boulderI was inspired to write this blog post because of a conversation I had with a potential client who was referred to me that was thinking of creating a website.

This person had been a senior level public relations person for over 20 years, so this is someone who I assumed was media savvy, understood the importance of communications, marketing and self-promotion.  PR practitioners certainly understand the value and importance of visibility, branding and messaging.  Or so I thought.

I also figured a PR practitioner having or not having their own website was akin to having or not having their own phone.  I mean, it’s a no-brainer, right?

Apparently not.

In an email to me they had this to say:  “”…none of my colleagues in the independent PR space have done websites, so I am deciding if I really need one.”

So 1; They were either trying to let me down gently because they didn’t want to hire me after all, or 2;  They really believed they didn’t need a website!  Frankly, even though I know many solo PR practitioners who have their own websites I was thinking “that’s all the more reason why YOU should have a website to gain a competitive advantage!”  But, I digress.

I took some time to email back a measured response, basically agreeing with them, that on second thought, they really did NOT need a website.  The reason?  Well, I just felt that for them to question something so basic in this digital day and age I wouldn’t even know where to begin explaining the value.  To me it seems so obvious that your web site is such a key part of your businesses reputation and the way that most clients and customers learn about your expertise and service offerings, but apparently not to everyone.  So I decided I just wasn’t up for pushing that boulder up the hill.

…I just wasn’t up for pushing that boulder up the hill.

This incident happened right around the time I found this timely article, “No, I Won’t Build You a Website If You Don’t Know Your Audience!”  which explains the pain and anguish of dealing with people who DO want a website but for ALL the wrong reasons and with all the WRONG expectations.  While I found myself chuckling and nodding my head in agreement, in light of my recent exchange with the PR person who questions needing a website at all, I couldn’t help asking myself this question:  “Which is worse?”

What do you think?