It’s hard to quantify the impact of technology in the world of public relations. Trends come and go, but technology stays. Whether you’re now using apps and social media to reach your audience or sticking with the traditional press releases, you know it’s time to have a better understanding of how technology is impacting PR and what it means for your business and clients.
Staying on top of the latest trend is part of the equation of being a successful PR company. You don’t have to follow every trend, but you do have to embrace the technological shifts. You have to be ready to pivot when the occasion calls for it. How have you done PR before? How do you write press releases and how do you distribute these? Have you encountered bots and artificial intelligence lately? Do you understand the impact of these technologies on PR?
A good PR and communications agency will be on top of the game. If you are still in the process of trying to understand what these technologies mean for PR, then you should know by now that it isn’t looking too great for you. No PR agency will survive without social media, artificial intelligence, chatbots, email, and big data. These are tenets of a good PR strategy right now. Without these five technologies, you might as well forget about being competitive.
In the mid-2000s, there were predictions that email will soon die. This did not happen. In fact, it became stronger in the realms of marketing and public relations. Sending press releases via messaging apps is unprofessional and informal. The only way for PR agencies to do this is to send the press releases through email. Email has seen little innovation in the past years, but this does not mean that it will not be an impactful technology for PR.
In fact, PR agents are using email increasingly to personalize their communication strategies. Various tools and apps allow PR agencies to personalize emails and target specific individuals. The links contained in an email will also provide valuable information about how the receiver interacted with this strategy.
There is, perhaps, nothing more impactful in terms of marketing and public relations than the advent of big data. The rise of big data enabled many PR practitioners to make sense of unstructured data. Now, they understand what demands are being made by their audience and why they are demanding such things. Do you know how much data the world has produced? More than 92% of the data that the world has access to now was produced in the past three years.
The market wants companies to cater to their desires, demands, wants, and needs. PR professionals don’t only need to make sense of big data, but they also have to learn how to use that data to their advantage. Today, big companies like Facebook used this ability to interpret big data to their advantage. In the not-so-distant future, PR companies will also have the capabilities to analyze data and leverage that information to better understand readers.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence
These are two very different tools but almost have the same impact on the PR industry. Automation refers to the tools that PR professionals now use to make their work more convenient. An example of automation is a software that creates an email out of a press release and sends that email to the intended recipients. A newsletter subscription box connected to the customer relationship management (CRM) system is also an example of automation in PR.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is going further. It aims to develop machines that will mimic how humans think and do. Soon, PR practitioners will find it easier to come up with press releases based on the information generated by these machines. They’ll be able to analyze public sentiment and come up with the right PR intervention. Some believe that AI will be able to tailor-fit press releases according to the target audience without human intervention.
Companies are now using video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Video to inform customers and clients about the latest developments in the industry. These platforms allow links to be embedded in the video itself. Why shouldn’t PR agencies begin experimenting with videos? Nearly 70% of millennials said they prefer to watch a video rather than read a press release or news article. More than 56% of web users also believe that websites should have videos on them.
Video news releases (VNRs) are not trends. Companies have found success in producing and distributing VNRs to their media partners. These videos have the entertainment value that press releases sorely lack.
There’s nothing new with the link between technology and public relations. Anything that has to do with the distribution of information will need modern technology such as automation, video, data analysis, and other tools. It is not surprising that the lines between these two industries have started to blur.