The state of the art of Austrian digital corporate communications: stellar results mark a turning point
In the 13th edition of the Webranking research, covered exclusively by Horizont, we found that Austrian companies continue to be ahead of the curve compared to the overall European average, even though we increased our sample size, with 25% more companies evaluated compared to last year.
We evaluated the online communications of 20 listed Austrian companies, all of which are included in the ATX index of the Austrian stock exchange. The research investigates how they are working to satisfy the needs of their stakeholders. Since the Austrians continue to achieve excellent results with regards to transparency, the next challenge they must face is to go beyond simply duplicating information from the annual report on the website, and instead create a cohesive and coherent narrative of where the company has been and where it is headed.
The Austrian edition of Webranking research is conducted by Lundquist in collaboration with Comprend.
Austria maintains its strong positioning in Europe, with a few changes at the top
The strongest communicators from last year’s edition have reaffirmed their place on the podium again this year. Erste Group renews its place on the podium, taking first again this year with (70.5/100 points), further cementing its spot on the top of the podium. Vienna Insurance Group, conceding its position at second place on the podium to Wienerberger (68.1/100 points), took third place with 65.9 points this year. Wienerberger also wins the title of Best improver this year by gaining 11.8 points compared to last year.
With companies recognising the necessity of a strong digital presence and investing in the launch of new websites, we see further improvement of the already strong Austrian performance.
Caroline Becker, Country manager Austria
Interesting improvements in the areas of Sustainability and Careers highlight a shifted focus to communicate better with these stakeholder groups, while IR communications (sections IR, Governance and Share) decrease in score. Part of the improvement in reporting CSR is due to the EU-wide changes in requiring non-financial data reporting.
In the European comparison, only one Austrian company (Erste Group) out of the six included makes it into the top 30 of the Europe 500 ranking. However, historically, they have almost always surpassed the average of their European counterparts, and manage to do so also this year with an average score of 49.7, compared to the 47.2 points of European average.
Austrians continue to struggle when it comes to providing effective Investor communications
Investor communications remains the lowest scoring section of the research for Austrian companies, decreasing even further compared to last year, partly due to the increase in sample size. Traditional disclosure and reporting are the preferred means of communicating with investors in Austria.
Getting better at presenting the company and its business
Comprehensive information on the business, where they are and what they do: Austrian companies outperform their European counterparts when it comes to presenting the facts. It’s clear that their next challenge is to define a clear and engaging corporate narrative, which will require going a step further than merely presenting the facts.
Sustainability: the new regulation makes an impact
Reporting remains steady at 80%, but more data makes its way onto the website, probably due to the new CSR reporting legislation based on the EU directive. The increase in application of the GRI standards also shows a commitment to better communicate with relevant stakeholders.
How Webranking can help you to improve
The Webranking analysis allows you to define solutions to improve your digital presence, understand digital trends, compare to peers, generate internal engagement, and identify pathways for future improvement.
For further information about the research, to receive the highlights with the score per areas and to order a tailored, interactive report, please contact: [email protected]