The internet has created a new respect for public relations, Don
Middleberg, chairman and CEO of US e-PR agency Middleberg and Associates
told the first ever PR Week reputation.com conference last week.
Speakers including Larry Weber, chairman of Interpublic’s Allied
Communications Group, emphasised the need for the industry to move fast
and embrace new technology if PR is to take the lead in terms of
clients’ and companies’ internet presence.
However, a straw poll of conference delegates highlighted the need for
PR agencies to be involved in web development and internet strategy at
an earlier stage.
Only 29 per cent of in-house departments and 28 per cent of
consultancies said that they were consulted on internet strategy or were
involved in briefing designers.
Less than a third of respondents used any form of formal monitoring to
track issues on the internet. Twenty per cent said that they didn’t
carry out any form of evaluation of internet PR and marketing activity,
with the majority relying on web site hits as a measure of PR