Web 2.0 isn't that old a concept, and we're already approaching a great divide on the Web and PR, at least Craig Pearce thinks so on his Public Relations and Managing Reputation blog.
The temptation, Pearce says, is to turn to social media sites like Twitter for identity building when the "main digital game (is) providing meaningful, resonant and useful content for corporate websites that is search engine optimized and customized to the needs of organizational stakeholders."
In other words, the corporate Web site, done well, is still king, or at least Pearce thinks so.
This is a discussion of no little moment, considering how much time, effort and money is involved in developing and maintaining an approach to identity-building on the Web.
"Are we living in fear," Pearce asks, "of what is all of a sudden, gulp, dogma that says: do not challenge the deity that is social media!?"
He devotes a couple of posts to the question, and Pearce's posts are substantial ones.
The question gets more complicated when one considers that's it's not an either/or matter: Social media and Web sites are both part of the new communications scene and need to be focal in PR strategies. However, which should be the standard bearer -- get the most emphasis?
Twitter et. al. develop leads but an engaging Web site builds Google rankings. Pearce references David Meerman Scott as saying that corporate or organizational Web sites are the new center of the informational digital universe. When they offer useful content with enlightened IT backup, they draw Web searchers (maybe in droves).
Content is king and if people turn to your Web site for reliable informative or inspiring content, doesn't that make you king of your universe? Well, it depends upon how much fealty is translated into actual response. That is, how many Web visitors become customers and under what circumstances?
These are fascinating questions that won't be settled in a couple of blog posts. We thank Craig Pearce for opening the discussion. (And he's on LinkedIn.)