बुधवार, 21 दिसंबर 2011

India’s first corporate PR

India’s first corporate PR ezine VOL 1 Issue 5 - July 06
Published by Prime Point Foundation and Chennai PR Club
PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Chief Editor
“Stakeholders demand information through websites“
oday, Technology has changed
the rules of games of many
Institutions. The penetration of
“Internet” has brought in new style of
According to the latest statistics more
than 1 billion users (17% penetration
on the global population) of the world
make use of the net, as against 50
million ( 4.5% penetration) in India.
Presently, every single business house
is having a website. The expectations
of the stakeholders are also on the
increase. Because of the competition,
the customers, investors and media
have become ‘information hungry’.
‘Right to Information Act’ of the
Government enables the citizens to
rightfully demand the information from
the Government departments.
Private Sector today, enjoy more
investment from the Banks, individual
investors, Government, etc. than the
investment of the promoters. Though
‘Right to Information Act’ does not
apply to Private Sector organisations,
Private Sector cannot hide themselves
from the responsibility of providing
sufficient information to their
Importantly, four main stakeholders
employees, customers, investors and
media demand more information from
the Private Sector organisations, to
function as a watchdog. Some of the
pro active companies have realized the
current situation and provide adequate
information to the stakeholders
through their websites and improve
their credibility and image.
It is a matter of serious concern, that
many organisations do not provide
adequate information in their websites.
The responses from the companies for
the queries raised through their
websites are also poor.
We will be discussing some of the
important aspects of maintenance of
corporate websites, in this issue.
K. Srinivasan
PR-e-CISE – Inside this ezine
· An exclusive interview with Dr N
Vijayaditya, on the National Portal
of India
· Interview with Mr Kiron Kasbekar,
a leading web consultant
· Rating of some Corporate websites
· Extract of group discussions
· PR Events in India and abroad
· and more …
PR-eXCLUSIVE – Mother of all portals – A gateway
ave you ever imagined a
website which can provide a
gateway to all your government
related information? Few months
(NIC), the IT arm of Indian
Government has launched a “National
Portal” http://www.india.gov.in which
can fulfill the maximum requirements
of the countrymen.
Considered as the ‘Mother of all Indian
Portals’, it is also likely to be the
biggest portal in the world. Through
this portal, one can enter more than
5000 websites of various Ministries of
Union Government, State
Governments, UTs, including Districts
and blocks.
All the Central Acts from 1834, 50,000
plus Supreme Court judgements since
1950 (besides various other High
Court judgements), verbatim
proceedings of both the Houses of
Parliament since 1991 are all available
on a single click. Designed
professionally with all usability
concepts, this portal is attracting large
number of visitors (22 million hits and
10 million page views per day)
In an exclusive interview to K.
Srinivasan and N Satish of PR-e-
Sense, Dr N Vijayaditya, Director
General of National informatics
Centre, Delhi
through ‘video phone’
explained the purpose
of this portal. Dr.
Vijayaditya is one of
the eminent IT
experts of India and has been
associated with the various Technology
programmes / implementation of ICT
solutions and e-Governance
applications to the Government. Dr.
Vijayaditya is a simple and
approachable person and we could get
his interview within 24 hours of our
request. Excerpts from his interview:
Q: What is the main purpose of
this National Portal?
A: The purpose of
this portal is to
provide information
to all the
stakeholders round
the clock on any
subject, which the Government
handles. You will find in the portal,
four major segments viz. Citizen,
Business,Overseas and Government.
These segments provide various
information to these stakeholders,
including getting birth certificates,
applying for passports, filing of tax
returns, etc.
If you look at the content, you will find
that everything will be on “end users’
perspective” and not on
“Government’s perspective”.
This portal has vast collection of
information / services (around ten
terabytes of space), which can be
accessed within two or three clicks.
Q: How this portal is maintained?
How big this team is?
A: We have four teams. Viz content
team, technology team, design team
and quality assurance team. We have
around 25 persons in these teams, in
addition to supporting officials from
NIC all over the country. Each
Ministry and State Governments have
one coordinator at Senior level to
provide contents. Information is
generated at every level and the portal
is constantly updated.
Q: How do you ensure the quality
and accuracy of contents?
A: We have an excellent coordination
between the teams for contents and
technology. When the pages are
finalized, ‘Quality Assurance team’
conducts “Website security Audit”.
Every web page will be evaluated on
various basic parameters like usability
and performance, before being hosted.
This ensures that the users get the
right information at right time easily.
Q: How do you visualize the portal
in another five years?
