EDITORIAL: Agencies are missing the Web rush

One of the most alarming examples of the PR industry’s technophobia is its participation - or lack thereof - on the Internet. In the recent PRWeek/BSMG Corporate Survey (PRWeek, February 28), 77.7% of respondents said the primary purpose of their company’s Web site was ’communications.’ Not e-commerce, but communications. But from the evidence we have seen, while PR firms know how to pitch hi-tech companies and hi-tech products, they are not the counsel of choice when it comes to providing advice on the Web sites of those companies.

One of the most alarming examples of the PR industry’s technophobia is its participation - or lack thereof - on the Internet. In the recent PRWeek/BSMG Corporate Survey (PRWeek, February 28), 77.7% of respondents said the primary purpose of their company’s Web site was ’communications.’ Not e-commerce, but communications. But from the evidence we have seen, while PR firms know how to pitch hi-tech companies and hi-tech products, they are not the counsel of choice when it comes to providing advice on the Web sites of those companies.

One of the most alarming examples of the PR industry’s technophobia

is its participation - or lack thereof - on the Internet. In the recent

PRWeek/BSMG Corporate Survey (PRWeek, February 28), 77.7% of respondents

said the primary purpose of their company’s Web site was

’communications.’ Not e-commerce, but communications. But from the

evidence we have seen, while PR firms know how to pitch hi-tech

companies and hi-tech products, they are not the counsel of choice when

it comes to providing advice on the Web sites of those companies.



Only 24.5% of clients said they would consider using a PR agency to help

build or maintain their Web site in the future. And while 70% said the

corporate communications department is ’very involved’ in the

development of Web strategy and content, only 20% could say the same

about their PR agency.



In other words, they are outsourcing this vital ’communications’

function to others: Web shops, designers, ad agencies and

publishers.



PR needs to take a lead. It needs to form alliances and buy into or

build Web expertise, because more and more marketing dollars are going

into the Web.



PR needs to create ownership of this trend by understanding how to build

Web sites from the ground up. PR needs to get Web-savvy - and fast.



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