Beyond the pdf: Alternative Ways to Present Content Effectively on your IR Website

24 November 2010

By Contributor




Today, we’ll reveal some best practice alternatives for presenting key content in different formats to the usual ways (read: pdf or long monotonous scrolls of text) on your IR website.

We are seeing a lot more companies use ‘Fast Facts’ to help provide a quick snapshot of the organization. This is a great feature to use on the Company index page or ‘About Us’ page. It is especially effective when used in conjunction with some relational links.

For example, Danisco uses the centre panel to provide fast facts on their company. They also use the right rail for relational links such as the fact sheet – as a way of bringing information forward & moving users deeper into the site.


We also often see Fast Facts in the right rail along with Quick Links as a way of highlighting key information from the centre panel like Barrick Gold* does:


As you can see they use Fast Facts to present compelling stats on their global presence. Fast Facts could also help companies quickly highlight information regarding performance and generating cash.

Scorecards (or some form of measurement over time) are another way to provide a quick snapshot of key company information. We are seeing them being used more often particularly to show stakeholders how effectively an organization is executing its strategy like Matrikon does:


Nothing can help tell a story or convey a key message or idea better than providing some imagery. Using pictures that accompany the text is a great way to provide a visual break.

There are many places that imagery can be used. For example, we are seeing more companies use headshots of the board of directors and management in the biography section like Agnico-Eagle*:


Providing a photo puts a face to the name and bio, which can then later repurposed in other company materials such as the annual report.

Some other interesting things we are seeing on this front are multimedia areas that give investors an opportunity to download pictures and view videos of company assets:


Providing pictures and videos can help investors get a better understanding of your underlying business. Also, giving visitors the option to download pictures can be a useful feature for financial media who may want a visual to accompany a story.

We are seeing quite a few companies migrating away from providing information strictly in pdf format. For example Shell provides their sustainability report in variety of other formats including a summary report, an online version and a print version:


Also Nexen doesn’t bury their board of director information in a pdf, but instead has great bio pages that give an overview of their employment and education. They then supplement this with a section to the right of the page that provides additional background information such as the number of shares they hold, how long they have been a director, their areas of expertise and the committee(s) they are a member:


Nexen also provides many links on the left hand navigation including an ‘Areas of Expertise’ that describes how the expertise of the board members combine to help the company execute its strategy and ensure appropriate oversight:


Including at least five years of separate archives for press releases, financial reports, key presentations and webcasts is a good best practice. We are seeing some great things happening on this front whereby companies are breaking out specific events and providing all of the relevant information in a table with associated assets.

For example, BP does this for their annual and quarterly reporting:


HP is also another great example of a company who does this for their quarterly reporting and their annual reporting:


They also even have a section dedicated to their Mergers & Acquisitions:


*Disclosure: Barrick Gold and Agnico-Eagle are clients of Q4



Mike Guillaume

6 years ago


Thank you for this wrapup, Sheryl.
Much food for thought towards online reporting improcement.


6 years ago


Thanks Mike. Companies are slowly seeing the light – stay tuned for my next post where I’ll be talking about some Tools to Aid Relationship & Brand Building.


Jay Kalish

5 years ago


Thanks for an interesting article (as usual), Sheryl. With regard to quarterly reports, I have also been posting the financial statements in Excel format, which enables the financial community to move the figures directly into their analytical spreadsheets. This was based on feedback I received from analysts a number of years ago.



5 years ago


Thanks Jay – I’m glad that you are finding the information I’m sharing useful.

There are many benefits to providing financials in a downloadable format like excel: it can save investors a lot of time and alleviates any potential errors in transposing the numbers.

I bet you have strengthened your relationship with the investment community by listening to their feedback.



5 years ago


Sheryl, thank you for the great article! I just joined this group and I’m already finding it very helpful. I hope one day I can come back with ideas to share.


5 years ago


Thanks Yuko.

I’m glad you are finding the blog useful.

I look foward to hearing from you


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