As a B2B public relations firm that specializes in technology, we read and write about tech trends, developments and industry growth frequently. But I thought I’d spend some time exploring what technology does for us as a firm, instead of the other way around.
Analytics and tracking tools
Our clients want results, and so do we. Providing measurable results was once an industry-wide challenge, but thanks to analytics and online tracking tools, we can measure the effectiveness of our work and provide tangible results. Analytics are able to measure the reach of a message, how long a recipient spent time reading it, what action was taken afterwards and more. We can track the number of clicks on a certain link and monitor growth from one month to the next. These tools are affordable and efficient, and they help us evaluate our work and determine how we can improve.
It’s hard to remember what life was like before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—just to name a few. Social media was a game changer for PR, and it has altered the way society communicates both with individuals and with businesses. People are looking for content all hours of the day, so it’s up to us to give them something worth looking at. Social media is a powerful realm of influence, and companies are expected to be easily found on multiple platforms. We at the Bradford Group use social media to reach our own target audience, but we also help our clients recognize its significance and develop a social media strategy to meet their needs and goals.
As society has grown accustomed to the 24/7 news cycle, people expect to know what’s going on—whether it’s breaking news or the latest trend—within moments of it happening. With email, social media and text messaging, people can be reached quickly and easily.
Jeff Bradford, our founder and CEO, recently shared with our group what it was like to be in PR before the Internet. After typing a press release on a typewriter, he would hand-deliver it to reporters at the local newspaper. Can you imagine having to deliver a message in-person instead of sending an email? Me neither!
When hand-delivery and snail-mail were the primary methods of sharing information, media contacts and outlets were limited. Today, we can reach reporters on the other side of the country—or even the world—in a matter of seconds. Modern software and databases place unlimited resources at our fingertips, and it enables us to share our clients’ messages with more people in less time.
Another benefit of technology is reduced paper usage. We no longer need rows of filing cabinets to store client files, we can simply save them in a folder on our computer’s desktop. Printing, though needed for some tasks, isn’t necessary for most documents, and media clips can be saved digitally rather than in a chunky binder.
Technology is a valuable tool for PR professionals, but it’s easy to overlook in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The greatest advantage of technology in PR? It allows us to do more – and work more effectively – for our clients.