A: This is only the ‘First version’ of the
portal. We are already working on the
next version of the portal which will
have the enhanced features like
customization, personalization etc. and
Portal shall continue to evolve.
We also have a system of regularly
reviewing the feedbacks/suggestions
received from the registered users and
other visitors. All relevant suggestions
are considered either for
implementation in the present version
of the portal or inclusion in the
subsequent versions.
Besides close coordination with
National Portal Coordinators, we are
also interacting with major content
providers in various segments like
Industries associations like FICCI, etc.,
Academic Institutions and other
specialised agencies to
procure/subscribe to the special
purpose content. We also intend to
support Indian languages and
introduce universal accessibility in the
future versions of the portal. We are
confident that through seamless
integration and interface, we shall
establish National Portal as the
gateway to all information and single
point access to all government
information and services.
For more details, contact Ms Neeta
Verma, Senior Technical Director at
How effective ‘contact us’ details in the websites? – A survey
In order to find out as to how quickly
the companies respond to the
enquiries submitted through the
website forms or email ids available in
‘contact us’ page, the Editorial Team
sent enquires to 15 leading
Corporates. We requested them to
inform us the USP of their site.
We could get immediate response
(within 24 hours) only from two
companies viz. IBM (India) and
WIPRO. PR-e-Sense places on
record the appreciations to Varsha
(IBM) and Sanjeeth (WIPRO) for the
quick response.
When we wrote to one of the leading
Private Sector Banks enquiring the
URL of their corporate Group website
covering all their Banking, Insurance,
Mutual Fund and other business,
(through the contact form), we
received a prompt reply as follows :
Greetings from xxxx Bank!
We will be unable to provide you
the requested details.
Thank you for writing to us.
Customer Service Officer
Xxxxx Bank Limited
We are awaiting to receive any
acknowledgement/response from 12
other companies, even after the lapse
of 25 days and a formal reminder!
PR-eXCLUSIVE –Look for web consultants and not designers
r. Kiron Kasbekar (56), is a
well known name in the media
industry. He has served as
Editor of The Economic Times,
Bombay; Business Editor of The Times
of India; and Managing Editor of
Business India. He
involved himself in media
design and
development since
1980s. And today, Kiron
Kasbekar runs the
country’s premier web
consultancy company, The Information
Company Private Limited (TIC).
The company has designed and
maintains the websites of industrial
conglomerates like www.tata.com,
(ranked by Business Today magazine
as best website) www.adityabirla.com.
www.murugappa.com and many other
corporate websites.
Incorporated in 1999, TIC actually has
three divisions – media & content, web
solutions, and knowledge management
systems. The media division runs one
of the Asia’s largest online magazine
www.domainb.com, the public relations
portal www.prdomain.com.
In an exclusive interview with Mr
Sakthi Prasanna, of PR-e-Sense, Mr
Kiron Kasbekar spoke about the
importance of corporate websites and
the designing aspects. Excerpts:
Q: Why is a website important for
Indian corporates?
A : A corporate website is like a
permanent ad campaign and exhibition
for a company available to people
across the world round the clock and
every day of the year. In this sense, a
website is more important than a major
advertising campaign. Companies that
have invested well in websites and
other online activities have reaped
huge benefits from them, including
wider reach for the corporate image
and product marketing messages,
market feedback, improved customer
relationships, and reduced costs.
Q: How should a company select its
website designer?
A: Companies should be looking for
website consultants, not website
designers. That is comparable with
companies seeking top-rated
advertising agencies instead of
photographers or illustrators. A good
website design is the culmination of the
formulation of an online communication
strategy, creating appropriate
information architecture, working out a
good content plan, creating a visual
design that is in line with these things,
and developing the right software to
make the website effective.
A vendor must have competencies in all
these areas – business/communication
strategy, editorial expertise, visual
design expertise and skills (which
require much more than an ability to
use graphics software), and good
software experience and skills. Most
vendors do not have this combination
of competencies.
Q: Do you think Indian corporates
are not willing to spend money on
designing a good website? If yes,
A: I agree. It is penny-wise, poundfoolish
attitude. Even big companies,
entrust the website design to persons
who know only html and graphics.
Designing a good website requires
strategic thinking and communication
expertise well as a deep understanding
of the internet as a medium. A website
so needs strong editorial skills to
ensure quality.
Mr Kiron Kasbekar can be ontacted at
PR –e- VIEW – Extract from discussion groups
Anuradha Roychowdhury, Godrej Industries Limited, Mumbai
What is a bad design?
