Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Web?

In our cover story on shareholder reports last week, I/Rexperts defended their continued reliance on paper as a reflection of investor resistance to digital communication. But
research conducted by the high-tech marcom firm Rainier Corp. indicates that corporate giants aren't doing much to accelerate acceptance of online I/R practices, either. While 77
Fortune 100 companies now have email inquiry forms on their Web sites, a third failed to respond to online requests for basic investor information over a 3-month period in
the Rainier study. And although 57 of Fortune 100 members ultimately did respond, many were slow on the draw (thus making the latest gee-whiz rhetoric about e-speed all the more
ironic). UPS and Home Depot won the race easily, with response times of five minutes and 34 minutes, respectively. But giants such as SBC Communications, Dell Computer and Sears
Roebuck loafed, with response lags of two weeks or more.