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Understanding Today’s Media: Insights from Top Journalists

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How Accor Streamlined and Scaled Their Global PR and Communications Strategy

Cision recently sat down with the communications lead at Accor, a multinational hospitality company, to discuss how they developed a set of frameworks to streamline their public relations operations across regional teams and scale globally. Below is a summary of their experience and the biggest takeaways you can apply to your own communications strategy.

When assessing the most valuable features of public relations software, efficiency and effectiveness are at the top of many strategic communicators’ lists. Mike Taylor, Vice President, Group External Communications at the multinational hospitality company Accor, seems to agree. Accor’s communications planning and execution run the gamut from hyperlocal to regional and international campaigns, with teams across geographies facing very different challenges.

Accor sought a global solution that would ease the use of out-of-date manual methods of reporting, analyzing and monitoring media. They also needed a database to develop and manage media outreach lists — one that was on top of the inevitable changes in journalists’ careers, from new beats to entirely new roles. The team also wanted an automated daily alert that included not only their own communications-centric data, but that of their competitors as well.

Accor sought a global solution that would ease the use of out-of-date manual methods of reporting, analyzing and monitoring media. They also needed a database to develop and manage media outreach lists — one that was on top of the inevitable changes in journalists’ careers, from new beats to entirely new roles. The team also wanted an automated daily alert that included not only their own communications-centric data, but that of their competitors as well.

With all these services and tools available from Cision, Accor has been able to optimize communications strategy on a global scale and carve a pathway for efficient, time-saving and consistent work that keeps public relations at the top of mind with the stakeholders that matter most.

Here are four ways, from Taylor’s informed perspective, that Cision effectively supports Accor’s global communications work.

  1. Elevates the value of PR’s impact on a company-wide level: Public relations metrics aren’t always the easiest to understand, so having a tool that helps hone in on and easily communicate key data points is essential. Taylor said that at Accor, his team has not only been able to share but receive key performance indicators from executive leadership, allowing everyone to be in alignment. Taylor also highlights the benefits of work being done in a more digestible way rather than looking for time in their schedules to comb through massive reports.

    Accor uses Cision’s reporting tools to demonstrate the impact that public relations and comms work has on the business. This helps company leadership to understand the value of PR and strategic communications and it arms internal teams with actionable insights which they use to build plans for future campaigns and projects.

  2. Helps the team stay ahead of the news that matters most: The ability to monitor exactly what is being said about one’s company in the media is essential, but trying to search for and log each mention manually is not a good use of anyone’s time. In collaboration with experts at Cision Insights, Accor set up an automatic daily alert to stay on top of the results of their earned media campaigns and media mentions and to provide competitive intelligence. This daily email is delivered directly to inboxes across the organization, including leadership, and it enables their entire business to understand their brand reputation, how they stack up against their competitors and how to fine-tune their communications outreach.
  3. Builds and reinforces trust in the brand through consistency and efficiency: Creating consistency across all messaging is a must in the fast-paced world of public relations. Cision Comms Cloud has enabled the Accor team to stay focused, refine their strategy when necessary and develop consistent frameworks that are used across global and regional teams.

    The use of these frameworks help Accor’s public relations professionals to work with greater efficiency when analyzing and presenting data, allowing them to lead conversations and drive trends forward on a global scale, as opposed to coming in late and following trends. The scale they can now achieve by using a shared set of communications tools across global teams makes internal collaboration and reporting much easier, with transparency across the hundreds of thousands of company employees.

  4. Enables a proactive PR strategy: “Cision Comms Cloud saves everyone time because no one is having to recreate the wheel every time,” Taylor said. The processes and dashboards set up within Cision’s platform also foster a culture of proactivity over reactivity. While communicators understand that there may be external factors that cannot be controlled, staying ahead of potential trends or issues, and being prepared for any messaging opportunity is the ideal.

    By leveraging best-in-class software, communications professionals are able to spend more time building and maintaining their media and influencer relationships and developing impactful editorial calendars — and less time on repetitive, tedious tasks like hunting for and sorting through media mentions, researching trends and competitors, and keeping track of relevant reporters and news outlets and outreach effectiveness.

The bottom line

Partnering with Cision to create a more efficient public relations workflow has given Accor a sense of consistency across their global teams and created a common language for the entire company when discussing PR’s impact on the bottom line. In a data-centric organization, leadership can easily use earned media analysis reporting to inform their decision-making and deliver results.

Finally, it allows for trust, not just PR’s strategic messaging but also internal trust in data presented to stakeholders. “There’s credibility behind that,” Taylor said, “having a third-party resource solution really helps validate that.”

Watch the full conversation with Accor.