I can list a few 'bad' design features of
some existing corporate websites (to
be avoided):
1. The flash
intro...this can be
most time consuming
and irritating feature
of a website,
especially when you
are looking for info at a hurry.
2. Absence of locational details of the
company (physical address and
contact details) raises questions on the
authenticity of the company's
3. Giving quick facts on the company
(most websites miss this)
4. Bad Navigation.. A topbar line
showing progress or the sequence of
pages really helps.
Look at the following websites:
honeywell.com, raytheon.com,
bcg.com, wachovia.com, intel.com and
microsoft.com. Very good layouts and
Mr T N Ashok Alstom Group, Delhi -tn.ashok@power.alstom.com
On a top of the mind recall, I found the TATA
website very good, packed with information
and easy access to details. Good
backgrounders on the company. Easy on the
eye and easy to read, well written texts. Easy to
go. Reliance website does have a lot of
information but the arrangement is not that
neat, Its cumbersome to surf its pages for
L and T is also good , good information, but the
website is quite traditional and is not that eye
catching. Not boasting, but our International
website : www.alstom.com is amazing for the
information that it displays which shows how
transparent we are . Our
indian website :
www.alsto.co.in is also very
informative. GE website is
also very good and so also
siemens for the informations
that is available. Though we
are talking about Corporate
websites here, some of the
govt websites are amazing. The recently
revamped power ministry website is excellent
and also PIB website which gives you instant
access to various ministries -- though not all
ministries update their information, particularly
finance ministry , where statistics are outdated.
Avinash Murkute, Pune avinash_m28@yahoo.com
_I do agree that corporate websites
are not optimized. May I add one
more point here,
Corporate website
must have feedback
or contact us page.
Everybody do have.
Few customization
like Name / Contact details / e-mail
field mandatory serves the purpose for
proper follow-up. Last month students
of one management institute of Pune
studied 50 corporate web sites and
found typos in 49 of them.
Content must be checked periodically
and must be refreshing.
PR –e- VIEW – Extract from discussion groups
Mr Subir Ghosh, Editor, Newswatch India
· Design: Avoid flashy stuff. The
pun is very much there. Flash
animations are most exasperating.
Those look good all right, but
don't add much value to the site.
Keep such stuff for yuppie endconsumers.
· All press
should be
properly. If
these are
under a
Press Room section, all the more
better. Do not lay too much
stress on "XXX in the news". Most
people are not interested in that.
· Contact details should be in a
proper hierarchical order, if
possible. The visitor should know
who to contact for what. Be
transparent: give both phone
numbers as well as email
· Who should handle? The corp
comm professionals any day. The
techie's job is to make the
website. Period. Don't ever ask a
techie's opinion about site
features. Rather, hire a usability
professional to ascertain whether
your site is usable or not. If
possible take three different
opinions. Ensure that the site
navigation system makes life easy
for the visitor, and not the other
way round.
· Keep a downloads section. Your
company logos (in cdr/gif/jpg/tif
formats), brochures (pdf
preferably), annual reports
(pdf/html/doc) must all be
available there. I was only
handling an invite to an event
which was being co-sponsored by
a big hotel. I needed the logo in
CDR format, but the people in
Delhi were of no use. I finally got
it from the parent company's
website (based in the US)
· Have a dedicated person for the
website. Don't rely on the
webmaster. Webmasters have
their own opinions about what a
site should be, and those might
not augur well for your company.
Bhavna Dayal. Mumbai bhavnadayal@yahoo.com
The contents of a website are
dependent on how
the organization
wants itself to be
perceived as or
positioned as! Some
low profile
organizations keep
the information to
only what is barely needed, while
some like dynamic organizations like
some IT companies like to be
perceived as ‘happening organizations’
with the latest technologies - web
cast, etc online. But all the same,
there are some golden rules which one
and all must follow. The prime
objective of a website being to apprise
the viewer about the various products
and services, that it must do in easy
understandable terms. The contents
must be clear and crisp to be absorbed
by the reader. Too much information is
not retained plus the flow is lost. One
could use subheads or bullets to
increase attention span.
PR –e- VIEW – Expert views
HR Mohan, Associate VP (Systems), The Hindu, Chennai
Web Usability
The Web has become the window to
the corporate houses and having a
good corporate website is a must in
this Internet Age.
While the current web
technologies provide
excellent attractive /
interactive features, a
simple but usable
website will be of
more value to the
The users visit websites to seek
information which is accurate,
authentic and current. The features,
which the users desire would include
consistent and easier navigation,
simple search, fast loading pages,
meaningful and relevant content,
contact details for further information.
A site presented with the information
architecture design principles in mind
will be highly productive, usable and
enhance the user experiences.
