BOSTON—Public and investor relations firm Morrissey & Company has joined forces with Zeeo Interactive, an award-winning web design and development firm, to launch a new strategic service designed to help companies improve the effectiveness of their websites.

The two firms, which have been working together since December 2002, have developed a website audit program that will provide companies with a 20-point assessment of their corporate website and the sites of two competitors based on content, design, navigation and scalability.

“Challenging financial circumstances greatly limit the resources available for companies to communicate with their audiences, making the website an even more vital communications tool,” says Peter Morrissey, president and chief executive officer of Morrissey & Company. “The goal of this new service is to provide the kind of expert, independent analysis that will help a company determine what can be done to significantly improve its web presence.”

Morrissey says a clinical research company, a broadcast television station and a national chemical company have already requested site audits.

“Websites are the first stop for the media, analysts, customers, prospects, investors and partners who want to know more about an enterprise. And first impressions are important,” says Matt Greer, president and CEO of Zeeo. “It’s crucial that a Web site offer smart content, easy navigation and a compelling look and feel that matches the company’s reputation. It has to capture and convey not only what you do, but how you do it.”

The new service has two phases: diagnosis and remediation. In the diagnosis phase, a client receives a 10-page audit report that grades its website based on specific criteria measuring the ability of a corporate site to communicate effectively with a range of site visitors. In the remediation phase, a company can use the diagnostic audit results to order a much more detailed, customized web ite evaluation that not only offers the deeper reasoning behind the audit grades, but also provides written recommendations for specific steps to improve the site.