5 Ways Digital Transformation has Changed Corporate Communications Forever

The lightning-fast pace of digital transformation is making it increasingly challenging for companies to keep up.

For many years it was business as usual for investor relations and corporate communications teams, following a well worn path of standard business practices.

Even when the internet arrived, we clung tightly to our fax machines, press releases and mail outs, and not a lot changed.

Until everything did.

The once untouchable rigid world of pinstriped corporate directorship became more visible and approachable almost overnight.

Steve Jobs,  Mark Zuckerberg, and other influential CEOs were responsible for changing the voice of corporate communications and their rising success set a great example for why CEOs should be on social media.

In the wake of Google’s ‘you can be serious without a suit’ philosophy, t-shirts and jeans have become the iconic casual uniform of corporate gamechangers. And a growing number of company executives are actively engaging with investors and the public on Twitter, or even streaming their own CEO videos to the world wide web.

Combine these industry shifts with new digital mediums for delivering annual reports and financial communication and mobile platforms, remote-work technology.

Virtual AGM’s

And what about virtual AGMs? Jimmy Choo became the first UK-listed company to host a virtual-only annual general meeting in 2016. Are they legal and how can they be incorporated into  your company? It seems that they may become standard for all AGM’s. 

– it’s a whole new world out there.

That makes improving digital visibility more important now than ever before. And the best way to keep up to speed with this change?

Embrace it.

Today we take a look at some of the other key digital transformations happening for corporate communications and investor relations in 2019.

Digital and Interactive Annual Reports

Major companies are opting for interactive annual reports.

In a move to capture investor interest and boost shareholder engagement, major companies are opting for interactive annual reports and reaping the rewards.

Digital reporting allows companies to bring annual report figures to life, and tell their story with not only written words, but also video, audio and interactive features.

Names like Telst

ra, Westfield and other major companies are making the switch to digital annual reports for the many benefits they can offer, including increased readership through improved SEO, repurposable marketing content, social media shareability and data capture.

Podcasts and Mobile Platforms

Podcasting is increasingly popular for all niche industries and investor relations is no different. The investors podcast is a popular source of information for those in the industry.

In the podcast Through the Line Podcast, Susan Werkner, Managing Director of Interactive Investor outlined some of the key digital changes over the last decade.

Not just podcasts but all types of content able to be digested at user’s discretion and when and where they want has dramatically increased.

eNewslettersCEO Video’s and how they interact with shareholders, including email formats have all been re-imagined in the digital world.

This growth is in response to consumer demand for personalised and mobile-optimised content, which is backed by reports that up to 68% of investors now use their mobile devices to access investor related content.

For companies feeling overwhelmed by the digital transformation, it is important to remember that the ever-increasing popularity of mobile devices opens new and exciting pathways to connect with stakeholders.

Mobile Friendly Websites

Increasingly, companies are offering mobile friendly corporate and investor websites to provide stakeholders with targeted and useful resources.

modern corporate website is a non-negotiable in the digital era. Your website needs to be responsive, up to date, practical and preferably, interactive.

The well designed corporate website is the central point that weaves all of these features together – a digital home that welcomes visitors and provides or guides them to everything they need.

Increasingly, companies are offering investor websites and shareholder centres to provide stakeholders with targeted and useful resources, away from the noise of their commercial or consumer sites.

This concept was applied to the user-friendly interface designed for small-cap company MGC Pharma following a rebranding. This digital makeover resulted in faster and more efficient navigation of company information and integrated an ASX responder ensuring the latest company announcements, including share-price information, appear on MGC’s IR site.

Digital Mailing Lists

Growing your shareholder mailing list  is crucial to opening up a direct line of communication to people with an interest in your company.

Companies embracing digital transformation want to ensure their content is being seen. And to do that, you need to be able to reach stakeholders at the touch of a button with interactive eNewsletters and content. 

Growing your shareholder mailing list  is crucial to opening up a direct line of communication to people with an interest in your company. The hardest part? Obtaining their email addresses.

But it is achievable.

Boutique corporate advisory firm E&A Limited believes everyone benefits from electronic shareholder communication, in terms of speed of information and security. The company publishes interim annual reports on its website and sends printed versions only to those who opt for it.

But sometimes all it takes to obtain an email address is the offer of information.

Australian medicinal cannabis company MGC Pharma allows visitors to its website to request an investor presentation by providing an email address, in exchange for information detailing its core strategy, an introduction to its leadership team, talks about its business strategy in Australia, the types of pharmaceutical products and production facilities it offers, and an update on the Australian market scenario.

Growth of Social Media

82% of respondents believed a CEO’s active engagement on social media enhanced their reputation as forward-thinking, trend-setting leaders.

Social media provides another instant, flexible and powerful approach to reach and engage stakeholders.

Globally, more than three billion people use social media every day. So it makes sense for publicly listed companies, CEOs and IR teams to be in that space.

But the industry has been slow to respond.

One survey revealed most Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence on any of the major social media channels. CEO.com’s 2016 Social CEO Report found a staggering 60% of CEOs still had no social media presence at all.

Making the leap into social media might seem daunting at first. But it is a valuable platform that provides an opportunity to connect and communicate with your audience in a more approachable, accessible and relatable way.

And according to the figures, it pays off.

The 2016 Global Social CEO Survey found 93% of respondents believed a CEO’s active engagement on social media can build better connections with customers, employees, and investors.

That sounds like a good reason to start getting social.

If you’re ready to embrace your own digital transformation, or you’d like to learn more about the how you can integrate digital communications to better connect with your stakeholders, as profiled in this article, contact Interactive Investor today.