Webranking Italy 2015: Italian companies improving but two thirds do not pass the communications stress test

Italian weekly CorrierEconomia reports exclusively today that the performance of companies in the Webranking Italy 2015 research has increased, however still two thirds do not demonstrate the ability to govern their reputation in digital channels. Now in its 14th edition, the Italian ranking is conducted by Lundquist in collaboration with Comprend.


Webranking works as a stress test, in that it measures the fundamentals of online corporate and financial communications and dialogue of the largest listed companies, based on stakeholder demands. The research’s objective is to promote a digital culture within companies and help them understand how to meet the growing expectations of stakeholders.


Still two thirds do not pass the test


Considering 50 points out of 100 as the threshold at which companies respond adequately to capital demands, only 34% of the companies pass the stress test. Six Italian companies improve their score by more than 10 points, up from three companies last year. Salini Impregilo and YOOX Net-A-Porter improve by an impressive +20 points. The Italian average rose 2.8 points from 40.5 to 43.3.


Companies at the bottom of the ranking are those who do not meet the minimum content required by the market (meaning they achieved less than 30 points out of a total of 100). This year, 30% of companies in Italy failed the test, doubling their European counterparts (the European study analyses the 500 largest European companies). It is also worth noting that all of the new entrants in the ranking this year failed the test, proving that a lot of hard work and commitment is needed in order to achieve excellence in digital communications.


The Italian list also excluded those that have had consistently low scores in previous years and haven’t shown any signs of improving, leaving 70 names contending for the title.


Best in class


Eni retains the title as the best company for digital corporate communications, with 89.1 points out of 100. The company is followed by telecommunications company Telecom Italia, which regains second place with 86.6 points and utility company Snam, now in third place with 85.9 points.


The fact that Eni, Telecom Italia and Snam – the winning companies last year – are again on this year’s podium signifies that in order to achieve excellence in digital communication and transparency, companies must work hard on a continual basis in order to adopt this way of thinking on a cultural level across the board.


Two new companies, utility company Edison and telecable company Prysmian, also manage to climb into the top 10.


Strong on disclosure, yet weak in communicating future vision & use of social media


The company’s investments, future vision, business objectives and stance on sustainability are key to communicating Italy’s economic recovery, yet this concrete vision of the future is still missing from Italian corporate websites. Whilst Italian companies are investing in the presentation of financial data and documents covering past performance and thus remain strong on matters of disclosure, compared to the rest of Europe, they are less effective in communicating their business strategy into a perceptible equity story.


There is also a mismatch between the kinds of information and engagement stakeholders expect from corporate websites and what is usually on offer. For example, more and more journalists are looking to online resources such as blogs and social media to find out information and interact with a company, asides from looking at traditional press releases. Yet many Italian companies, whilst providing links to their social media accounts, fail to present the actual feeds on their website, using it merely as another outlet to promote their content. This implies that Italian companies view social media as just another channel to publish information on, as opposed to a fundamental instrument for dialogue and engagement with their stakeholders.


Next week we will also publish for the second year in a row, a study into how well Italian non-listed companies perform followed by rankings of listed and non-listed companies in Switzerland in the coming weeks.


Lundquist European Seminar on Digital Corporate Communications & Webranking Awards


On Thursday, 3 December, the Lundquist European Seminar on Digital Corporate Communications will be an occasion to explain the purpose and findings of the 2015 research and reflect on the state of online corporate communications in Italy and internationally. The Webranking by Comprend Awards Italy will recognise the winners of the 14th edition. See the full programme here. To register please contact laura.cappelli@lundquist.it.




For further information regarding the research and order a full company report, please contact caroline.becker@lundquist.it



Webranking Italy 2015About the research


Webranking by Comprend is Europe’s most in-depth analysis of online financial and corporate communication. The highlight is the Europe 500 study, which ranks the largest companies in Europe (FT Europe 500 index). Highlights of the research are presented and distributed in a magazine and the full ranking will be published in January 2016.


Going back almost 20 years, Webranking by Comprend now surveys more than 800 websites across the globe using criteria that are based on the views of people who actually use corporate information. Every year an exclusive panel of about 450 analysts, investors, shareholders, job seekers, journalists and other stakeholders is asked what information and services are the most important to them.

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