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How PR firms are adapting in the advancing digital age

by | Feb 25, 2021 | Public Relations

While the average person often doesn’t think of PR outside of damage control, public relations is a fundamental aspect of commerce as you know it. Marketing may get top billing when it comes to managing the image of a company, but even marketing is nothing with PR. With the increased importance of technology in the workplace, PR firms must also adapt to the increasingly online world. Here’s what you need to know.

Artificial Intelligence

One of the most essential services provided by PR representatives is market research. The information gathered during the research commissioned by businesses is instrumental in giving business owners and managers a clear path toward more successful business and marketing strategies. The tools employed during market research are many, but one in particular has proven to be a necessity. Surveys, while they might seem rote, are incredibly important for establishing several key factors about a given audience, and those factors are the best indicators for how a business can effectively market itself and its products to that audience. In addition, market research can also establish what a business’s options are in terms of products and services that the market needs and that consumers will pay for. However, if there’s one tool in the PR toolkit, it’s AI in marketing.

Sentiment analysis is an AI driven technique that is not unlike the tried and true consumer surveys that have driven PR for decades. Sentiment analysis is the process of using artificial intelligence to scan social media posts en masse with the intention of discovering how the public at large feels about the business in question. The information that is freely and publicly available on social media platforms is staggering, both in terms of its usefulness and its amount. The latter necessitates the “reading” speed of AI in order to properly capitalize on it. Sentiment analysis can’t replace traditional surveys, largely because the technique hinges entirely on an existing reputation, but it can benefit businesses tremendously, perhaps even more so if you take context into consideration.

Influencers

PR workers are no strangers to the concept of selling a company or a product using the name of celebrities. Celebrity endorsements and sponsorships have long been a lucrative way to spread awareness of a brand, and the love that the public has for a given celebrity can rub off on the brand that they’ve chosen to associate with. For example, consider the Papa John’s scandal and, more importantly, how the company has risen from the ashes due in no small part to the purchase of several of their restaurants by famous basketball player, Shaquille O’Neal. While this isn’t a traditional celebrity endorsement or sponsorship, it illustrates the power of a celebrity presence perhaps more effectively than a more direct example. However, traditional Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes have less pull among today’s youth.

The rising popularity of online streaming services like YouTube have given rise in turn to “influencers,” online celebrities. While the most apparent difference between “celebrities” and “influencers” is a superficial one, that being the title chosen to represent them, there is a more fundamental difference at play that can affect working with them. Typically, influencers are self made. While this isn’t always the case, and many traditional celebrities arguably fit the bill, many influencers got to where they are by creating an online presence merely as a hobby, at least initially. In fact, the industry that now accounts for influencers has come into being purely because of how wildly popular some online entertainers became on their own. This difference in origin corresponds, in many cases, with a difference in philosophy that can alter the protocol for sponsorships and endorsements immensely.

Keeping up with the latest technological developments is everyone’s business, Pr companies are uniquely positioned to affect their clients’ odds of success by adapting to the current tech landscape. These tips can help your PR firm adjust to the newest tools and techniques.

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Jamison Hutton
Jamison Hutton is a business and technology enthusiast. He's a freelance journalist who loves writing about trends in the tech industry and how these advancements relate to and impact business. He has experience in various data software and business intelligence technology. He loves teaching and sharing his insights with others. 

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