Gibbs and Soell PR is next on our list of big PR firms attempting to engage the Web. Founded in 1971, and with 115 employees, G&S raked in over $19 million in 2007. The firm covers the gambit of industries from Agriculture to environmental concerns and everything in between.
Gibbs and Soell’s CEO, Cos M. Mallozzi, brings 30 years of experience as a PR executive. The G&S site reflects their CEO’s journalism expertise, as the site’s text is almost flawless. Aside from this, however, Gibbs and Soell’s site proved a far cry from reflecting cutting-edge Web engagement in 2009.
In 2009, the firm’s “quasi-Web” presence disheartened Everything PR. G&S has upgraded their web presence since that time, but we still see too many big PR firms being left behind because of lackluster online efforts. Successful PR firms everywhere discuss landing pages and overall site design with clients for branding purposes. Fully 80 percent of the large PR firms reviewed in 2009 appeared totally in the dark about their Web presence. The stats have seen improvement, but still too many fall short and in the process give up ground to others embracing the gifts found online for marketing and PR.
We much prefer sharing positive ideas and result, but not pointing out the obvious multi-million dollar tool in these PR site profiles would prove negligent. Just illustrating the “Technology” page via pull down menu reveals simple order and that is about it. This is supposed to be Technology, with a big T?
Gibbs and Soell – A Public Relations Site To Behold?
The site’s digital media case studies section in 2009 revealed one of the endemic problems for many firms. An excerpt below dealt with how G&S helped integrate a blog into one of their client’s business communications aspects. While G&S would appear to know the importance of such blogs, it appears they didn’t set one up for themselves until approximately 2014. And even still, it seems more of an afterthought to more important work from their view. Their current posts don’t garner much attention – surely they know how to draw eyes to a business through successful blogging since back then, their comment about the client’s blog was:
“The blog has become one of the most popular pages on the company’s Web site, as members exchange valuable information and share ideas on an ongoing basis.”
G&S’s 2009 Web design originated circa 1999, failing to exemplify a company with any vague idea or interest in online communication. The site was finally upgraded in 2015. Regardless of how effective Gibbs and Soell is for their current clients, sooner or later their relative disinterest or incompetence in branding on the Web probably bit them hard.
Suppose through word of mouth one of your current clients lets others know your firm worked wonders for them. A CEO or consultant hears the news and visits the landing of your website. If the company needs online services, well, the result of this exchange is obvious. I know this all too well because hundreds of complaints reach my desk every week about how badly some of these landing pages are for clients.
Lost Client Matrix
The logic here is plain. Any of these companies not respecting the power of the web will never know how much business they lose because of this simple principal of brand awareness. People’s vision or reality for the brand becomes so negatively affected by a mediocre Web presence. Sure, some little old lady from Pasadena might think this site is the cat’s meow, but anyone looking for cutting edge leaves, never to return.
What is your experience with the people who do NOT contact you for one reason or another? Mine is, they never even let you know they were interested. This is no news, websites as tools for building brand offer obvious assistance to business – but to PR firms, they go well beyond assistance, they become the core and heartbeat – without a good web presence, you’ve already given up too much ground. Appearing not to know this, for a PR company, is unforgivable.
Luckily for G&S, they’ve made it to an updated web presence finally. But going back to their blog – in September 2015 they posted five blog entries – received 12 likes and one comment. The firm reports 140 employees, with no effort at all, they could get likes and comments going from within their organization to at least look the part – but those numbers are dismal.
G&S ranks in the top 10 PR firms by O’Dwyers, founded in 1971, their headquarters are in New York City, with offices also in Chicago, Raleigh NC, and Basal Switzerland.
According to their O’Dwyers profile, they focus on “Advanced Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Food, Clean Technology and Energy, Consumer, Financial and Professional Services, and Home and Building – where the agency has deep experience and offers valuable insight. We employ a comprehensive suite of communications and marketing services –Content, Creative, Digital, Events, Media, and Social – delivered by account teams who are intimately involved in a client’s business and become trusted advisers.”
So they clearly know how to talk the talk – but a good web presence is more than a flashy and beautifully crafted web page. It also means one that works efficiently – driving business and proving your ability in content, creative, digital … and social – instead of just saying you do it.