Gaming Sites, Great; PR Sites, No

    March 16, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Public relations, an industry of professional communicators, not only scored at the bottom of all categories in the “Internet Standards Assessment Report,” but also apparently could not copywrite an effective flu shot campaign during an epidemic.

When it comes to website effectiveness, the Web Marketing Association thinks gaming, music, and sports sites do the best job with the available technology, AdRants reported.

As for radio, search engine, and public relations sites, well, they don’t fare quite as well. Search engines get a pass because the public seems to favor the Spartan look of Google, which has been imitated on the search homepages for Yahoo, MSN, and AOL.

Radio sites tend to jam so many elements on their homepages that visiting one poses an uncomfortable viewing experience. That’s very true of the stations that broadcast in and around the WebProNews home base of Lexington, Kentucky. Visiting local radio websites is like viewing someone’s web design portfolio circa 1996.

As for PR sites, the study found a lot of room for improvement in ranking the industry among the lowest for innovations, the article noted in quoting William Rice, president of the Web Marketing Association:

Notably, public relations scored lowest for copywriting, even though it is an industry known for effective communication. According to Rice, “It’s likely that PR practitioners focus more on developing their clients’ sites, while their own sites suffer from typical ‘brochure-ware.’ Another possibility is that the low scores reflect the informal nature of the Internet and the backlash over over-edited, corporate speak.”

We understand that Neil French, the legendary copywriter, is likely available for projects these days. Maybe the PR folks should give him a call.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.