The PR industry keeps evolving every day. As the world changes, public relations agencies do not have exceptions. The upsurge of the internet, smartphones, and social media is just a drop in the ocean on how technology has impacted the way people communicate. The greatest contributor to this change has been technology. Advancement in technology has driven change at a dizzying rate, making public relations practitioners around the world to scramble so as to stay on top with the trends in the advancements.
The rampant progress in technology often indicates the impression of stagnancy. Videos, email, and social media platforms have become fundamentally engraved in our lives, that we forget to keep track of their changing nature or impact. Nevertheless, thoughts and ideas keep growing, knowledge accumulates, and technology is changing drastically. Just like how email and social media shaped the PR landscape decades ago, it is without a doubt that technological advancements will yet again change and impact modern public relations.
As a public relations professional, you must embrace the future of this industry by embracing the changes in these technologies. In this article, we shall look at these technological changes and how they impacted the public relations industry at large.
1. Technology and the media
Decades ago, the fax machine was the core means of communicating with reporters. Today, we use emails or even social media to send releases and media pitches. The old device has been replaced with a sophisticated database that allows one to search, build lists and even send out releases, all in a go. The online networking and messaging tools allow for constructive relationships, the building of rapport, and credibility much faster. Communication also spread wider, and faster.
2. Media monitoring
There were days when media monitoring meant scouring the news for your clients’ coverage. It sometimes entailed cutting up newspapers and mailing them to clients! Today it has become easier to provide more comprehensive coverage insight through the use of advanced and sophisticated monitoring programs.
Visuals were extremely difficult to produce in the past decades. Providing a simple photograph was a daunting exercise that needed extensive plan and forethought. Today, besides producing photos and videos, technology has allowed for event live streaming, a 360-degree video, and a system to respond to crisis and augmented reality. PR in marketing, therefore, has greatly been advanced.
Measurements are of great concern in the PR industries. The transition from advertising value equivalency to measures like increased website traffics, rate of conversions improves SEO ranking, and ultimately increased revenue are defining the rules today.
Aggressive firms have already adapted to measuring attitude changes, such as consideration and preferences, behavior changes as measured by conversions, web traffic, and leads.
Research has also come a long way. It used to be very difficult to compile a useful list as a lot of time was consumed in libraries in research. Today, many PR firms have numerous options at their fingertips. From Google which acts as open-source software for web applications, to other media database sites that one can pay to access information on journalists and publications, there is no shortage of information today. You can also convert the ASPX file to PDF using open source software so that you get quality information from your clients.
6. Crisis control
Gone are days when firms had plenty of time to plan and respond to a crisis that affected them. Today, a crisis has to be handled swiftly and timely. Information spread fast hence curbing it down to mitigate damage is crucial. Fortunately, advancement in technology has made it possible for tools that can monitor and regulate social media and to respond in real-time to any issues that arise.
While advancement in technology is highly praised and beneficial to PR firms, not everyone is excited by the changes. Most firms have found themselves at the receiving ends as it is easy to use social media to attack organizations hence tarnishing their image. The downsides are many but with proper tools, they can all be handled.
About the Author
Emily Lamp is a professional writer, working closely with many aspiring thinkers and entrepreneurs from various companies. She is also interested in technology, business growth and self-improvement. Say hello to Emily on Twitter @EmilyLamp2.