WEEKLY WEB WATCH: WWW. - A handful of sites from boutique agencies stand out as excellent sources of information

Some months ago I was rather uncomplimentary in this column about the web sites of most of the top five PR agencies. A number of smaller, independent firms e-mailed and suggested I take a look at their sites.

Some months ago I was rather uncomplimentary in this column about the web sites of most of the top five PR agencies. A number of smaller, independent firms e-mailed and suggested I take a look at their sites.

Some months ago I was rather uncomplimentary in this column about

the web sites of most of the top five PR agencies. A number of smaller,

independent firms e-mailed and suggested I take a look at their

sites.



Of the dozen or so sites, there are three I rather like. That’s simply

because of the usefulness of the information on them, rather than any

particular exploitation of interactive features.



It is certainly a good idea to have a database of your clients’ press

releases on your site, along with things like downloadable photos of key

client executives, logos and corporate profiles. Surprisingly few PR

companies do this. However, the availability of this database can be

perceived by clients and the press as a significant enhancement in

service while saving you time on the phone with people who need to know

basic information.



The Lukaszewski Group’s site (www.e911.com) does none of these things.

It’s just a good brochure, not too filled with hype. But what makes it

potentially useful to clients and non-clients alike is an archive of

more than 50 issues of the company’s client newsletter, ’Executive

Actions.’ These, unlike many so-called ’newsletters’ I came across, are

more than just sales letters containing the PR firms’ latest deals and

products. Covering issues such as ’Avoiding the Starbucks Problem’ and

’Counteracting Anti-Corporate Activism on the Net,’ Lukaszewski creates

a real reason for its clients and others to come to the site.



Alan Weinkrantz & Company (www.weinkrantz.com), a small high-tech firm

based in Dallas, takes a different approach, focusing more on the

Internet as a resource. It has a useful listing of Web tools and sources

ranging from Marketing Research to Web Marketing and Tools for PR

Professionals. And it gives helpful descriptions of each site. Online-PR

(www.online-pr.com), a site run by Robert Marston & Associates, is

similar in content to the Weinkrantz one, offering lots of links, hints

and resources. It includes a big section on online PR, with helpful

forms and checklists. But it differs from the others in one important

respect. Where the others have the name of their PR firm owners

emblazoned across every page, there is very little here to indicate the

link with Robert Marston. There is of course a corporate site as well

(www.marstonpr.com). But it’s Online-PR which will help to establish the

firm’s authority and credibility.



I have bookmarked both the Weinkrantz and the Online-PR sites, and

expect to find them helpful in my own work.



- Stovin Hayter is editor of Revolution and can be reached at

stovin@revolution.haynet.com.



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