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Feb 08, 2018

Shell tops list for online investor communications

BP and Zurich come in joint second for serving investors

Royal Dutch Shell is the top company for serving investors via online channels, reveals a new report.  

The Bowen Craggs ‘Index of Online Excellence 2018: A ranking of the world’s best online corporate communications’ measures how well the 200 largest companies in the world by market capitalization use their websites and social media channels for corporate communications. 

BP and Zurich Insurance come in joint second for serving investors and six companies are all equal fourth: Axa, Barclays, British American Tobacco, Eni, Sanofi and United Parcel Service, according to the scoring criteria used by Bowen Craggs.

The assessment criteria score and measure three component parts: service for analysts who know the company, service for analysts researching the company and service for individuals.

Scott Payton, managing partner and a senior consultant at Bowen Craggs, tells IR Magazine: ‘Shell and BP have long been leaders in online investor communications, while Zurich’s IR section has improved considerably in recent years.

‘Shell’s online investor provision is strong across the board, offering clearly presented and comprehensive financial results and an excellent service for retail shareholders. BP has a state of the art ‘interactive analyst’ feature that sets the standard in tools for analyzing financial and operational performance. Zurich has an excellent results archive, with all materials grouped in one place – as they should be – and researching analysts are also exceptionally well served with rich background information.’

The report sums up Shell’s overall online communications efforts as: ‘An editorially rich online presence, with a huge amount of magazine-style material.’  

Beyond serving investors, the complete list of top companies’ online communications involves a wider measurement of eight elements: website construction, clarity of message, contact applicability, serving society, investors, media, jobseekers and customers.

These criteria produce a slightly different top list, with GSK coming out top with Bayer, BP and Nestlé joint second and Eni fifth. In this ranking, Shell comes in at eighth.

‘GSK has spent the last few years turning a good online presence into an outstanding one,’ Payton says. ‘The key is that it constantly strives to polish and improve all areas of its website and social channels.’

The report highlights and recognizes the big changes undertaken by top companies within their online communications but it also warns: ‘It is still true that bosses in most large companies – the group whose online corporate communications we measure – still regard their corporate website and social channels as marginal.’

The full list can be viewed here.