The users tend to avoid sites which
have distracting features like heavy
and flashy images, multiple frames,
drop-down and interactive menus, the
need to use the plug-ins to access the
information. In essence, the KISS
principle Keep It Short and Simple
applies to websites too.
As the Net is being used by people of
all age group (kids to elderly), people
of different cultural & educational
background and different skill levels of
accessibility & disability problems,
designing a good website to meet the
expectations of all is a great challenge.
The feedback from the users is a
valuable input that every webmaster
should look for in constantly improving
the site and thereby the user
T Balamurugan, IT Consultant, Coimbatore bala@rock2b.com
Website Visibility -
The success of your corporate website
is measured by number of visitors
accessing your web
pages. Having a
knowledge management
system (articles, whitepapers,
forums, Mailing lists etc)
available for public
access related to the product/services
you deal with in your website will
highly improve your website visibility
in Internet.
Another one important thing to do is
creating website that are search
engine friendly and search engine
conscious, This will highly help in
showing what you want to show and
hiding what you do not want to show
while searched for information through
any search engine (Google, Altavista,
Yahoo etc)
Website Maintenance -
Whatever created needs a level of
maintenance and up gradation.
Technologies in Internet get
outdated/updated in a very faster
pace. Virtual / Shared hosting and
dedicated server hosting purchased
from service providers require
comparatively very less maintenance
work as compared to in-house hosting
. PR –e- VIEW – Expert views
Ms Renu Kakkar, Vice President, (Corpcom), Apeejay Group,
Bangalore - rkakkar@apeejaygroup.com
Corp com needs to be straightforward
and clear on their vision on what it is
they want to build - its like a corporate
deciding whether they want an easily
accessible fancy office address at
Nariman Point or a sprawling premises
in Navi Mumbai which also has
employee living quarters.
Websites may be made by graphic
designers but they cater to common
people / visitors who need upto date
information placed simply with a
pleasant look n feel and easy to use
features. Some of these visitors are
media who will in any case call the
corp com person for more (and more
..and more) so there can be a media
room which basically houses whatis
called - BACKGROUNDERS to all the
products. If it’s a
listed company
then its a ball
game so I am not
getting into that.
Of course corp com needs a lot of
support in managing this and the
management needs to be proactive. In
fact I was quite surprised recently
when one of our CEOs thought it fit to
inform me that his London
office number had changed and if the
website could also reflect the
same please..
PR –eMINENCE - Evaluation of some sites – A study
A team of experts along with Editorial
team, under the guidance of Mr M M
Selvakumar, a senior web Consultant
at Chennai evaluated some of the
websites of leading companies on the
following parameters:
Website Design (10 Marks) : Look
& Feel of the website, fonts, Colours,
formatting, Usage of animation, Image
size – optimization – alt tags
Services/Products/Events (10
Marks) : Product Updating Product
,description/ Information, Product
Enquiry and contact information,
Product Grievance, About us section
(Board of Directors –must) Career
Web Usability (10 Marks): Easy
Naivigation & Accessibility , Search
Engine Popularity, Website name
popularity, link popularity, Site map
Avoid Intros
Investor Section (10 Marks):
Investor News(like Board Meeting),
Financial. Results (Yearly & Quarterly),
Share Information – Share Values &
Share History , BSE Registration
Code, how to invest in the company
Media (10 Marks): Media Release ,
pictures of Executives and Logos, Ads,
Contact Details , Contact Person,
Media Reports, Quick Response
We are publishing our review for six of
such sites in this issue. 5 Star denotes
‘Excellent Rating’, 4 Star - ‘Very
Good’; 3 star - ‘Good’; 2 star –
Average; and single star - Poor
Mr M M Selvakumar can be contacted
at camioselva@hotmail.com
PR –eMINENCE - Evaluation of some sites – A study
Rating :
1. Well designed and good content
management with Professional
2. Product description and updates,
grievance is given in the site
3. Resources tab for various related
site links
4. country or region specific site
home page is good
5. link for newsletter subscription
6. Good image
and alt tag
1. Navigation is not properly organized
– should come back to home page
to visit other links
2. Site Map is available only for some
Rating :
· Extremely well organized
content in different sections
· All links are available in home page
· Good product description with
complete details and case studies
· Simple and elegant design – good
navigational structure
· Media room is resourceful with
reports, contact info, etc
· Links to other related sites, group
sites, brochures (Related Banner
Links give
more hits to
the site. For Example, in investor
section, we can find link to ‘go to
media’ and products page.)
