Let's get this blog off to a fast start. The biggest reason that PR software should be in your budget is simple and compelling - self-preservation. In these days of tight budgets and data-driven decision making, PR is often among the first functions on the chopping block. To the extent that you have any influence on the PR budget, advocating for PR software is a smart move. It's your qualitative way to prove current and future investment in PR.
PR software helps improve your results and it helps you prove your results. Doing both is essential to maintaining executive engagement and keeping the funding that pays your team’s salaries.
How PR Software Improves Your Results
Did you know that earned media is 35% more effective than branded content during the familiarity stage of the buying process? Even more, remarkable, it is 80% more effective than company created content during the consideration and affinity stages of the buying process. These days, consumers rely on content that they trust more than ever, five times more than they did just five years ago. If you ask consumers whether an endorsement from an unbiased expert makes them more likely to consider a purchase, 67% of them will say yes. In short, earned media can have a huge impact on the buying pattern of your audience. PR software helps you get earned media in a number of ways.
- Target the right publications and authors. Without endless budgets and ample extra time, it's important not to try to boil the ocean, targeting every publication or writer imaginable. PR software's media monitoring allows you to hone in on the specific channels and people that are most likely to influence your audience. The results of your efforts are amplified if you are making smart targeting decisions.
- Make your pitches more effective. Once you’ve decided which media contacts you want to target, it’s time to think about how to craft a message that will be of interest to them. Boiler-plate mass emails aren’t effective in this day and age and few authoritative outlets will simply reprint your press release. You will get better results by understanding each journalist you target. What do they like to write about? What kind of stories, data or images do they use to supplement their writing? When do they publish? If you research all of this, you can create a unique, customized pitch that will get results.
- Spot trends and breaking news. Effectively pitching earned media requires a deep understanding of what is happening in your industry and/or geography. Writers like to share new points of view on existing trends. PR software helps you notice which topics are getting a lot of play at the moment. Of course, time is of the essence when there is relevant breaking news. With notifications and alerts from your media monitoring solution, you’ll never be caught off guard by a trending story.
How PR Software Helps Prove Your Results
There’s a lot that’s great about earned media, but contrary to what many folks think, it is not the goal of PR. The goal of PR is to have a positive, measurable impact on business outcomes. Sometimes earned media contributes to that, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s why many executives are wary about investing in public relations. They simply don’t know if it has a meaningful impact on the organization. PR software can change that.
With PR software, you can:
- Tie results to desired outcomes. It's always a good idea to align your PR goals and determine which metrics you will track based on the overall objectives of the business. This lets you talk to executives about things you already know they care about. PR software makes it easy to prove outcomes such as increased website traffic, more inbound leads, shorter sales cycles, new customers, and increased revenue.
- Offer easy to understand, visualized data. The way that data is presented is often as important as what the data says. PR software frees you from the drudgery and wasted time of PowerPoint and spreadsheets. Instead, it automatically creates beautiful, interactive reports that help leadership come to the “ah-ha” moment as they recognize the value of PR, and much more quickly.
- Track trends over time. If you told me your earned media resulted in 50,000 website visits last month, I wouldn’t know whether to offer congratulations or condolences. Data without context is meaningless. If you told me that your earned media resulted in 50,000 more website visits than the previous month, I’d pop the champagne! PR software helps you provide that essential context to your executive team so that they can recognize and reward continuous improvement.
Bill Gates famously said that if he were down to his last dollar, he’d spend it on PR. If he’s your boss, you might not need PR software. If he isn’t, your survival instincts should have you concerned about how to achieve and demonstrate substantial value. PR software is a good place to start.
Interest in seeing our PR software in action? Request a customized dashboard for your organization today!
About the Author
Passionate about public relations and empowering practitioners, Lacey Miller found her dream job as content marketing manager at TrendKite, where she carries the crown of 'word nerd'. With a background in public relations and technology, she's a great fit with her desire to innovate the industry! You can find her most days writing for PR Forward, PRSA, and other trade publications.Follow on Twitter More Content by Lacey Miller