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Does Technology Make Us Tin Men?

Too often brands forget that their messaging has a real, human audience. They create and disseminate content without considering how it will further relationships.

Perhaps, it’s because so much of modern communication occurs while sitting in front of a computer. They don’t see faces, pain points, needs and wants.

But is technology really to blame for the disconnect between PR and its audience or is it that it’s often misused?

Brian Solis tackled this idea (and more) in his latest e-book, “What If PR Stood for People and Relationships?

Below find Brian’s advice (and world-renowned cartoonist Hugh MacLeod’s illustrations) for how to use technology to build meaningful relationships.

Shiny objects aren’t solutions

Shiny object syndrome - Technology and PR

It’s easy to get sucked into thinking of the latest tool as a panacea. Pitchmen promise a product that makes lives easier, often with a “set it and forget it” type of guarantee.

Over-relying on the artificial intelligence of technology, though, eliminates the human element, the thing that people crave.

That’s why the advent and acceptance of automation services and various social networks put distance between brands and their audiences.

People power relationships, technology doesn’t, Brian says. That doesn’t mean technology isn’t useful.

Technology in PR - Running our lives

The key is to understand the technology and the opportunities it provides to connect with people as humans, not a faceless audience.

In his e-book, Brian quoted Albert Einstein: “Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.”

When used properly, technology gives you the opportunity to empathize with a larger audience and build relationships based on reciprocity and loyalty. Always think about providing value and connecting with your audience.

Slow down

Face to Face - PR and Technology

It may seem contradictory, but the technology that prevents us from having face-to-face conversations with people can actually make us more human, Brian says.

That’s why people stare and fidget with their smartphones. No one wants to miss out on friendships, information and events. This FOMO provides valuable intel for communicators.

In this day and age, understanding who people connect with and where their passions lay requires only a few clicks. These are all clues to who they are as people, helping you forge a closer relationship with them.

Yes, finding that type of information and engaging your audience takes time, a scarce commodity for most everyone. But Brian says it’s time to reverse the rush, rush, rush that dominates our work lives. The key is to slow down, learn, make changes and lead the way.

Don’t broadcast

Technology in PR - Humanity

Advances in social media and mobile technology gave communicators the opportunity to reach a larger audience more frequently.

Many took advantage of that opportunity, blasting people with chest-thumping emails, updates and posts. Unfortunately, people didn’t find the privilege of those communications valuable.

The broadcast method was an understandable reaction at the time. Technology developed so fast that the rules hadn’t had a chance to catch up. Besides, it was easy.

The easy way doesn’t cut it anymore. Brands need to develop content that focuses on the people they intend to serve. The great thing about technology is that it makes it easy to amplify this content to reach more people who need it.

Want more of Brian’s vision of PR? Get his free e-book as our gift to you now!

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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