RadioShack : Burying news
Site construction obscures content from its intended audience.
RadioShack, a US-based electronics retailer, allows flawed site construction to obscure its service for the media.
RadioShack’s corporate website has seven primary navigation options set out in a horizontal bar beneath the header panel: Home, Investor Relations, Corporate Citizenship, Contacts, Careers, Franchise and Radioshack.com. The final three launch external microsites and there are no subsidiary utility links. Corporate Citizenship displays a menu of sub-sections on mouse-over. Investor Relations has an eight-heading menu but this is only revealed in the left-hand navigation after clicking to open the section; the second heading is News Releases, which links to an archive containing ‘general’ as well as ‘financial’ releases.
Contacts is a single page with separate listings for Investor Relations and Media Relations. Media Relations is sub-headed “For business and consumer journalists who need content assistance” and details include a link to “our news center”. This opens the Email Alert Subscription page in Investor Relations, which again offers ‘general’ and ‘financial’ options.
RadioShack has not forgotten or ignored its media audience, despite all initial signs pointing to that conclusion (and to everywhere but the content that is provided for journalists). But it has effectively tuned them out through sloppy assembly of its primary navigation of a kind that would have customers heading to the returns counter if it were applied to the products it sells.
There are a couple of seriously faulty components that need looking at. The omission of any universal ‘news’ or ‘media’ link is a rarity on a corporate site, where journalists are a core audience – a status of which RadioShack is seemingly well aware given the provision of ‘general’ news content and separate contact details. This is mirrored and exacerbated by the inconsistent provision of menu previews: it’s common now for these to be offered in one form or another (via mouseover or on click), but the selectivity employed here is simple bad practice and serves to further bury the signposts that do exist to content for the media. The reason seems traceable to the status of Investor Relations as a minisite rather than a core section. Although otherwise fully integrated, so performing as part of the corporate site, it has a discrete URL and has not been wired into the main template’s preview mechanism.http://www.radioshackcorporation.com
First published on 07 July, 2011