Many African executives express frustration at their existing websites: they are out of date and they do not “look good and have broken links”. Many websites are done part time. In short websites are not delivering what they should be. “Push technology” is what is required.

Companies have not traditionally had a means to communicate directly with investors or prospective customers on a frequent and real-time basis so they have had to rely on information intermediaries, such as newspapers and the media / press, to disseminate their information. Unfortunately, constraints on skills, money, time, and media space can limit the amount of news that intermediaries can distribute to investors.

In recent years, many technologies have emerged that allow companies to access customers and investors on a frequent and real-time basis.  They include Twitter, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds and corporate email alerts. Social media sites, such as Facebook, are also relevant in many respects but in Africa corporate email alerts are widely viewed as the appropriate method to use for dissemination as Twitter and other tools are still growing.

This is “push technology”.

‘Push’ technology means electronic communication in which the sender like a company sends information to the user e.g. investor or customer rather than waiting for the user to specifically request  for the information from the sender (i.e., pull technology). A website is a ‘pull’ technology, since investors / customers must visit websites to obtain information. In contrast, push technology send the website posting, or hyperlink to the customer / investor directly when the information is posted.

Since obtaining data on corporate websites is difficult, especially up to date data, a unique opportunity for listed companies to identify their stakeholders / investors online arises. The other side of the equation is to use “push technology” to turn this contact into a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship.

This is the communication model recommended for corporate websites and investor relations websites.