I do a lot of freelance magazine writing; while wearing my journalist’s hat, the first place I go to do research on a company is their website. Surprisingly, it often appears that the website is the last place where most companies invest their time.
How do I know?
On company websites of all sizes, I find typos, outdated information, vague details, and very little about the people who work there and the products or services they sell. Sometimes its even a chore to find a phone number – hard to believe, but true!
Ironically when I make it through the red tape to appropriate person to interview for the article — usually a marketing director or CEO — then I am often sent a capabilities brochure on the company. These brochures are amazing: great photos, interesting text, and all the proof that this is indeed a professional company.
So why is it that the boss cares more about a printed piece stored in their backroom than the website which is available to entire world in one click? Because that’s what they see. They aren’t looking for information about their own company. They are looking to hand something to someone they meet. And yet, if they actually went to their own websites on a regular basis, I think they would be shocked at the less than professional image they are projecting.
So if you are part of a company, go to your website. Pretend that you are a first-time visitor. And if you can’t, ask someone else to check it out for you. Get their honest opinion. Then consider: what image do you want to project to the world?