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Five pitfalls to avoid in your corporate websites

Carol Ko | Sept. 18, 2008
Here are some ironic challenges that we experienced while conducting research.

Are your corporate websites media-friendly enough? Corporate websites arent just the face for their stakeholders but very often, also the place for journalists to get a jump start to obtain official and updated information. A media-friendly website not only saves journalists, but also your own corporate communications or PR people, a lot of time and many phone calls to verify facts. MIS Asias editorial team is now working on the next annual after MIS 100 which is hot off the press.

Our latest annual project is the Strategic 100 that recognises the top 100 IT vendors in Asia.

Here are some ironic challenges that we experienced while conducting the research.

1. Where are you, CEOs? I am surprised that some of our potential Top 100 IT vendors in Asia do not share information about their CEOs - the most senior management executives in their organisations, on their websites. Not even their names and biographies. From a journalists perspective, we usually expect to reach such information within two clicks. Two days ago, when I was looking for the CEO information for one potential Strategic 100 organisation, I realized that its only key to their corporate profile is a font size 8 About Us text link down the bottom of their homepage if you spotted it. For others, it is highly recommended that corporate websites provide biographies of their CEOs. Together with a downloadable hi-resolution portrait photo? Thats even better.

2. Are your media contacts media-friendly? Journalists arent asking too much for a media-friendly media contacts page, are they? Thank you for providing a telephone line on your media contacts page -- at least you werent discarding us with a facsimile number, as practiced by many corporate organisations in China. But a telephone number that lands journalists on an interactive voice response system is definitely off putting.  Please, have a human being answer the media enquiry phone line.

3. Lost in (English) translation Have you realized that some South East Asian organisations websites (e.g., Indonesian and Thai) arent offering genuine bilingual content? For some, even if you have the luck to locate the English version button, you end up being given information in their home languages, not in English. Chinese corporate websites have much room for improvement, too, as offering an English version is still a rarity among them.

4. Would you also want to fill forms to ask questions? Give up the form-filling in media enquiry pages, please. Journalists rarely ask questions for fun, they often ask questions to meet tight deadlines. If your organisation does have a Corporate Communications or PR department, make sure they are practically communicable and have the courage and confidence to tell us the names of their top management executives such as CEOs, right away.


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