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Corporate self‐presentation on the WWW: Strategies for enhancing usability, credibility and utility

Irene Pollach (Department of English Business Communication, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna, Austria)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 1 December 2005




The purpose of this paper is to identify starting points for improving corporate self‐presentation on the world wide web (WWW) by enhancing site usability, message credibility, and information utility.


Content analysis, quantitative linguistic analysis and discourse analysis were used to examine the “About Us” sections of 20 well‐known corporate web sites.


The findings suggest that companies recognise the challenges provided by WWW‐mediated communication but fail to respond adequately. The companies could enhance their web sites by adopting a more user‐centred approach, constructing more convincing arguments and raising the level of interactivity in order to present their audiences with more relevant information.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study are limited by the fast‐paced nature of the internet. The content and structure of the pages may have changed substantially since the research was conducted.

Practical implications

Companies need to pay more attention to the fact that the WWW as a pull medium empowers users to choose the material they want to be exposed to. Therefore, companies need to make more efforts to entice users to see material they would otherwise not choose to see.


In view of the small body of qualitative research on corporate web sites, particularly regarding the use of language, the challenges of corporate web communication and the responses identified may provide a framework for future research, e.g. for longitudinal studies. Practitioners may use the findings to redesign the content and structure of corporate web sites.



Pollach, I. (2005), "Corporate self‐presentation on the WWW: Strategies for enhancing usability, credibility and utility", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 285-301.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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