Five budget-friendly ways to communicate your company’s roles and goals

Scott Payton suggests quick and cost-effective steps for explaining your organization’s mission more effectively online. 

As we mentioned earlier this month, there are lots of ways to improve a company’s online communications without spending a fortune. For many digital teams, tackling such ‘quick wins’ is more relevant now than ever.
In this second of a series of articles on this topic, we’ll focus on low-cost improvements to communicating your company’s mission and objectives – or ‘purpose’ – in the world. 

1: Encapsulate your company’s mission in a meaningful sentence or two

As my colleague Jason Sumner has noted, too often you’re better off visiting a company’s Wikipedia page than its own website to find out what it actually does, and what its aims are. 
Sometimes this is because the company’s website completely lacks a concise summary of the firm’s roles and goals. Or the website will have a summary – but only a meaningless one. 
Take this, found at the top of one corporate site’s ‘Mission & Vision’ landing page:
To be fair, users who scroll further down this page will find some more meaningful copy fleshing out the company’s mission – but giving the above sentence a prime location at the top of the ‘Mission & Vision’ landing page is a wasted opportunity to inform and engage website visitors of all kinds. 
Here are two other examples that say a lot about a company’s purpose, with fewer words:
‘We save people money so they can live better.’ (Walmart). 
‘To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’ (Google). 
Once you’ve got a concise summary of your firm’s mission, it’s important to put it where online visitors will easily find it – towards the top of the corporate site’s home page and ‘About us’ landing page, for example.

2: Provide a concise ‘at a glance’ page with key facts and figures

Offering an easy to digest company overview on your corporate site will please a wide range of audiences, including journalists working on a story, financial analysts researching your firm as an investment opportunity and jobseekers sizing it up as a potential workplace.
This ‘at a glance’ page needs to be easy to find for all of these audiences – so include a clear link to it in the ‘About’ section menu – and easy to read on all devices, including a smartphone. 
Lockheed Martin provides a useful infographic-style fact sheet to summarise key information about the company. 
It’s in PDF only, though. Many visitors would likely prefer to have the additional option to view this material directly on the site. 
Some companies go a step further and provide a variety of ‘at a glance’ pages on their corporate sites, each tailored to the needs and interests of specific audiences, such as investors and jobseekers.
HSBC’s ‘Our investment case’ page is a good example. 

3: Give your ‘About’ landing page dual roles as an overview and a directory 

A well-designed ‘About’ landing page can serve as a comprehensive contents page for the section as a whole – while providing an effective summary of the company’s roles and goals in its own right.
For example, the ‘About Siemens’ landing page offers both a neatly formatted and informative overview of the company (what Siemens is, its geographic reach, and brief summaries of its businesses) as well as a useful set of signposts to topics and resources which a visitor may wish to explore more deeply. Responsive design means the page displays well on any screen size: good for visitors researching the company while on the move.

4: Add a ‘Factsheets and press kits’ area in your News/Media section

Trade and financial journalists may already know your company inside out. But generalists researching a story on it for the first time won’t. And even media professionals who’ve covered your firm countless times before might not have the latest facts and figures to hand – including the latest iteration of your company’s ‘purpose’.
Providing a sub-section of News/Media dedicated to fact sheets and press kits will be appreciated by all types of journalists – so it’s surprising how many corporate sites don’t offer one. 
US healthcare company Abbott provides a rich range of easy to find briefing materials for journalists researching the company. The Newsroom landing page has a prominent 'Facts' link in a right-column panel. Clicking it opens a listing, on the same page, of a range of useful briefing PDFs, including a corporate overview fact sheet, a corporate infographic and division-specific fact sheets. These are simple but effective resources that journalists new to the company will appreciate – though the links to PDFs are not signposted 'PDF', as they should be, and as with Lockheed Martin, HTML versions of fact sheets are lacking. 

5: Signpost a consistent company overview from all social channels

One you’ve got a concise summary of your firm’s roles and goals on your corporate website, it’s important to make sure that everyone can find it. Providing links to it in the biography or About areas on your Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media presences is a quick and easy way of doing this. This is also a sensible way of managing ‘one version of the truth’: if all channels lead to the same ‘at a glance’ information page, you’ve only got one place to keep such information up to date. 
In our next article, published next month, we’ll focus on budget-friendly ways to improve your online contact provisions. 
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First published 19 May, 2020
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