A corporate website or corporate site is an informational website operated by a listed business or private enterprise. Listed companies need to have a corporate website. Not only is a site an essential marketing tool, a listed company is also required to post its press releases on its site, to provide corporate governance information, to provide information on AGMs and EGMs etc.
Building a corporate website
There are many companies/consultants to help out in building an effective corporate site, taking into account the investor relations part as well.
The following principles should be considered with respect to a corporate site:
- be aware of the audience of your site: it determines the style and substance of communication;
- the site is a ‘living’ community: the information provided on the site needs to be up to date;
- a corporate site is a source for company information: be aware that it has legal aspects to be taken into account;
- ensure a simple navigational structure: information should be accessible within three (at maximum!) clicks;
- make use of illustrations and graphics: make a site lively - the site gives a company ‘a face’, so be aware of this.
Corporate sites provide information to the public about the company, its core activities, strategy, governance, financial results etc. Large companies typically maintain a single umbrella corporate site for all of their various brands and subsidiaries.
Corporate website content
Corporate websites usually include the following:
- A homepage;
- A navigation bar or other means for accessing various site sections, such as the section for Investor Relations;
- A unified look and feel incorporating the company logos, style sheets, and graphic images;
An "about us" section with some or all of these:
- A summary of company operations, history, and mission statement;
- A list of the company's products and services;
- A "people" section with biographical information on founders, board members, and/or key executives. It sometimes provides an overview of the company's overall workforce;
- A "news" section containing press releases, press kits, and/or links to news articles about the company;
- An "investor" section describing key owners/investors of the company;
- Pages of special interest to specific groups.These may include:
- An employment section where the company lists open positions and/or tells job seekers how to apply;
- Investor pages with the annual report, business plan, current stock price, financial statements, overview of the company structure, SEC filing or other regulatory filings;
- Pages for employees, suppliers, customers, strategic partners, affiliates, etc.;
- Contact information. Sometimes this includes a feedback form by which visitors may submit messages;
- A terms-of-use document and statement of intellectual property ownership and policies as they apply to site content; and
As for the best practices on how to build and maintain a site: it is advised to consult a specialist on this to create a site that presents the company as required, is easily accessible through a well thought through navigation grid and presents the most important information in a user-friendly manner.
It is noted that however well-designed a corporate site may be, the quality of the content remains essential.