So, you want to communicate with a company…!
So you go to their website, click on contacts, only for some stupid dialogue box to appear. So there you go ..blah, blah, complete all the necessary details and 5 minutes later, you press enter..
And a dialogue box appears… we will contact you ..maybe in 24 hours… or worst case scenario… a message appears..Error or SQL Database Error…Please enter data again…
So maybe I am harsh, but a website with these type of controls, just illustrate to me the lack of understanding of corporate communication principles..
Why on earth, would I at 11h00 at night try and send your organisation a message? For fun or a reason?
Do you want to hear my opinion, my thoughts, or should I rather phone Tip-off Anonymous, a newspaper, the TV, etc….Rely on my own influential database?
For heaven sake, companies wake up! Managing your Reputation is about staying in touch and informed, not restricting communication between yourself and stakeholders. No wonder countless of journalists complain that companies just do not make themselves accessible to the media.
Yet this is what a certain organisation writes on its website:
1. We subscribes to the principle of transparent, timeous, balanced, relevant and understandable communication, focused on substance not form, with all relevant parties.
2. Communication covers both financial and non-financial aspects of the business to assist in creating an informed stakeholder population. Detailed reports of the various aspects influencing the business, both directly and indirectly, are communicated to stakeholders.
3. Our organisation undertakes this responsibility to ensure that stakeholders are comprehensively informed so as to understand why they should continue to invest in a company which, they believe, will enjoy sustained success.
Ya, right? So please phone us, when it suits us..
Do they honestly believe that 11h00 at night when I want to communicate and quickly send someone a message, that I am going to go through their elaborate capturing process? Stakeholder management is about organisational policies and procedures that take into account the needs and desires of various stakeholders.
And you know what peeves me off the most, the message above is raised at every media related conference. Every journo moans, every company representative say it’s not us….So how come then, websites are not developed taking the latest research on corporate communication into account? How come websites are not benchmarked against best practice?
*** By the way, I did not even putting their statement in italics – the message just does not deserve appropriate treatment..