· Case studies given in almost all
pages are extremely good
· Very simple – Creativity and
professional look needed
Rating :
1. Lightweight site (less animation
more text)
2. Testimonial is provided in
almost all pages This increases the
3. Uniformity in site design and the
related links are given.
4. Investor Section is more
informative and comprehensive
5. Product info
description are also good.
1. Very simple for a corporate site,
more creativity can be employed in
creating the pages
2. Font readability in some pages is
poor (font size is very small)
PR –eMINENCE - Evaluation of some sites – A study
Rating :
1. Pleasant look and easy navigation
2. Use of more buttons in each
section should be extremely
appreciated and resembles to that
of a media site
3. Categorization of products and info
is good (Their Sectors has been
given in a easy navigation)
4. Career section – given a special
emphasis and as different site itself
5. Case studies
given in
almost all
pages is extremely good
6. Care has been taken to ensure that
the flash links are given separately
as ordinary html links
1. Investors section is not
1. Download Library is good – Good
1. More animation and flash content –
‘skip intro’ is not available
2. No proper formatting or colour
3. Poor media room
4. Poor organisation of contents
5. Use of PDF links should be avoided
1. More of Product Based site -
specifications to products and their
application are impressive.
2. Good animated intro banner -
(Good Animations and colourful
1. No proper
2. Investor section is not too
3. Poor media room
PR –e - News - IFCC launched in India
ndian Forum of Corporate
Communicators, (IFCC) came into
being in August 2005, formed by a
group of practicing professionals in
leading corporates in the country. The
Forum already
has over 150
corpcomm /
Marcomm as
essentially drawn
from the
communicators fraternity in India. The
Forum has been started keeping the
interests of the Indian Corporate
Communicators Community in mind.
The objective of the Forum is to make
available Best Practices in
communications management thus
helping its members to meet
international benchmarked business
communication standards. The Forum
firmly believes that this would
endeavour to give corporate
communicators its rightful place in the
larger community of Indian
professionals. The Forum besides
being a platform today for information
sharing amongst the professionals
would strive to bring in programs and
events that would enrich the corporate
communication function as such and
act as a harbinger for newer processes
and practices.
The Forum has four chapters and a
pan India presence with more than
150 members across the country.
Mr Paresh Chaudhry (HLL) is the
National President, Ms Nandini
Goswami, (JM Morgan Stanley) is the
National Vice President, Ms Swapna
Bhandarkar (Hexaware)is the National
Secretary, Linus Chettiar (ISec LTD)is
the National Treasurer.
The Regional Chairpersons are:
Ms Meena Vaidyanathan (Honeywell) -
Ms Salmoli Mukherji (The Park Hotels)
Mr C.R.Kannan (SPIC) - South
The National Body representatives who
are based in Mumbai are responsible
for the Western Region..
For more details contact
Have you joined the PR discussion groups?
Image Management Group – Second largest yahoo group on PR with 1250 plus
global members. Click here
PRpoint Group - The largest Indian group for PR/Corpcom/academic professionals
with 550 plus members. Click here
India Vision Group – The largest Indian group to discuss India Vision – around 800
Indian youth as members
PR eTTY - Relax – Allow the boss to speak first
A junior Software engineer, a senior
Software engineer and their PM were
on their way to a meeting. On their
way through a park, they came across
a wonder lamp. They rubbed the lamp
and a ghost appeared. The ghost said,
"Normally, one is granted three wishes
but as you are three, I will allow one
wish each".
The eager Junior Software engineer
shouted, “I want the first wish. I want
to be in the Bahamas, on a fast boat
and have no worries”. "Pfufffff, and he
had gone.
Now the Senior Software engineer
could not keep quiet and shouted " I
want to be in Florida with beautiful
girls, plenty of food and cocktails”.
"Pfufffff”, and he had also gone.
The PM calmly said," I want these two
idiots back in the office after lunch at
Moral of the story is: Always allow the
bosses to speak first"
(Source: unknown)
PResentors of PReSENSE
Chief Editor and Publisher:
K. Srinivasan (Prime Point)
P A Narrendiran (Blue Lotus PR)
Associate Editor:
S. Sakthi Prasanna (Brodeur India)
Editorial Board:
Meera R (Aspire Systems)
Satish N (Anna University)
Editorial Advisors
T N Ashok (Alstom)
Michael Driehorst, (The Lauerer Markin
Group Inc. USA)
Arun Arora (GMR-DIAL)
Uma Bhushan (SIMSR)
R . Jai Krishna (Senior Journalist)
Feedback and contributions to:
All the earlier issues may be downloaded from

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