With new technological advances always around the corner, the PR industry is constantly evolving. Public relations now predominantly happen in the digital space.
Customers interact with brands through social media, websites, and mobile apps. PR professionals must determine how best to leverage technology to remain competitive and relevant in the market.
The role of technology in public relations is more crucial than ever. According to Baker McKenzie, 69 percent of businesses say a digital transformation is fundamental to business growth.
Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and application program interfaces (API) are changing how brands connect with their audience. Only those companies who adopt new technologies and fully embrace digitization can stay ahead of the curve and meet customers’ demands.
With that, here’s how technology is changing the PR industry.
1. Monitoring social media
PR is all about dealing with the media. In the past, this usually involves monitoring the newspapers, radio programs, and television channels to find out what the public thinks of your brand. But nowadays, almost everything has moved within the digital marketing arena. More brands advertise and sell their products online. And one of the best places on the internet where you can find and listen to your customers is on social media channels.
Nowadays, media monitoring includes social media impressions. This is one of the ways how has technology changed public relations. Most conversations about brands, products, and services could be found on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. In fact, almost everyone and everything can be found there. Since social media channels are accessible, free, and wide-reaching, literally anyone can share their thoughts and opinions online. Hence, there is a lot more data to be monitored on the internet compared to newspapers, radios, and televisions.
More than monitoring social media, you can also add social listening to your strategy. Thanks to modern analytics tools, you can analyze conversations happening on social media sites about your brand, products, and services. This turns raw data into valuable insights which you can use to improve your relationships with customers and improve your PR strategies. It allows you to determine public sentiments about your brand, customer engagement, and the latest trends in the market.
2. Tapping into influencers
The widespread popularity of social media channels has introduced a new way of promoting your brand. And that is through social media influencers. These are people in social media who have sway over a particular audience due to their popularity and credibility online. Influencers have specialized knowledge or insight into a specific subject which they use to create digital content. Most importantly, they have a large following of people on their social media channels, making them useful launching pads for brands looking for credibility.
Influencers can be anyone these days. It can be celebrities, industry experts, bloggers, content creators, or ordinary customers with an impact on social media. This is another impact of technology on public relations wherein you now have new access to customer engagement and brand reputation through the voice of the customers.
Years ago, this strategy might sound ineffective. But due to social media’s reach, your everyday customer can become great ambassadors for your brand. A simple word here and there can help build your brand’s credibility, improve its reputation, and attract new customers. It would be a waste if PR specialists fail to recognize their power and usefulness. Fortunately, technology allows you to tap fully into their potential. Nowadays, there are software solutions designed exclusively for influencer marketing.
3. Tracking performance results
Before, PR companies only had access to newspapers, television, and radio to gauge outcomes. But thanks to technology, you can have a more comprehensive and in-depth view of your performance results. For instance, behavioral changes, attitudinal chances, and preferences can be measured by leads, conversions, and web traffic. Most importantly, technology provides accurate and real-time data on your campaign’s performance, making it easier to measure its effectiveness in the process.
Technology also allows you to assess other important KPIs for PR. Modern software solutions allow you to customize data analytics and reporting. Hence, it’s all up to you on what key performance indicators you want to measure. This way, you can pattern your KPIs to align with your PR goals and business objectives. Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Boost call to action? Improve reputation? Or increase web traffic? You can gain insights into all of these through modern technologies.
You can also measure your PR specialist’s individual performance through technology. HR software solutions, for example, can provide insights into employee performance based on their attendance, tasks, and achievements. It also helps your HR recruit the best employees for your PR group by automating the process and evaluating applicants based on their merits. Other HR tools also provide better goal visualization to help measure KPIs effectively and efficiently.
4. Prioritizing research
Businesses are more data-driven than ever thanks to technology. Before, PR can only collect information from limited sources like newspaper press releases and lists of marketing agencies. But with modern digital tools, PR companies can easily access and analyze larger and more complex sets of data from multiple sources.
They can gain insights into their target audience by researching market trends, behavioral patterns, and customer feedback via the internet. In just a few clicks, Google can provide you with statistics and information about customer preferences and more. You can also invest in software solutions with robust analytics and reporting features so that you can access big data in real-time.
According to Deloitte, more than 70% of businesses are expanding their abilities to use big data. This is because big data has a lot to offer to businesses and PR companies. It gives a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of your audience, your competitors, and the market. As a result, you can make smarter decisions on how to promote your brand and improve your reputation.
5. Valuing online reputation
The internet plays a huge role in people’s lives. Almost everyone is hooked on it—whether it’s for work, entertainment, school, or shopping. In fact, it is on the internet where customers would usually have their first encounter with a certain brand. It can be through a friend’s post on social media, a review from a review site, a comment on your webpage, or a search engine result. Your online reputation can make or break the company. Hence, it’s important that you manage and take care of your brand’s online reputation
You can do this by optimizing your brand storytelling online. Nowadays, you can leverage different tools to create engaging and moving content for your customers. You can make videos, blog posts, and graphics to tell your business’ story. And by posting such content on the internet, your story can reach more audiences around the globe.
Technology can also provide you with tools to improve your brand storytelling. Daylite, for example, is an all-in-one platform that combines CRM, project management, and lead management tools in a single software. Having all these tools in one place makes it easier to collaborate with your customers and find out how best to tell your story that would appeal to their preferences
PR in the future
As the world plunges into the digital age, the roles of technology in public relations are more visible than ever. You need to invest in modern tools if you want to remain competitive and relevant in the market. Fortunately, technology is more accessible and affordable than ever. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and explore what latest technologies you can use for your PR.