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Website Critique - Internet Public Relations

Review the following 3 websites and answer the below questions for each.

Office of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov)
Carrie Underwood (www.carrieunderwoodofficial.com)
Taco Bell (www.tacobell.com)

1) Describe the website as a whole.
2) Follow the links and describe Public Relations components in detail.
3) In what ways is this website a vehicle for influencing public opinion of the government agency/person/company that sponsors it? Be specific.
4) Evaluate the website's effectiveness. What features work? What features don't work?
5) Suggest recommendations for improvement.

Solution Preview

Office of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov):

1. Description: This website provides information on the structure and organization of the DHS, includes reports and publications regarding homeland security and also includes general information. The website includes information on their strategic plan, their budget, departmental structure, laws/regulations, historyand compliance issues. The site provides the threat level in the U.S. and specifically in the airline sector. One can access information on prevention and protection, preparedness and response, research information, security procedures and provides recent articles to keep citizens abreast of current information.

2. Public Relations. There wasn't a specific link for public relations (interesting); however, the press room link and contact us links had information, but nothing where you could determine public opinion. The Media link took you to contact information and telephone numbers to call. The press room had recent press releases on various topics; however, there seem to be no outside articles from non-biased parties. Since press releases reflect their preferred interpretation or positive packaging of a story, one should be skeptical of their contents. There was no information of goodwill or any other information of how they are looking to the public.

3. Since this website is a governmental website, all the information pertains to homeland security and how the government is reacting to it. The only issue ...

Solution Summary

Office of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov):

1. Description: This website provides information on the structure and organization of the DHS, includes reports and publications regarding homeland security and also includes general information. The website includes information on their strategic plan, their budget, departmental structure, laws/regulations, historyand compliance issues.

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