Monday, May 12, 2014

Mohawk Paper: “About Us” Evaluation by Corporate

Mohawk Paper, a family-run business headquartered in Cohoes, New York, produces high-quality paper and non-paper substrates for offset and digital printing. In 1931, George O’Connor purchased a paper company dating to 1866—thus Mohawk can proudly say it’ll celebrate its sesquicentennial (150-year) business anniversary in less than two years. Mohawk is now run by O’Connors of the third generation (or fourth? see below). Its main About Us page (“Company”) is here.


Products/Services: B
The main About Us page, Company, has an overview, “Vision for the Future,” and teasers for pages on Who We Are, Social Responsibility, and Mohawk History. Each teaser has a photo. Well done so far. The pages themselves, and many other pages, would benefit from additional photos. The History page, for example, has a good narrative, but it’s rather dense. Images of products or early advertising would entice readers to linger over Mohawk’s corporate history.  

A good timeline is an excellent addition to most company history sites ... but three timelines are just confusing. On the History page, the sidebar offers links to “Mohawk Timeline,” “Strathmore Timeline,” and “Beckett Timeline.” The links lead to pages with somewhat different content, but all three pages have the title “Mohawk Timeline.” Our Commandment 9 of About Us pages is “Worship clarity.” That means sweating the details, including page titles. On the same issue: some of the site’s pages (e.g., History) state that Mohawk has been family owned for three generations, but the first line of text on Who We Are mentions a history of growth going back four generations. Which is correct?

Success Stories presents satisfied and innovative customers such as members of Herman Miller’s marketing team, who explain why they chose specific Mohawk papers. Bravo: website testimonials are a great way to reinforce positive perceptions of your products and business history. So are awards, and the Operational Excellence page neatly incorporates mention of several important awards. (Images, please!) But like the timelines (which reach only to 2012), this page needs updates; the stats on employee safety are from 2008 and 2011.

Personality: A
The bio of Chairman and CEO Thomas D. O’Connor, Jr. on Mohawk Board does an excellent job of presenting him as the driving force behind this family-owned business. Well done.

Accessibility: C
The Contact page, available via a link in the footer, offers the standard options: telephone, mailing address, and an online form. There’s nothing innovative here, but it’s adequate.

If your site includes references to time (or generations) elapsed, make a note to check it regularly and update the references. The impact of great content is diminished if it clearly hasn’t been reviewed for several years.

Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). To talk about your About Us page, contact us!
Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company.