We’re only kidding (sort of). Robots aren’t coming for your job. As sophisticated as the technology that supports modern public relations gets, it is still a profession that requires the creativity, relationship building skills and strategic thinking that only human beings can provide. That said, technology is absolutely changing the practice of PR. Those of us who want to succeed in the future need to embrace and learn to leverage it. Here are a few ways that software and data have already started to change the work we do.
The number and variety of information channels these days is simply overwhelming. Anyone who claims to be able to effectively monitor all of the mentions and trends relevant to their brand manually can no longer be taken seriously. Media monitoring software is essential for capturing the information you need to address direct mentions of your brand, follow industry trends and offer timely, relevant insight to journalists and influencers.
Earned Media Targeting
With so many outlets it can be difficult to identify the journalists and influencers who are in the position to amplify your brand’s messages. Once again, technology is not your enemy, it is your best friend. Big data principles can be applied to the media landscape to find the people who are engaged in relevant conversations and to engage them.
Public relations was once mostly about gut instinct and informed guesswork. Now PR pros can take advantage of advanced analytics and smart content software to let the data drive decisions about which assets to produce and promote. Content intelligence results in better PR performance, fewer dead ends and more effective prioritization.
Today’s PR professionals and agencies are asked to justify the investment in PR in concrete terms and ROI. Rather than the activity measurements of the past, brands increasingly want outcome based metrics. PR must be linked to quantifiable results such as increased website visits, more leads, higher conversion rates and revenue production in order to remain a priority. Technology is the key to producing this information and creating useful reports that make the value of PR clear.
There’s no reason to fear the inevitable shift to a more technology enabled future. It will ultimately make us all better at what we do.