Annual Report content communicated inconsistently on corporate websites
The 4th Edition of Black Sun's annual research report 'The Art of Communicating a Consistent Story', finds that of the assessed content elements, 26% of the FTSE 100 and 35% of the FTSE 250 appear inconsistently on the corporate website compared to how they are presented in the Annual Report. It examines how well the FTSE 100 and a sample group of the FTSE 250 consistently communicate one cohesive message across two of the most important communication tools for companies: the Annual Report and the corporate website. The Black Sun assessment focuses on two key things:
1. Are key content elements in the Annual Report carried over to the corporate website? And if they are carried over.
2. Are the carried over content elements conveyed consistently between the Annual Report and the corporate website?
The research builds on the 2016 analysis by focusing on three themes: creating value, strategy and performance, and how the organisation is managed. Entitled "Telling One Message across Multiple Channels", the 2017 report shows little overall improvement on Annual Report content being carried over to the corporate website. The FTSE 100 has slightly improved - up 4% in how consistently the information is presented on the website, but the FTSE 250 is down by 16%. The content that most often appears on corporate websites, and reflecting what FTSE companies consider most important to stakeholders is:
- Sustainability, featured on 97% of FTSE 100 and 92% of the FTSE 250 websites.
- 17% of the FTSE 100 do not feature Strategy content elements from the Annual Report on their corporate websites.
- Governance frameworks appear on 52% of FTSE 100 websites and 68% of FTSE 250 corporate websites…but….15% of the FTSE100 and 16% of the FTSE 250 are inconsistent with the information that is provided in the Annual Report
- Only 31% of the FTSE 100 carry over Investment Case information from the Annual Report to the corporate website….and of those that do….33% of the information is inconsistent
Content elements from the Annual Report that are presented most consistently on the corporate website are compliance, rather than communications-driven. FTSE 100 present principal risks most consistently at 81%. But principal risks are only featured on 8% of the FTSE 100 websites, and not surprisingly, the least likely content element to be carried across from the Annual Report. In the FTSE 250, risk management is presented most consistently, appearing consistent from the Annual Report on 82% of FTSE 250 websites.
Communications- driven content elements show the most improvement this year. The most improved score since last year for content carried over was Sustainability, up by 5% for the FTSE 100 and 16% for the FTSE 25). The most improved consistency score was the investment case, up by 25% for the FTSE 100 and 15% for the FTSE 250.
The FTSE 100 snapshot
- 53% of the content in the Annual Report is carried over to the corporate website, +2% compared to last year
- 74% of the content appears consistent in the Annual Report and on the corporate website, + 4% since last year
The FTSE 250 snapshot
- 53% of the content in the Annual Report is carried over to the corporate website, no change from last year
- 72% of the content appears consistent in the Annual Report and on the corporate website, -9% since last year
To request a summary of this year’s digital consistency research please click here.