Email Black Hole for Investors

Research unveiled today has revealed that the majority of leading NASDAQ and almost half of FTSE 100 companies are neglecting their online capabilities with limited responses to investor relations email enquiries.

The alarming results reveal that on average only 38 out of 100 NASDAQ companies responded to staged emailed investor enquiry with the appropriate answers, while just 53 FTSE 100 companies responded within a three week period. Those companies that did respond had wildly varying results ranging from under three minutes to more than two weeks, according to Rainier PR, the UK technology public relations company which carried out the study.

The Alternative Investment Market (AIM), a sub market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), recently called for all firms listed on its books to have Rule 26-compliant websites under new requirements and firms could face penalties if they are found to be non-compliant. However, at present there are no legal requirements for NASDAQ and FTSE companies to support miscellaneous information requests.

“These results must come as a wake up call for top companies,” said Steve Earl, co-founder and managing director of Rainier PR. “Email is one of the foremost research and communications tools for investors, so it is shocking that these companies – especially in the US – have apparently disregarded the questions of a potential investor. To not even respond after three weeks is amazing, after all, email is supposed to be instantaneous. At best it looks like incompetence, at worst a personal slight.”

Earl added; “Major companies need dedicated resources for answering ‘company’ emails 24 hours a day, with a clear process for satisfying the question or request at a departmental or geographical level if the central communication team cannot do so immediately. Web investors deserve better.”

Rainier PR contacted the top 100 NASDAQ and FTSE companies with a standard email request and noted the response rates using contact details supplied on the corporations’ websites. Some companies did respond quickly, the fastest coming back with a reply within three minutes. The figures below show the companies with the fastest response times in both the FTSE 100 and the NASDAQ top 100.