We're not Web designers, but good designers are integral to public relations. That's because Web sites are increasingly critical to maintaining relationships and doing business successfully.
On that, we cite a survey posted on HubSpot and conducted by RainToday.com. It was conducted among "more than 200 buyers responsible for more than $1.7 billion in professional services purchased, such as accounting and financial services; architecture, engineering, and construction services; human resources consulting; IT consulting and services; legal services; management consulting; marketing, advertising, and public relations; and training services."
That's a pretty broad cross-section, and the findings were that "83 percent report that a service provider's website holds at least 'some influence' over their decision to engage in initial discussions." Back in 2005, 69 percent of buyers assigned Web sites at least "some influence" in such relational decisions, so we have a "significant increase" in those five years, says the survey.
"Furthermore, the number of people who say websites have "a great deal of influence" rose to 28% compared with 16% in 2005."
This is pretty strong evidence that a Web site is becoming a gala marquee for just about anyone in business, an expression of the nature and scope of enterprises. While you're conducting public relations in other fronts, remember that someone is likely visiting your organization's Web site, quite possibly as their preferred means of checking on the nature of your activities.
Says Hubspot: "Think of your website as the hub for your marketing and thought leadership activities. No matter what lead generation tactics you employ, the first stop a prospect is going to make is your website. It is the place they go to learn about your services, register for events, read articles and blog posts, sign up for a newsletter, download a white paper, etc. It is where they go to form an initial impression of you."
If you'll excuse me, I've got to get to work updating my Web site.