Influencers Surveyed Say Corporate-Run Digital Platforms Leave Them Wanting More Study Finds Investors and Media Are Lost in the Social Clutter: Investor Relations and Corporate Communications Must Work in 'Lockstep' to Engage Today's Stakeholders
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN), the global, business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value, today announced the full results of the firm's Digital Engagement Study, which evaluates the digital and social media practices of institutional investors and financial and business media professionals. Conducted by the firm's Strategic Communications segment, the research findings emphasize the need for companies' investor relations (IR) and corporate communications functions to operate under a unified digital strategy and the importance of leveraging online influencers as a means to amplify company messages via social media platforms.
Findings from the FTI Consulting study underscore a disconnect between how media and investors prefer to consume information, and how companies currently disseminate information. While 88 percent of media and 50 percent of investors agree or strongly agree that breaking news via "social media" (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) is useful, only 41 percent of media and 13 percent of investors are able to locate relevant corporate information online.
"The proliferation of digital communications has resulted in a surround-sound ecosystem," says Bob Knott, Senior Managing Director and Americas Head of the Corporate Communications practice in the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting. "An organization's ability to narrowcast its communications to discrete stakeholder groups is gone, and it is not coming back. Companies' IR and corporate communications functions must now — more than ever — work in lockstep, and leverage a variety of real-time platforms to communicate critical business information to its key audiences, which include media and investors."
According to the firm's survey, 92 percent of media and 89 percent of investors turn to "corporate-owned platforms" (e.g., newsrooms, IR websites) when evaluating a company. Fifty percent of media find both webcasts and posing questions directly to a company on social media channels to be equally valuable resources, underscoring the significance of a multi-channel approach to sharing corporate news (versus 16 percent of investors).
The study also underscores the importance of "content vehicles" (e.g., press releases, infographics, videos) in amplifying corporate information. It finds that media are partial to "rich content" (e.g., videos, infographics, blog posts), with 78 percent identifying "rich content" as somewhat or very useful. Although both audiences still deem "traditional formats" (e.g., press releases, SEC filings) valuable, investors find "traditional formats" 18 percent more credible than "rich content" vehicles (versus 10 percent of media). Therefore, organizations must remain vigilant in executing both traditional and digital communications under a unified corporate approach to resonate with its full network of stakeholders.
Overall, investors still deem "third-party, financial influencers'" (e.g., financial and business media, other institutional investors, proxy advisers, sell-side analysts) social content twice as valuable as company-generated social content. Fourteen percent of investors access company-generated content directly on social media and 40 percent of those same investors seek social content from "third-party, financial influencers".
"As further substantiated by the study, when orchestrating a company's communications strategy, it is important to recognize that media and investors engage on social media in different ways," says Elizabeth Saunders, Senior Managing Director and Americas Chairman of the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting. "Given the wealth of digital content available to investors today, they're increasingly seeking original perspectives from financial influencers via social media. Consequently, it's imperative that companies build strong relationships with these third-party stakeholders, media included, to move the needle with investors on these growing digital channels."
For more information, visit: http://fticonsulting.com/digitalstudy.
The Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting conducted an online survey among institutional investors and financial and business media professionals between Oct. 3 and Oct. 24, 2013. The survey sample consisted of 201 global institutional investors (e.g., analysts, portfolio managers) and 41 global, financial and business media professionals (e.g., bloggers, editors, reporters).
About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,100 employees located in 25 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook, and LinkedIn.
SOURCE FTI Consulting, Inc.