We speak to PR professionals about PR automation every day. Many of them don’t have any PR technology, so they come to us looking to understand what’s possible and what the benefits of PR software might be for them. Others already have software, but are unhappy with the solution or the results, and are looking for something different. During a recent conversation with a PR pro in this camp, we asked why he was looking to make a change. “My PR software sucks,” he said. Of course, we wanted to know why. Here’s what he told us.
1 – The user interface is U.G.L.Y.
It is an enormous mistake for software providers to think of the user interface as less important than the functionality. For users, the UI is the solution. Cumbersome, difficult to use interfaces make training and user adoption more difficult and create friction during daily use. Our prospect told us he wants an application that is intuitive and as easy to learn as the consumer applications he uses every day, without any training at all.
2 – Reporting is Complicated
One of the reasons PR pros turn to PR software is to simplify the creation of reports. But, from what we’ve heard some solutions actually make reporting more difficult than good old Excel and PowerPoint. The ability to provide stakeholders and clients with compelling reports is often essential to justifying investment in PR, so users have very little patience with solutions that make it harder.
3 – There’s Too Much Noise
It’s nice to know that your company got a mention, it’s essential to know what it means. Many automation solutions treat every mention, in every publication, in every context, exactly the same. This creates a wall of noise for PR professionals and makes it very difficult to focus on the mentions and opportunities that matter most.
4 – I’m Not Getting More Earned Media
Many people implement PR software for the express purpose of getting more earned media coverage. However, PR software that is essentially a database designed for sending the same pitch to many media contacts, has proven fruitless for many brands and agencies. Instead, the people we talk to want a solution that helps them match pitches to individual authors and influencers to improve the chances of getting earned media mentions.
5 – I have No Idea if My Public Relations Efforts are Working or Not
Most PR software helps users determine how many times their brand has been mentioned, but then provides no insight into how those mentions are impacting outcomes such as, growth in website traffic, social media engagement, search rankings and reputation improvement. Users want PR software to help prove an ROI.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms of a bad PR software solution, you aren’t alone. In fact, these are the very reasons that we developed TrendKite. If you’d like to see an alternative to your current PR technology, we’d be delighted to arrange a quick demonstration.