Technology: Peppercom digital survey splits sector

A tool that aims to help companies improve their online communications by asking for employees' opinions has caused controversy among PR professionals.

US-based agency Peppercom has developed a survey that firms can use to gauge what their employees think of their digital offering.

The 82-question test asks employees about a company's online strengths and weaknesses. The tool, believed to be the first of its kind, has been launched in the US and will soon be launched in the UK.

Ed Moed, managing partner and co-founder of Peppercom, claimed the tool was useful to financial services clients hit by the economic downturn. He said these companies were now having to re-examine their digital communications.

But UK digital agency chiefs were not convinced. Ed Lecky-Thompson, managing director of digital agency Galileo, expressed horror at the new tool, saying: 'The idea that any business or organisation can even begin to measure the effectiveness of its digital strategy through multiple-choice answers... is absurd.'

Stephen Davies, founder and MD of online agency 3WPR, said the tool was useful and envisaged other agencies offering similar services. But he said the test could not replace a digital PR expert's advice.

The Digital Aptitude Test aims to assess a company's digital offering. Questions cover whether employees are in the right jobs, whether content is reaching relevant audiences and whether the correct information is on the company site.

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