July 2006 - Corporate websites


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July 2006 of Corporate ezine PR-e-Sense focusses on the various aspects of Corporate Websites. We have also rated some of the corporate websites.

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July 2006 - Corporate websites

  1. 1. India’s first corporate PR ezine VOL 1 Issue 5 - July 06 Published by Prime Point Foundation and Chennai PR Club PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Chief Editor “Stakeholders demand information through websites“ T oday, Technology has changed from the responsibility of providing the rules of games of many sufficient information to their Institutions. The penetration of stakeholders. “Internet” has brought in new style of communication. Importantly, four main stakeholders employees, customers, investors and According to the latest statistics more media demand more information from than 1 billion users (17% penetration the Private Sector organisations, to on the global population) of the world function as a watchdog. Some of the make use of the net, as against 50 pro active companies have realized the million ( 4.5% penetration) in India. current situation and provide adequate information to the stakeholders Presently, every single business house through their websites and improve is having a website. The expectations their credibility and image. of the stakeholders are also on the increase. Because of the competition, It is a matter of serious concern, that the customers, investors and media many organisations do not provide have become ‘information hungry’. adequate information in their websites. ‘Right to Information Act’ of the The responses from the companies for Government enables the citizens to the queries raised through their rightfully demand the information from websites are also poor. the Government departments. We will be discussing some of the Private Sector today, enjoy more important aspects of maintenance of investment from the Banks, individual corporate websites, in this issue. investors, Government, etc. than the K. Srinivasan investment of the promoters. Though ‘Right to Information Act’ does not apply to Private Sector organisations, prpoint@yahoo.com Private Sector cannot hide themselves PR-e-CISE – Inside this ezine • • An exclusive interview with Dr N Rating of some Corporate websites • Vijayaditya, on the National Portal Extract of group discussions • of India PR Events in India and abroad • Interview with Mr Kiron Kasbekar, • and more … a leading web consultant
  2. 2. 2 PR-eXCLUSIVE – Mother of all portals – A gateway H ave you ever imagined a applications to the Government. Dr. website which can provide a Vijayaditya is a simple and gateway to all your government approachable person and we could get related information? Few months his interview within 24 hours of our back, request. Excerpts from his interview: National Informatics Q: What is the main purpose of Centre this National Portal? (NIC), the IT arm of Indian Government has launched a “National A: The purpose of Portal” http://www.india.gov.in which this portal is to can fulfill the maximum requirements provide information of the countrymen. to all the stakeholders round Considered as the ‘Mother of all Indian the clock on any Portals’, it is also likely to be the subject, which the Government biggest portal in the world. Through handles. You will find in the portal, this portal, one can enter more than four major segments viz. Citizen, 5000 websites of various Ministries of Business,Overseas and Government. Union Government, State These segments provide various Governments, UTs, including Districts information to these stakeholders, and blocks. including getting birth certificates, applying for passports, filing of tax All the Central Acts from 1834, 50,000 returns, etc. plus Supreme Court judgements since 1950 (besides various other High If you look at the content, you will find Court judgements), verbatim that everything will be on “end users’ proceedings of both the Houses of perspective” and not on Parliament since 1991 are all available “Government’s perspective”. on a single click. Designed professionally with all usability This portal has vast collection of concepts, this portal is attracting large information / services (around ten number of visitors (22 million hits and terabytes of space), which can be 10 million page views per day) accessed within two or three clicks. In an exclusive interview to K. Q: How this portal is maintained? Srinivasan and N Satish of PR-e- How big this team is? Sense, Dr N Vijayaditya, Director General of National informatics A: We have four teams. Viz content Centre, Delhi team, technology team, design team through ‘video phone’ and quality assurance team. We have explained the purpose around 25 persons in these teams, in of this portal. Dr. addition to supporting officials from Vijayaditya is one of NIC all over the country. Each the eminent IT Ministry and State Governments have experts of India and has been one coordinator at Senior level to associated with the various Technology provide contents. Information is programmes / implementation of ICT generated at every level and the portal solutions and e-Governance is constantly updated.
