The Financial Reporting Council carried out a study recently into the use of digital media within corporate reporting. Corporate communication is an area that many of our clients are involved in and we at Trafiq carry out a range of services including; annual reports, interim reports, factsheets and quarterly newsletters.
The full report is available to view, however its key findings are:
Investors value PDF annual reports and believe that they should be used to accompany the hard copy rather than acting as a substitute for it.
The main benefits of PDF annual reports for investors are that they are:
- Downloadable & portable
- Are timely and can therefore be obtained prior to the printed version
- Can be easily referenced on the corporate website
How PDF annual reports could be improved:
- Companies could consider using a ‘landscape’ orientation which would allow users to read the information easier.
- To ensure that the PDF can be printed out easily in black and white with graphs and charts still legible.
- Investors want companies to archive their reports on their corporate website. Many believe all sites should archive the previous 5 annual reports and information regarding the following: preliminary announcements, quarterly statements, half yearly statements, regulatory news and presentations.
Ultimately, the study highlighted that investors welcome digital forms of corporate communication and have a preference for multiple communication channels (webcasts, supporting slides and transcripts of presentations) which allow them the opportunity of searching and evaluating information online themselves. Companies should address the fact that investors are receptive to multiple forms of communication and ensure they are fulfilling these digital needs when developing corporate communication.