Auckland Airport third in website awards

Press Release – Wired Internet
The fifth annual Best Investor Website Awards (BIWA) show that of the NZX50 companies, Fletcher Building’s investors receive the best communication on-line and Michael Hill International the worst.

The awards evaluate how well listed companies’ websites meet the needs of investors. This is the fifth annual survey organized by Wired Internet in conjunction with Bruce Russell, information design lecturer at Christchurch Polytechnic.

Fletcher Building scored 86 out of a possible 100, ahead of second placed Goodman Fielder (84) and Auckland International Airport (83).

At the tail of the field was Michael Hill International (40), showing their consistency – they were 49th in 2010.

Biggest gainers this year have been PGG Wrightson, Telecom, and ANZ Bank. Judicious site redesigns have increased their rankings more than 20 places (and in PGGW’s case by 33 places). In addition a special mention must go to new entrants DNZ Property Fund Ltd, who have come in at a solid 9th place.

The awards are supported by the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association.

NZSA Chairman John Hawkins commented, “The internet continues to be increasingly important as an information portal to both retail and institutional investors. The NZSA is encouraged by the improvements being seen on company websites. Some of this can be put down to the awareness being generated among investor relations staff by the ongoing BIWA awards.”

BIWA judge Bruce Russell is author of “Preparing for Take-off” a guide to effective online communication, published by Wired Internet in 2010. Mr Russell said that this year’s results show the continuing importance of online communication with investors, and that the best sites were those that directed this information clearly at the investment audience, as distinct from retail customers.

Key trends from the BIWA report are:

1. New sites are not necessarily better – This year’s BIWA reveals that new designs are not always better for the investment audience. Over the previous three years the trend has been that more and more of the new site designs show an improved experience for the investor audience. But this year that trend has reversed, only 46% of redesigned sites have improved their ranking. This may reflect a renewed emphasis in the online retail experience, with retail customer’s needs put before those of investors.

2. Ethical marketing continues to increase in importance – The number of sites in the NZX50 appealing to the social and environmental conscience of investors’ has been increasing for several years. We found that in Biwa11 a total 35 listed companies use a combination of social and environmental responsibility as a plank of their investor and customer relations strategies. This is up from only 25 last year.

3. Social media are being more widely used in IR – This year for the second time we surveyed the NZX50 sites to see how many were using social media to enhance communication with investors. We found that 13 sites in the NZX50 use one or more of these ‘social media’, of which nearly half used both Twitter and Facebook. This is up from only eight sites using social media in 2010. For the first time YouTube is being used to provide video of investor information.

4. ‘The Gap’ continues to widen – This year’s BIWA follows the key trend established since 2008 – ‘the Gap’ between the best and the worst is continuing to widen. Overall, the average score of the NZX50 remains the about same, but the ‘gap’ between the averages of the Top 10 sites and the Bottom 10 sites continues to widen.

The overall average score this year was much the same as last year’s, but the trend is obvious when we look at the averages of the Top 10 and Bottom 10 sites:

This year the average score of the Top 10 was 80.9, and the average score of the Bottom 10 was 42.8 – a ‘gap’ of 38.1 points This ‘gap’ was 36.3 last year and has increased year-on-year from 2007 when it was 19.4 points.

5. Bigger not always better – A big budget is still not as important as a clear understanding of what investors want. Every year the ‘largest and most liquid’ listed companies do not fare much above average in the BIWA. Five NZX15 companies made the BIWA Top 10, a slight increase on four last year. But four others also made the Bottom 10, so in general it seems having a big budget is still not as important as a clear understanding of what investors want.

Following are the best and worst results.
The best and worst websites of the NZX50 companies in BIWA 2011
Top five
Rank Business – NZX code Homepage
1 Fletcher Building Ltd

2 Goodman Fielder Ltd

3 Auckland International Airport Ltd

4 New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd

4 Hallenstein Glasson Holdings Ltd
Bottom five

44 AMP Limited

47 Goodman Property Trust

48 Mainfreight Ltd

49 Cavalier Corporation Ltd

50 Michael Hill International Ltd

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