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Relationships: The North Star of PR

 This is a post by Peter Granat, CEO, Cision.

The PR industry is in a period of dynamic change. Technology promises opportunities to create incredible brands. But the rapid succession of new social and data tools causes an identity crisis and highlights the need to remain focused on PR’s North Star: relationships.

Never before have public relations professionals had so many tools at their disposal, from new data-driven social media and content creation to traditional media relations and its younger cousin influencer relations. With new data tools comes accountability. PR can measure its impact on the bottom line, including overall customer engagement and first touch attribution of new leads.

These new online tools are wonderful. But many practitioners find themselves lost in their individual functions.

How many times have we seen an article all about Facebook and its various aspects? Or what about influencer engagement, Twitter Cards, new measurement dashboards, etc., etc.? It’s amazing – and, to be frank, overwhelming. The tools are fantastic but oftentimes bewildering when applied to day-to-day situations.

There are many definitions of public relations, and it’s been difficult to find a consensus on PR’s specific meaning in recent years. There is one unifying outcome, though: PR has always stood for creating stronger relationships between organizations and their stakeholders. Just because we can measure everything and provide precision-based micro-touches doesn’t mean we should lose that perspective.PR and Relationships - Humanity the Killer App

We need to use technology to advance PR’s cause and continue to build mutual value for both brands and customers. In “What If PR Stood for People and Relationships?” a new e-book by Brian Solis in partnership with Vocus and Cision and illustrated by Gapingvoid, Solis says, “Customer centricity starts by investing in a culture of putting the customer first. Technology then amplifies your purpose so that it creates and extends value to those seeking it.” 

As we build out a combined strategy, Vocus and Cision, are committed to providing PR pros with the tools and professional services needed to succeed in their jobs. It’s a big reason we bought social monitoring and analytics powerhouse Visible Technologies, just to give one example. Social tech is a great example of technology enabling relationships.

We know if a customer uses our technology to focus on relationships that impact their brand’s mission, that customer has a better experience. Yes, we can and should measure outcomes and ROI, but we need to remember we’re building relationships not just in the now, but also for the future. As Solis said, technology is an enabler for something better. In my opinion, that something is a PR industry filled with stronger brands and happier stakeholders.

Peter Granat oversees Cision’s executive management team across operations globally. For over 20 years, Granat has been instrumental in the development of innovative products and services to enable effective communication between the PR, marketing and media communities. He has worked closely with clients to deliver solutions that address a wide range of agency and corporate communications needs. Prior to his current role as Cision’s CEO, Granat served as CEO of Vocus and was Group CEO of Cision AB. Before that, he was senior vice president of sales and business development at MediaMap. Granat holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

About Cision Contributor

This post was written by a guest Cision contributor.

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