Dot.coms are spending more on PR, and less on advertising, according to a new survey by GFCNet.
But PR companies should not become complacent. The dot.coms surveyed also said agencies should be more familiar with clients' web sites - and those of clients' competitors.
The survey of 71 dot.coms around the world showed increased spend on PR. The breakdown of marketing budgets showed an average of 42 per cent was spent on PR, while advertising accounted for 41 per cent of the marketing spend. The reason for this - apart from dot.coms seeing advertising budgets cut - seems to be the response generated by PR.
Fifty-seven per cent of respondents said PR was more important for dot.coms than traditional businesses; and 65 per cent believe there is a link between press coverage and site traffic. In particular, British dot.coms were increasing PR budgets after the launch period.
Ron Finlay, deputy chairman of GFCNet member Fishburn Hedges, said: 'PR is emerging as the lead marketing discipline as dot.coms seek credibility and endorsement.'
But he said that this should not be taken for granted, as dot.coms suggested PR agencies didn't look at clients' sites as regularly as they could.
'PR companies should use the internet for their own marketing, to show their grasp of the new economy,' Finlay added.