Chapter 12: Tapping the Web and New Media

Chapter 12 explores the growth of the World Wide Web and social media and its impact on public relations. It offers advice on how to avoid creating a visually boring web page(Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques). They include:

1) Define the objective of the site.

2) Design the site with the audience in mind.

3) Don’t just place existing materials on the site; redesign the material with strong graphic components.

4) Update the site constantly.

5) Don’t overdo the graphics. Complex graphics take a long time to download.

6) Make the site interactive; give the user buttons to explore various topics.

7) Use feedback to evolve the site (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

In regards to building an effective website, the text cites consultant Gordon MacDonald, who says a good website requires the following:

1) You must have the “vision” of how you want your organization to be perceived by the public.

2) You need a copywriter to write the text.

3) You need a graphic artist to add the visual element.

4) You need a computer programmer to put the ideas together in HTML coded fo the Internet (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

Jacob Nielson, an Internet consultant, has a list of design elements that enhance usability:

1) Place your organization’s name and logo on every page.

2) Provide a “search” tab if the site has more that 100 pages.

3) Write straightforward and simple headlines and page titles that clearly explain what the page is about and that will make sense when read out of context in a search engine results listing.

4) Structure the pages to facilitate scanning and help users ignore large chunks of pages in a single glance.

5) Don’t cram everything about a product or topic into a single page.

6) Use product photos, but avoid pages with lots of photos.

7) Use link titles to provide users with a preview of where each link will take them before they have clicked on it.

8) Do the same as everybody else.

9) Test your design with real users as a reality check (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

This chapter was helpful in directing practitioners to create effective websites.


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