NEW YORK: Many corporations, particularly those in the throes of a crisis, fail to understand the power of their website as a way to communicate. In light of this, Burson-Marsteller has launched a new analytic service to gauge web-based crisis communications.
"We study and examine, and have expertise in corporate reputation management," said chief knowledge and research officer Leslie Gaines-Ross. "Corporate reputation online is more critical than ever today, as news gets out there before a company gets a chance to put out a press release."
The new service, called PRePARE, helps companies best use their websites during a crisis. It will join other resources for clients facing crisis-communications challenges, such as a corporate restructuring, a product recall, or disaster recovery.
Burson's recent study of 26 websites of companies undergoing crises last year found that most sites were underused to address the situations.
PRePARE is designed to help companies by gauging websites against a list of criteria, including how well the site transitions visitors to special sections dedicated to crisis news and updates, how much information is provided by executives as events unfold, and how well the site addresses the concerns of specific stakeholders, such as employees and customers.