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Strong design is crucial for effective investor communications

The events of 2020 have accelerated an evolution in best-practice investor communications. 

An escalation in corporate scrutiny, uncertainty in the markets, and a laser-like focus on ESG issues has contributed to an ever-increasing demand on businesses to provide clear, timely and meaningful information. In fact, it has never been more important to keep your stakeholders informed and engaged.

Stakeholders are looking for honest, insightful and comprehensive information about a company and what sets it apart from its competitors. Before allocating their capital (or advising others to do so), they want to clearly understand the business model, the leadership, the purpose and strategy, the competitive advantage, the prospects, and the way in which a company creates long-term sustainable value and manages risk.

This heightened demand for clarity presents unique opportunities to shift the focus from traditional compliance-driven communication to a new proactive and multi-channel approach. By maximising all available communication opportunities such as print and digital corporate reports, roadshow and investor presentations, company websites, newsletters and social media, this strategy has the power to inspire engagement, nurture stakeholder relationships, and influence investment decisions. In doing so, companies can control a consistent narrative. 

However, successful investor communications ultimately hang on the ability to convey (often complex) information clearly, consistently and effectively. The key to achieving this? Design excellence.

Strong, considered and engaging design is a powerful tool. It allows company information and results to be presented in a compelling manner that resonates with the audience, leaving them feeling informed, emotionally connected to the company and confident in the brand. In short, design and communication excellence positively influences the perception of a company and its investor brand. 

Persuasive visual communication involves careful consideration of how content can most effectively be conveyed to the audience. When used in the right way, design elements such as content hierarchy, colour, imagery, video, information graphics, typography, balance and spacing can elevate a company’s corporate communications and better engage the audience.

Perhaps the most crucial communication opportunity within the financial calendar is a company’s AGM and results presentation. It provides a key moment to build trust, credibility and brand loyalty. And now, given the evolving regulations allowing for virtual investor engagement, a company’s traditional reach has widened – investors who wouldn’t typically be in a position to attend a physical meeting may be more inclined to tune in via their laptop or phone. Companies need to take advantage of this opportunity to present their results and narrative in a compelling and seamless way.

During these virtual presentations, use of video can greatly assist in supporting and demonstrating a company’s overarching purpose and progress on their strategy. Video is an emotive visual engagement tool that allows the viewer to comprehend and remember concepts more easily and feel more connected to the business. For example, instead of just providing spoken commentary, companies may instead choose to show footage of their global operations, community involvement, employee initiatives and their approach to addressing risks associated with climate change.  

For presentation decks, it is important that visual design supports the content, allowing participants to easily process the information. Infographics should be used to communicate complex information easily. Appropriate type sizes, contrast and spacing are also important considerations. Photography or illustrations can also help to support the content, reinforce the brand identity and company values, and provide a welcome change in pace to presentations that can typically span several hours. 

Successful communication of company information and key concepts has a material impact on shareholder perception, and in turn, company value. Successful design execution, therefore, is a critical factor for effective investor communications.

For more than 25 years, Designate’s excellence in design and communications has helped Australia’s leading companies connect effectively with all key stakeholders. Our strategic and creative approach enables companies to tell a clear, consistent and compelling company story across a wide array of investor touchpoints and mediums – inspiring the audience to listen, trust, engage and believe.

Ben Fletcher

Managing Director
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