Not only did the 1990s bring us grunge, hair clips and Dr. Marten’s, the decade also introduced significant technological advancements, like the boom of the internet and cellphones. Today, the fashion isn’t the only piece making a comeback.
Similar to what we experienced in the 90s, technology is advancing at a rapid clip. Tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain are proliferating across industries and fueling improved data analysis, insight gathering, customer service, transaction speed and more. Public relations professionals – creative thinkers and writers at heart – aren’t always comfortable in a high-tech world. While they don’t need to dive head-first into all the latest technology, they should leverage industry-specific tools to improve their client service, social media and media relations efforts. By embracing efficiency-enhancing technologies, PR pros will improve their measurement and reporting while also freeing up more time to do the creative work they thrive on.
- Know Your Sources – According to Cision’s 2021 Global State of the Media report, 61% of journalists state that one of the biggest ways PR professionals can help them is by understanding their target audience and what’s relevant to them. This finding seems obvious. But there are still far too many instances of PR specialists sending journalists irrelevant pitches. Before you reach out to journalists, do some research to make sure your pitch makes sense for the reporter’s audience. Reporters change beats and even outlets, so PR pros must update their media target lists on a regular basis. Platforms such as Meltwater, Cision and Muckrack are multifunctional database tools that can help. They provide up-to-date information on reporters, including recent social posts, contact information and latest stories, that can help PR pros ensure their pitches are relevant and compelling.
- Listen – With content being created at unprecedented rates, it’s important to closely monitor and keep tabs on content across all forms of media. For example, social listening can help companies understand their audiences, monitor brand reputation and improve customer service. But this “listening” effort should go beyond social media. There are several tools that help PR pros stay abreast of relevant client, industry and competitor news. Cision Media Monitoring is one. This tool can track your brand mentions in real-time across millions of online, broadcast, podcast and print outlets. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are tools that analyze online conversations and trends that matter to a brand. PR pros can use insights gleaned from these tools to optimize their promotional strategies for clients.
- Monitor & Measure – PR pros must always look for ways to prove the value of their services to clients. As a results, it’s important for PR practitioners to closely monitor their results and seek to quantify those results for clients. Fortunately, there are several tools that can help. For example, Meltwater is an all-in-one solution that can create shareable dashboards with a wide range of analytics – from media exposure and share of voice graphs to advanced social echo and custom scoring capabilities. While these tools are useful, PR practitioners need to take those reports to the next level by understanding how the data impacts clients’ ROIs and translating the information into impactful reports that will resonate with their clients.
While these tools and technologies can certainly help a team stay on top of media coverage, social media conversations and industry trends, PR professionals can’t get complacent and rely on these technologies completely. Inject some old-fashioned creative thinking to ensure technology-driven insights help improve campaign performance. So, wear that scrunchie proudly and don’t be afraid to take creative liberties! When you’re ready to get started, we’re here to help.