  3. 3. 3 Q: How do you ensure the quality are considered either for and accuracy of contents? implementation in the present version of the portal or inclusion in the A: We have an excellent coordination subsequent versions. between the teams for contents and technology. When the pages are Besides close coordination with finalized, ‘Quality Assurance team’ National Portal Coordinators, we are conducts “Website security Audit”. also interacting with major content Every web page will be evaluated on providers in various segments like various basic parameters like usability Industries associations like FICCI, etc., and performance, before being hosted. Academic Institutions and other This ensures that the users get the specialised agencies to right information at right time easily. procure/subscribe to the special purpose content. We also intend to Q: How do you visualize the portal support Indian languages and in another five years? introduce universal accessibility in the future versions of the portal. We are A: This is only the ‘First version’ of the confident that through seamless portal. We are already working on the integration and interface, we shall next version of the portal which will establish National Portal as the have the enhanced features like gateway to all information and single customization, personalization etc. and point access to all government Portal shall continue to evolve. information and services. We also have a system of regularly For more details, contact Ms Neeta reviewing the feedbacks/suggestions Verma, Senior Technical Director at received from the registered users and neeta@nic.in other visitors. All relevant suggestions How effective ‘contact us’ details in the websites? – A survey In order to find out as to how quickly covering all their Banking, Insurance, the companies respond to the Mutual Fund and other business, enquiries submitted through the (through the contact form), we website forms or email ids available in received a prompt reply as follows : ‘contact us’ page, the Editorial Team sent enquires to 15 leading quote Corporates. We requested them to Greetings from xxxx Bank! inform us the USP of their site. We will be unable to provide you the requested details. We could get immediate response Thank you for writing to us. (within 24 hours) only from two Regards, companies viz. IBM (India) and xxxxxxxxxxx PR-e-Sense places on WIPRO. Customer Service Officer record the appreciations to Varsha Xxxxx Bank Limited (IBM) and Sanjeeth (WIPRO) for the Unquote quick response. We are awaiting to receive any When we wrote to one of the leading acknowledgement/response from 12 Private Sector Banks enquiring the other companies, even after the lapse URL of their corporate Group website of 25 days and a formal reminder!
  4. 4. 4 PR-eXCLUSIVE –Look for web consultants and not designers M other online activities have reaped r. Kiron Kasbekar (56), is a huge benefits from them, including well known name in the media wider reach for the corporate image industry. He has served as and product marketing messages, Editor of The Economic Times, market feedback, improved customer Bombay; Business Editor of The Times relationships, and reduced costs. of India; and Managing Editor of Business India. He Q: How should a company select its involved himself in media website designer? design and A: Companies should be looking for database/software website consultants, not website development since designers. That is comparable with 1980s. And today, Kiron companies seeking top-rated Kasbekar runs the advertising agencies instead of country’s premier web photographers or illustrators. A good consultancy company, The Information website design is the culmination of the Company Private Limited (TIC). formulation of an online communication strategy, creating appropriate The company has designed and information architecture, working out a maintains the websites of industrial good content plan, creating a visual conglomerates like www.tata.com, design that is in line with these things, (ranked by Business Today magazine and developing the right software to as best website) www.adityabirla.com. make the website effective. www.murugappa.com and many other corporate websites. A vendor must have competencies in all these areas – business/communication Incorporated in 1999, TIC actually has strategy, editorial expertise, visual three divisions – media & content, web design expertise and skills (which solutions, and knowledge management require much more than an ability to systems. The media division runs one use graphics software), and good of the Asia’s largest online magazine software experience and skills. Most www.domainb.com, the public relations vendors do not have this combination portal www.prdomain.com. of competencies. In an exclusive interview with Mr Q: Do you think Indian corporates Sakthi Prasanna, of PR-e-Sense, Mr are not willing to spend money on Kiron Kasbekar spoke about the designing a good website? If yes, importance of corporate websites and why? the designing aspects. Excerpts: A: I agree. It is penny-wise, pound- foolish attitude. Even big companies, Q: Why is a website important for entrust the website design to persons Indian corporates? who know only html and graphics. A : A corporate website is like a Designing a good website requires permanent ad campaign and exhibition strategic thinking and communication for a company available to people expertise well as a deep understanding across the world round the clock and of the internet as a medium. A website every day of the year. In this sense, a so needs strong editorial skills to website is more important than a major ensure quality. advertising campaign. Companies that Mr Kiron Kasbekar can be ontacted at have invested well in websites and kiron.kasbekar@ticworks.com
