Strategic communication possesses certain interests for the researchers as an understanding of the models applied by successful companies and individuals helps to better study the factors making the exchange of information more effective (Coombs, 2015). In their study, Waters and Lemanski (2011) discuss preferred styles of communication applied by creators of websites of non-profit organizations and corporations working in the United States. The experiment conducted by the authors was aimed at comparing the ways of communication used by randomly chosen companies. Although the research is consistent and its results are credible, the authors do not explain the reasons why companies prefer using a one-way communication model.
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To begin with, the use of the findings reported by other researchers is extremely important for the study as inappropriate sources can decrease the credibility of its results and make it inconsequent (Lin, Horng, & Anderson, 2014). Speaking about the review of literature conducted by the authors of the discussed article, it is necessary to say that they seem to have taken into consideration the most important information connected to the nature of web communication. Using previous findings, they reveal the key components of communication on the Internet, the nature of interactivity, a variety of modern approaches to studying online communication and public relations. In the end, their review seems to be useful not only as a part of the research but also as a self-consistent source for future researchers.
Furthermore, it is important to define whether the study conducted by the authors was designed in an effective way of helping to make an important conclusion. Within the frame of the research, the authors have analyzed more than three hundred websites to find out which communication models were used by organizations more often. After a thorough content analysis and a series of calculations that seem to be quite accurate, the authors concluded that a one-way communication model was applied more often and many companies were not using the specific elements helping to make the site interactive. Although the results are quite consistent, the authors cannot clearly define the reasons why this very model has turned out to be more popular and it may be regarded as one of the possible weaknesses of the research.
To continue, evaluating the article, it is essential to consider the question of practical relevance and further development of the research as it remains the primary factor allowing to extend the current knowledge in the field (Toffel, 2016). Speaking about future studies that may be conducted with the use of their research, the authors claim that it can be important to analyze the information connected to communication strategies used by other types of organizations such as universities and compare it to the data reported in the discussed article. In their opinion, such use of the data will allow them to extend their knowledge in the field even more. It is necessary to say that authors’ suppositions seem to prove the significance of the research; nevertheless, it may present a difficult task for future researchers as the authors do not reveal the reasons why the companies prefer identified strategies and elements.
To conclude, the article by Waters and Lemanski can be regarded as important research in the field. The sources chosen by the authors seem to be relevant and the retrieved information touches upon the important details of the issue. The conclusion made by the authors seems to be consistent but the factors explaining the results are not studied. Due to that, it can be more difficult for future researchers to use these results to compare them to the data on other types of organizations.
Coombs, W. T. (2015). The value of communication during a crisis: Insights from strategic communication research. Business Horizons, 58(2), 141-148.
Lin, T. J., Horng, R. Y., & Anderson, R. C. (2014). Effects of argument scaffolding and source credibility on science text comprehension. The Journal of Experimental Education, 82(2), 264-282.
Toffel, M. W. (2016). Enhancing the practical relevance of research. Production and Operations Management, 25(9), 1493-1505.
Waters, R. D., & Lemanski, J. L. (2011). Revisiting strategic communication’s past to understand the present: Examining the direction and nature of communication on Fortune 500 and Philanthropy 400 web sites. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 16(2), 150-169.