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Web Usability Guru Jakob Nielsen Goes "On the Record…Online" about the Impact of Online Communications on Corporate Reputations


LOS ANGELES, CALIF/April 4, 2006 – In the latest episode of “On the Record…Online,” the podcast that explores how new media is changing the way organization’s communicate, and the way people consume media and information, Jakob Neilsen, Ph.D., who The New York Times calls “the guru of Web page usability” explains why an incomplete internet press room can be a stain on corporate reputation.

According to Nielsen, a principal at the Nielsen Norman Group and the author of the best-selling book Designing Web Usability, which has sold more than a quarter of a million copies in 21 languages, there is a direct relationship between the level of commitment an organization demonstrates toward anticipating and satisfying the public and the news media’s appetite for information on their website, and the perceptions people have toward their brands, products and services.

Responding to a question on whether it is important for a corporation to have an internet pressroom, Neilsen says “…I would definitely say yes and actually for more reasons than you just might think. Certainly the first and most obvious reason is for PR…but there is also a second reason which is in this kind of modern world the web is its own medium as well and you have a lot of additional types of users who are going to go and check out your news…”

“On the Record…Online” is intended to help public relations and marketing professionals make better use of the internet for media relations and public disclosure. Through in-depth, one-on-one interviews with journalists and subject-matter experts, the podcast seeks to foster a greater appreciation and awareness among business professionals about the importance of improving online public relations and interactive marketing practices.

“If you work in PR, you need to listen to this podcast,” said Lesa Snider King, who as The New York Times technology columnist David Pogue's personal assistant is frequently unable to find what she needs on corporate internet pressrooms. “It's a joy to work with companies who provide pertinent information in their internet pressrooms. Instead of trying to get photos out of a PR contact and having them fill up my inbox, I can go in and choose the photos we want. Here, as in so many other areas, ‘pull' works better than ‘push'.”

And even though blogs have given rise to a veritable revolution in personal publishing, Neilsen also explains why the press release is here to stay. “One thing we’ve found in our user studies, and we’ve done studies not just with journalists, as I mentioned, but also with financial analysts, and certainly many many studies just with customers, and we know that they actually want to know the company’s perspective. Where does the company think its going?” says Neilsen. “The company’s own angle is something that people are looking for, whether its journalists, whether its investors, or whether its customers they all want this information, and the pressroom is where to go and get it.”

The podcast, which is available for immediate download, runs about 25 minutes, and also includes a discussion of how search engine optimization colors perception, accommodating a global audience through internet pressrooms, how best to integrate your pressroom into your website and more.

“On the Record…Online,” which is rapidly approaching 100,000 downloads, is hosted by iPressroom founder and chairman Eric Schwartzman, formerly director of promotions at Rogers & Cowan. Past guests on Schwartzman’s podcast include Ken Auletta of The New Yorker, Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal and David Pogue of the New York Times.

Schwartzman is also scheduled to present on professional podcasting panel sessions at ad:tech San Francisco on April 27, the Syndicate Conference in New York on May 17 and the Public Relations Society of America Tech Conference on June 27 in New York.

“On the Record…Online” is sponsored by iPressroom, which provides a hosted solution for online public relations and interactive marketing. iPressroom allows nontechnical personnel to conduct web content management, search engine optimization, permission-based email marketing, video on demand, RSS news feeds, blogs, podcast and more autonomously through one integrated, easy-to-use, web-based dashboard.

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