Last night I had a mini debate on Twitter about the death of the corporate Web site.

What prompted my question, “Is the corporate Web site about to die?” was an article on Mashable about social media making corporate Web sites irrelevant.

I am here to tell you, the corporate Web site is about to die.

Do I think corporate Web site URLs are going to go away? No.

Do I think corporate Web sites are going to change and be more interactive and engaging? Yes.

In the offline world, we had the ability to write PR canned messages and push our brands to the masses without getting any feedback.  Our experts were reporters and influentials and we had to have relationships with a handful in order to affect how our messages were delivered.

With new media, the brand we’ve paid (in some cases millions of dollars) for doesn’t always equate what people think about us. People now have the ability to change behaviors as soon as they see something better, which creates less loyalty than in the offline world. In one of my favorite books, Groundswell, they say “Your customers have always had an idea of what your brand signifies; online they now have a forum to discuss it.” Today we have to have relationships with ALL of our customers.

So how does this relate to the death of the corporate Web site?  Your static, PR canned message Web site is dying.  Your new Web site must allow connection and engagement with your customers – the evangelists and the detractors. A great example of how this should look is Gary Vaynerchuk’s site.  It’s fluid, you can comment and connect, and you have multiple choices to engage with him.

During last night’s debate, I was challenged to shut off Not yet, @stevecunningham! While our home page is static (for now), the innards are fluid, engaging, and allow people to connect with us. By the end of 2009, our entire site will be set for new technologies so we can focus on relationships with our current clients, prospects, and potential candidates. Mark my words.

Do you think the corporate Web site is taking its last breath?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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