Opinion: From our readers - Is online PR just a bandwagon?

I was interested to read the article 'Retailers tentative over web PR value' (News, 13 February).

It echoes some of my thinking - we at Best Western don't specifically have an online PR programme, though we think we would like to. The reason we haven't made the leap is PR agencies themselves, specifically the online specialists.

I can find endless 'online PR agencies' that can explain to me how to execute online PR programmes, and even how to evaluate such programmes. But I'm struggling to find someone that can successfully answer the question, why? And even fewer who can explain what we would gain.

Am I confused by definitions? Is it the nature of the Best Western brand? Am I thick? Or am I just acquiring justification for the impression that online PR is a bandwagon and a money-making scheme for agencies that need to jump on the latest idea for fear of being left behind, rather than those that know how to create real value for their clients?

- Christopher Webb, PR manager, Best Western Hotels GB.

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