  5. 5. 5 PR –e- VIEW – Extract from discussion groups Anuradha Roychowdhury, Godrej Industries Limited, Mumbai an.roychowdhury@godrejinds.com What is a bad design? contact details) raises questions on the authenticity of the company's I can list a few 'bad' design features of existence some existing corporate websites (to 3. Giving quick facts on the company be avoided): (most websites miss this) 4. Bad Navigation.. A topbar line 1. The flash showing progress or the sequence of intro...this can be pages really helps. most time consuming and irritating feature Look at the following websites: of a website, honeywell.com, raytheon.com, especially when you bcg.com, wachovia.com, intel.com and are looking for info at a hurry. microsoft.com. Very good layouts and 2. Absence of locational details of the design. company (physical address and Mr T N Ashok Alstom Group, Delhi -tn.ashok@power.alstom.com On a top of the mind recall, I found the TATA transparent we are . Our website very good, packed with information indian website : and easy access to details. Good www.alsto.co.in is also very backgrounders on the company. Easy on the informative. GE website is eye and easy to read, well written texts. Easy to also very good and so also go. Reliance website does have a lot of siemens for the informations information but the arrangement is not that that is available. Though we neat, Its cumbersome to surf its pages for are talking about Corporate information. websites here, some of the govt websites are amazing. The recently revamped power ministry website is excellent L and T is also good , good information, but the and also PIB website which gives you instant website is quite traditional and is not that eye access to various ministries -- though not all catching. Not boasting, but our International ministries update their information, particularly website : www.alstom.com is amazing for the finance ministry , where statistics are outdated. information that it displays which shows how Avinash Murkute, Pune avinash_m28@yahoo.com _I do agree that corporate websites field mandatory serves the purpose for are not optimized. May I add one proper follow-up. Last month students more point here, of one management institute of Pune Corporate website studied 50 corporate web sites and must have feedback found typos in 49 of them. or contact us page. Everybody do have. Content must be checked periodically Few customization and must be refreshing. like Name / Contact details / e-mail
  6. 6. 6 PR –e- VIEW – Extract from discussion groups Mr Subir Ghosh, Editor, Newswatch India newswatchindia@gmail.com = • Design: Avoid flashy stuff. The website. Period. Don't ever ask a pun is very much there. Flash techie's opinion about site animations are most exasperating. features. Rather, hire a usability Those look good all right, but professional to ascertain whether don't add much value to the site. your site is usable or not. If Keep such stuff for yuppie end- possible take three different consumers. opinions. Ensure that the site • All press navigation system makes life easy releases for the visitor, and not the other should be way round. • Keep a downloads section. Your archived properly. If company logos (in cdr/gif/jpg/tif these are formats), brochures (pdf archived preferably), annual reports under a (pdf/html/doc) must all be Press Room section, all the more available there. I was only better. Do not lay too much handling an invite to an event stress on quot;XXX in the newsquot;. Most which was being co-sponsored by people are not interested in that. a big hotel. I needed the logo in • Contact details should be in a CDR format, but the people in proper hierarchical order, if Delhi were of no use. I finally got possible. The visitor should know it from the parent company's who to contact for what. Be website (based in the US) • Have a dedicated person for the transparent: give both phone numbers as well as email website. Don't rely on the addresses. webmaster. Webmasters have • Who should handle? The corp their own opinions about what a comm professionals any day. The site should be, and those might techie's job is to make the not augur well for your company. Bhavna Dayal. Mumbai bhavnadayal@yahoo.com The contents of a website are with the latest technologies - web dependent on how cast, etc online. But all the same, the organization there are some golden rules which one wants itself to be and all must follow. The prime perceived as or objective of a website being to apprise positioned as! Some the viewer about the various products low profile and services, that it must do in easy organizations keep understandable terms. The contents the information to must be clear and crisp to be absorbed only what is barely needed, while by the reader. Too much information is some like dynamic organizations like not retained plus the flow is lost. One some IT companies like to be could use subheads or bullets to perceived as ‘happening organizations’ increase attention span.
