning timeframe selections from hourly to daily to weekly.

Simply speaking, site visitors steer to a specific section of a site to get a desired type of news and information quickly. The more those sections are tailored for that particular audience, the better the user experience. Components searched for and found within the online newsroom microsite normally encompass press releases, press kits, multimedia, editorial coverage, executive biographies, subject matter experts, story pitches, brand articles, events, history/timelines, social media integration and email alerts.

Earnings releases, SEC filings, stock charts, investment calculators, analyst coverage, corporate governance, annual reports, proxy statements, webcast presentations and financial-based email alerts are ordinarily found within the investor relations microsite. Some elements within an investor center are considered mandatory content from a regulatory perspective. A white paper entitled IR Sites: A Guide to Requirements and Practices can identify which components are essential to compliance.

Although online newsroom audiences and IR site audiences might have some overlapping interest and needs for corporate content, it is optimal to avoid duplicating content. There are navigation and hybrid site strategies that can fit the needs of a corporate communicator with limited staff or budget, however, it is best to prepare, host, distribute and analyze content based on a specific objective for a target audience.

Over half of the reporters surveyed agreed that financial content should be packaged within the IR site.

Over half of the reporters surveyed agreed that financial content should be packaged within the IR site.

About the Author: As VP Web Communications Services, Ibrey Woodall is responsible for Business Wire’s NewsHQ Online Newsroom and InvestorHQ Investor Center products. Ibrey holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and a Webmaster certification. She has been involved in launching online newsrooms and investor centers for Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at Ibrey.Woodall@BusinessWire.com, http://www.linkedin.com/in/IbreyWoodall or via Twitter @IbreyWoodall. 

 

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