Study: World’s biggest companies among worst online communicators

Walmart, Hewlett-Packard and other well-known companies don’t communicate well online. Here’s what they’re doing wrong.


As social media and technology continue to evolve, they give companies new ways to reach out and communicate with their audiences.

While many companies use digital communication well—pharma and energy companies, in particular—others do not, the FT Bowen Craggs Index of corporate Web effectiveness found. In fact, many of the world’s largest companies struggle to communicate online.

IT companies are among the worst digital communicators, primarily because they don’t translate their expertise into coherent messages. Fragmented business structures and conflicting departmental agendas also make their digital communication look dysfunctional.

What exactly are companies doing wrong? Take a look:

  • Hewlett-Packard has two online newsrooms—each with the same content.
  • Walmart and Pfizer have career sections that are separate from their main websites. This detaches HR from wider corporate content.
  • Several U.S. companies highlight domestic issues on their dot com websites, even though they also serve as global home pages.
  • Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Statoil—among others—designed their websites to be compatible with the iPad. Their corporate sites now feature “sideways swiping,” but visitors cannot swipe a computer screen.

Read more about the index.

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