  7. 7. 7 PR –e- VIEW – Expert views HR Mohan, Associate VP (Systems), The Hindu, Chennai hrmohan@vsnl.com will be highly productive, usable and Web Usability enhance the user experiences. The Web has become the window to the corporate houses and having a The users tend to avoid sites which good corporate website is a must in have distracting features like heavy this Internet Age. and flashy images, multiple frames, While the current web drop-down and interactive menus, the technologies provide need to use the plug-ins to access the excellent attractive / information. In essence, the KISS interactive features, a principle Keep It Short and Simple simple but usable applies to websites too. website will be of more value to the As the Net is being used by people of users. all age group (kids to elderly), people of different cultural & educational The users visit websites to seek background and different skill levels of information which is accurate, accessibility & disability problems, authentic and current. The features, designing a good website to meet the which the users desire would include expectations of all is a great challenge. consistent and easier navigation, The feedback from the users is a simple search, fast loading pages, valuable input that every webmaster meaningful and relevant content, should look for in constantly improving contact details for further information. the site and thereby the user A site presented with the information experiences. architecture design principles in mind T Balamurugan, IT Consultant, Coimbatore bala@rock2b.com Website Visibility - conscious, This will highly help in The success of your corporate website showing what you want to show and is measured by number of visitors hiding what you do not want to show accessing your web while searched for information through pages. Having a any search engine (Google, Altavista, knowledge management Yahoo etc) system (articles, white- papers, discussion Website Maintenance - forums, Mailing lists etc) Whatever created needs a level of available for public maintenance and up gradation. access related to the product/services Technologies in Internet get you deal with in your website will outdated/updated in a very faster highly improve your website visibility pace. Virtual / Shared hosting and in Internet. dedicated server hosting purchased from service providers require Another one important thing to do is comparatively very less maintenance creating website that are search work as compared to in-house hosting engine friendly and search engine solution
  8. 8. 8 . PR –e- VIEW – Expert views Ms Renu Kakkar, Vice President, (Corpcom), Apeejay Group, Bangalore - rkakkar@apeejaygroup.com Corp com needs to be straightforward called - BACKGROUNDERS to all the and clear on their vision on what it is company's they want to build - its like a corporate products. If it’s a deciding whether they want an easily listed company accessible fancy office address at then its a ball Nariman Point or a sprawling premises game so I am not in Navi Mumbai which also has getting into that. employee living quarters. Of course corp com needs a lot of Websites may be made by graphic support in managing this and the designers but they cater to common management needs to be proactive. In people / visitors who need upto date fact I was quite surprised recently information placed simply with a when one of our CEOs thought it fit to pleasant look n feel and easy to use inform me that his London features. Some of these visitors are office number had changed and if the media who will in any case call the website could also reflect the corp com person for more (and more same please.. ..and more) so there can be a media room which basically houses whatis PR –eMINENCE - Evaluation of some sites – A study A team of experts along with Editorial popularity, link popularity, Site map team, under the guidance of Mr M M Avoid Intros Selvakumar, a senior web Consultant at Chennai evaluated some of the Investor Section (10 Marks): websites of leading companies on the Investor News(like Board Meeting), following parameters: Financial. Results (Yearly & Quarterly), Share Information – Share Values & Website Design (10 Marks) : Look Share History , BSE Registration & Feel of the website, fonts, Colours, Code, how to invest in the company formatting, Usage of animation, Image size – optimization – alt tags Media (10 Marks): Media Release , pictures of Executives and Logos, Ads, Services/Products/Events (10 Contact Details , Contact Person, Marks) : Product Updating Product Media Reports, Quick Response ,description/ Information, Product Enquiry and contact information, We are publishing our review for six of Product Grievance, About us section such sites in this issue. 5 Star denotes (Board of Directors –must) Career ‘Excellent Rating’, 4 Star - ‘Very Good’; 3 star - ‘Good’; 2 star – Web Usability (10 Marks): Easy Average; and single star - Poor Naivigation & Accessibility , Search Engine Popularity, Website name Mr M M Selvakumar can be contacted at camioselva@hotmail.com
