Technology is rapidly changing how everything in the world operates. For example, industries like manufacturing and marketing, which are some of the biggest beneficiaries of tech advances, have seen automation become a central part of their operations.
Tech makes processes quicker and more efficient while also helping businesses save money and other vital resources. So, why is PR as an industry still so slow to adopt it? Research shows that PR companies spend only about 2 percent of their revenues on technology—about 4 percent lower than what other major industries spend.
Here, we show you the key reasons you should adopt smart technology if looking to boost your PR business:
History of technology use in public relations
PR is an industry where communication matters probably more than anything else. As such, the majority of technologies that directly impact communication have historically influenced the growth of the public relations industry in one way or the other. The growth of social networks, for example, has facilitated the emergence of micro-influencers, who can greatly affect the positioning and public image of any brand. Anyone who can attract and maintain a substantial following on platforms like Facebook or Twitter is assumed to have some level of influence, including the ability to enhance or spoil the reputation of a company.
Practical ways to implement technology in PR today
Advances in technology mean that there are tech tools for nearly every imaginable process and task today. If you’re serious about boosting your PR results, then we highly advise you to automate as many of your firm’s operations as possible. A few good places to start include workflows, audience engagement, and performance reporting.
Automating your PR workflows
As we mentioned earlier, communication forms the bulk of what public relations entail, whether that’s done through email, social media, or mass media. Learning how to automate some of these workflow processes will enable you to achieve higher results and boost your overall productivity.
For example, you can employ email tools to systemize how you send and respond to emails. These tools allow you to create email sequences that you can use to onboard new PR clients or share company information and updates to your email list.
You can also automate your company’s social media postings using tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. These apps enable you to schedule your posts, thereby helping you reduce the amount of time you spend on social media. They also analyze user interactions with your posts and provide useful insights like what topics interest your audience the most and which times of the day are best for posting on different social platforms.
Increasing audience engagement using tech
With so much content being released to the web every day, the last thing you want to do is to bore your audience with bland content for your PR activities. Long gone are the days when you could write a long, plain-text press release and still get great results and traffic from it. Today, you need to do a little more, including using interactive content like video, animations, and infographics, to name just a few options. The idea is to make it easier for your audiences to experience your message and make it fun to consume. You could even go for advanced methods like virtual reality to create lifelike experiences that people can truly relate to.
Automating your performance reporting
One of the biggest rewards you get when you go the tech way is that you can track pretty much every action and process you implement in your business. With the right software and execution, it’s easy to measure if you’re getting enough ROI on your PR actions and investments. For example, you could employ tools like Google Analytics or other web usage analytic tools to determine if visitors are taking the right actions when visiting your site or social media profiles. You can then use this information to identify probable areas of improvement, like adding more eye-catching call-to-action buttons or improve the quality of your content.
How are you using technology to improve your PR results?