JCI Web Site Aims to Raise Systems Integration Profile

Johnson Controls
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Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) may be synonymous with systems integration among electronic security professionals, but outside the industry the company’s life-safety services apparently do not enjoy anywhere near the same degree of recognition as its building automation business.

Thus it was when JCI undertook a redesign of Web site pages dedicated to its security and fire/life-safety portfolio that Denise Gadowski set course on a mission to raise awareness about the company as a physical security systems contractor.

“We needed to bring awareness that we actually are in this space. Johnson Controls is most well-known in the building automation industry, so it is really hard to educate the public that there is more to us than the piece for building efficiency,” says Gadowski, a senior marketing communications representative.

Prior to redesign efforts that began last October, JCI’s electronic security-related Web pages consisted primarily of product offerings only. Internal brainstorming sessions were scheduled with executives to come up with content ideas that would catch and hold the attention of site visitors, which mainly include building owners, architects and engineers.

Throughout the brainstorm sessions, content categories would be divined, nixed, revised, and massaged some more before the newly overhauled Web pages were officially launched more than four months later. Among its many improvements, the www.jci.com/security site now features informational sections that address fundamental user concerns, such as “Ripping and Replacing Is Not Always Required.” There are also numerous case studies, a resources section, customer testimonials and more.

With a SAMMY Award to show for her success in leading the Web pages redesign, Gadowski has some fundamental advice for others who may be undertaking similar duty. “Keep text to a minimum and use more pictures to demonstrate what you are trying to convey. You can run the risk of being too graphic intensive and increasing the download times of your pages, so it is a very fine line,” she says. “But by far the No. 1 thing is to know your audience.”