  9. 9. 9 PR –eMINENCE - Evaluation of some sites – A study www.ibm.com/in Rating : 1. Well designed and good content 6. Good image management with Professional optimization look. and alt tag 2. Product description and updates, grievance is given in the site 1. Navigation is not properly organized 3. Resources tab for various related – should come back to home page site links to visit other links 4. country or region specific site 2. Site Map is available only for some home page is good sections 5. link for newsletter subscription www.tcs.com Rating : • Extremely well organized Links give content in different sections more hits to • All links are available in home page the site. For Example, in investor itself section, we can find link to ‘go to • Good product description with media’ and products page.) • Case studies given in almost all complete details and case studies • Simple and elegant design – good pages are extremely good navigational structure • Media room is resourceful with • Very simple – Creativity and reports, contact info, etc professional look needed • Links to other related sites, group sites, brochures (Related Banner www.infosys.com Rating : 1. Lightweight site (less animation 5. Product info more text) and 2. Testimonial is provided in description are also good. almost all pages This increases the credibility 1. Very simple for a corporate site, 3. Uniformity in site design and the more creativity can be employed in related links are given. creating the pages 4. Investor Section is more 2. Font readability in some pages is informative and comprehensive poor (font size is very small)
  10. 10. 10 PR –eMINENCE - Evaluation of some sites – A study www.wipro.com Rating : 1. Pleasant look and easy navigation 5. Case studies 2. Use of more buttons in each given in section should be extremely almost all appreciated and resembles to that pages is extremely good of a media site 6. Care has been taken to ensure that 3. Categorization of products and info the flash links are given separately is good (Their Sectors has been as ordinary html links given in a easy navigation) 4. Career section – given a special 1. Investors section is not emphasis and as different site itself informative www.ril.com Rating: 2. No proper formatting or colour combination 1. Download Library is good – Good 3. Poor media room contents 4. Poor organisation of contents 5. Use of PDF links should be avoided 1. More animation and flash content – ‘skip intro’ is not available www.hll.com Rating: 1. No proper image 1. More of Product Based site - optimization specifications to products and their 2. Investor section is not too application are impressive. informative 2. Good animated intro banner - 3. Poor media room (Good Animations and colourful banners)
  11. 11. 11 PR –e - News - IFCC launched in India I ndian Forum of Corporate communication function as such and Communicators, (IFCC) came into act as a harbinger for newer processes being in August 2005, formed by a and practices. group of practicing professionals in leading corporates in the country. The The Forum has four chapters and a Forum already pan India presence with more than has over 150 150 members across the country. corpcomm / Marcomm as Mr Paresh Chaudhry (HLL) is the members National President, Ms Nandini essentially drawn Goswami, (JM Morgan Stanley) is the from the National Vice President, Ms Swapna corporate Bhandarkar (Hexaware)is the National communicators fraternity in India. The Secretary, Linus Chettiar (ISec LTD)is Forum has been started keeping the the National Treasurer. interests of the Indian Corporate Communicators Community in mind. The Regional Chairpersons are: The objective of the Forum is to make Ms Meena Vaidyanathan (Honeywell) - available Best Practices in North communications management thus Ms Salmoli Mukherji (The Park Hotels) helping its members to meet East international benchmarked business Mr C.R.Kannan (SPIC) - South communication standards. The Forum firmly believes that this would The National Body representatives who endeavour to give corporate are based in Mumbai are responsible communicators its rightful place in the for the Western Region.. larger community of Indian professionals. The Forum besides For more details contact being a platform today for information Paresh Paresh.Chaudhry@unilever.com sharing amongst the professionals Nandini would strive to bring in programs and Nandini.Goswami@jmmorganstanley.com events that would enrich the corporate Have you joined the PR discussion groups? Image Management Group – Second largest yahoo group on PR with 1250 plus global members. Click here http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Image_Management/ PRpoint Group - The largest Indian group for PR/Corpcom/academic professionals with 550 plus members. Click here http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/prpoint/ India Vision Group – The largest Indian group to discuss India Vision – around 800 Indian youth as members http://groups.yahoo.com/group/India_Vision_2020/
  12. 12. 12 PR eTTY - Relax – Allow the boss to speak first A junior Software engineer, a senior but as you are three, I will allow one Software engineer and their PM were wish eachquot;. on their way to a meeting. On their way through a park, they came across The eager Junior Software engineer a wonder lamp. They rubbed the lamp shouted, “I want the first wish. I want and a ghost appeared. The ghost said, to be in the Bahamas, on a fast boat quot;Normally, one is granted three wishes and have no worries”. quot;Pfufffff, and he had gone. Now the Senior Software engineer could not keep quiet and shouted quot; I want to be in Florida with beautiful girls, plenty of food and cocktails”. quot;Pfufffff”, and he had also gone. The PM calmly said,quot; I want these two idiots back in the office after lunch at 2.00pmquot; Moral of the story is: Always allow the bosses to speak firstquot; (Source: unknown) PResentors of PReSENSE Chief Editor and Publisher: Editorial Advisors K. Srinivasan (Prime Point) T N Ashok (Alstom) Michael Driehorst, (The Lauerer Markin Editor: Group Inc. USA) P A Narrendiran (Blue Lotus PR) Arun Arora (GMR-DIAL) Associate Editor: Uma Bhushan (SIMSR) ) S. Sakthi Prasanna (Brodeur India) R . Jai Krishna (Senior Journalist) Editorial Board: Meera R (Aspire Systems) Feedback and contributions to: Satish N (Anna University) ezinepresense@gmail.com All the earlier issues may be downloaded from www.primepointfoundation.org