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Industry deep dive: Corporate publishing — can digital be first?

It used to be that the Annual Report and Accounts were THE thing that large corporations published each year. They still hold sway of course, but they are now but one of the myriad titles that are required by all manner of stakeholders and interested parties.

As an example, Shell Australia’s financial publications include ‘Quarterly, half-year and full-year results announcements, analysts’ consensus estimates, annual reports and publications including the Investors’ Handbook (FAOI) and SEC Form 20-F filings, bonds and credit ratings, the EMTN programme and Shell International Finance BV reports.’

For Shell Australia, there are also environmental, social and governance publications, QGC operational news, bulletins, and all manner of other titles. Australia is but one touchpoint for the brand, who have operations in 70 countries and 82,000 employees.

VersoView enables Shell to convert all of their company communication channels into one private, cohesive, OpenView community platform, for their employees and stakeholders, this OpenView community platform is built around their VersoView converted digital communications, and enables Shell to reward their staff and stakeholders for their engagement within their community.

For busy corporates, publishing first to digital, and then going to print is an invaluable option. VersoView not only allows for quick publishing to digital and OpenView, in minutes not days, and without the need for an in-house or third-party team, but coupled with our subscriber APIs, VersoView allows digital editions to be published to a limited subscriber base — think of them as beta-testers. Corporates can add time for amends or errors to be picked up on (and they will) before the presses roll. It’s a small safety net, but it could save embarrassment and costs.

If we go back to that long list from Shell Australia, each of those titles will go out to different sets of stakeholders, and while the entire historical inventory can be stored on their VersoView Pro (white label)branded App, the specific log-in from each individual will only allow access to specific sets of the inventory. Subscribers can be allowed to be read-only, or be given access to comment and share. Furthermore, using the DocuSign API specific subscribers can be asked to read and accept terms and conditions, compliance, or other legal parameters, while the blockchain will ensure an immutable digital ledger.

But there’s more. As the lifeblood of the VersoView platform, the VersoView Token ($VVT) is the multifunctional, deflationary currency that fuels the ecosystem. VVT is used for payments within the ecosystem and acts as a staking mechanism for minting branded Social Tokens. The social tokens are used within communities built around publications, corporate reports, educational material, brands or product stories.

To date, digital publishing has been either expensive and time consuming, or cheap with a poor user experience. VersoView, using its OpenView interface, offers a rich, easy to use, easy to read option which truly allows for a digital-first mindset. For corporates having a genuine digital option, there may not be the need to print and distribute so many hard copies, with potential cost savings and reduced energy consumption.

Steve Peaple, CPO

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