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How PRs Can Succeed With Technology

This post is an excerpt from our “PR Tech: What’s in Store for 2015?” white paper.

Consider all of the changes to media, content creation and data analysis tools in just the past decade. How can public relations possibly stay the same?

To succeed in this modern PR reality, it’s no longer enough to create the best content. You have to change how you engage stakeholders online and evaluate outcomes. That requires using the right tools and tactics to monitor, promote, distribute and measure your efforts.

Do this effectively and you will strengthen customer relationships and meet business outcomes.

Are you ready for the upcoming PR and technology wave? Here are three tips that will take you through the new year and beyond!

1. Avoid “shiny object” syndrome.

Shiny Object Syndrome - PR Tech

Want to see more images from Brian Solis’ e-book “What if PR Stood for People and Relationships?” Click here!

With “the next big thing” popping up seemingly every week, it can be easy to get lost in social networks and technologies. Before jumping to the latest technology, take a beat and don’t fall for the hype.

Brian Solis of Altimeter Group says, “Technology shouldn’t be the vision but the way we scale the vision. […] Becoming an online marketing machine isn’t something to be proud of.”

Here are some key questions to ask that will help you determine whether you have a useful tool or a shiny object:

  • Does this help me build better relationships with stakeholders?
  • How does it impact my ability to deliver on KPIs and other metrics?
  • What benefits will this tool provide and how much time will it save?

Answering those questions honestly will help you determine if you have a “shiny object” or a useful, worthwhile tool.

Don’t worry about being late to the party. PR technology expert Kellye Crane explains that she is rarely an early adopter and that strategy has served her well.

2. Start small with data.

Data Matters

Big data is intimidating. The conversations around it can make it feel like an insurmountable problem. The truth is big data is a big, achievable opportunity.

You may not be familiar with metrics that measure the bottom line, so it’s wise to start small and focus on only the metrics that matter to your brand.

Reports aren’t a one-size-fits-all thing. Create custom reports that map the five most important outcomes for your brand. For example, you may want to know tonality, first-touch attribution rates, engagement versus mentions, time on site from PR and positive/negative review rates.

From there, you can easily determine how particular campaigns perform against the mean. Be sure to carry over lessons from one campaign to make even better ones in the future.

After you get your feet wet, you can expand your measurement.

3. Tell your story visually.

Eye  -  Visual Media  - PR Tech

One of the first questions to ask when preparing to communicate with content should be “What’s the best way to tell this story?” Often that means a piece of visual media like a video or infographic, even if it’s an accompaniment to written content.

Visuals have become extremely important for public relations. From social media to blogs and more, nearly every online platform sees increased viewership and engagement when visuals are used.

Always consider your audience and give them the content they want, where they want it. One segment may prefer reading your story. Another might prefer video or a slideshow.

Quality is certainly key in the visual world. There’s too much competition to put out a subpar product. By providing the right content to the right audience at a high quality, you’ll see brand awareness, interest and conversions increase.

Want to see the entire white paper? Get it now free!

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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