Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Why so many media sections of web sites fail

This is nothing to do with the 50-plus but about Web sites and blogging. Something that bloggers and journalists have in common is they often need to use the media section of web sites.

Most media sections of web sites could do with improvement.

If you want to read a detailed analysis of why they fail have a look at Jakob Nielsen's latest Alertbox. I quote.
Most of the PR sections of sites we've studied fail to support journalists in their quest for the facts, information, and contacts they can use to write stories about companies and their products.

Websites must be painfully clear about a company's purpose, products, and services. Websites for high-tech start-ups are particularly notorious for presenting generic, buzzword-filled mission statements that could apply equally well to both their worst competitors and companies producing completely different products.

If journalists can't find what they're looking for on a website, they might not include that company in their story. Journalists repeatedly said that poor website usability could reduce or completely eliminate their press coverage of a company.
I would add two other points.

When press release is issued it should immediately get added to the site. There is nothing more frustrating than reading a snippet of a story in the press and then finding that the press release is not on the site.

Second point. When a release refers to “a research study” – please, please reference where the study can be read or at least say that it is for internal consumption. Dick Stroud

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