PRTech-reseeding-PR-landscape

This week we let go of our blog reins. Mostly because we don’t like to talk about ourselves, but also because we recently met an impressive young women named Alexis Anthony whose PR prowess deserves some love.

Rebekah met Alexis back in October at the Cision/Vocus #FutureofPR event in Washington D.C. Needless to say, she left a lasting impression. Alexis is currently studying Public Relations and Business Analytics (our favorite combo!) at the University of Maryland.

We were taken by her philosophy on PR’s evolution, so we picked her brain about the recent launch of our newest site: PRTech.co.

Alexis spent the day at AirPR last week and from everything we saw and heard, we are certain this lady personifies the PR professional of the future.

We hope you enjoy her take on PRTech’s role in creating a robust, thriving industry.

How PRTech is reseeding the PR Landscape

By Alexis Anthony

As odd as it sounds, PR pros could learn a thing or two from lawn care specialists. Yeah, weird idea I know, but bear with me. Imagine a golf course. Aside from the everyday mowing and trimming, ground gurus keep the fairways and greens in pristine condition through a process called reseeding.

They don’t actually re-plant seeds. They apply more seed where the grass is thin or bare to make it more robust and add structure to the landscape.

So how does this tie in to PR?

PRTech.co logo (b)We’ve talked again and again about the importance of PR measurement, data literacy, and understanding technology. It’s the industry revolution we call PRTech.

But many seasoned practitioners resist these emerging PR tenants because things like automation and universal analytics feel unnatural. After all, the industry has gotten along for 200 years without them, right?

What those practitioners may not see are the thin or bare patches their PR landscapes. Instead of thinking about PRTech as replanting the industry, we should see it as reseeding – filling barren cavities with data and technology.

Still with me? Here are three reasons we need to think of PRTech as a movement to reseed the industry and three ways we can jumpstart the process.

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2015-PR-predictions

With 2014 quickly rolling to a close, it’s about that time for everyone and their mother to bust out their crystal ball and make industry predictions for the coming year.

Not one to buck the trend, we’re (#obviously) going to offer up our own take on what’s coming down the pipeline. However, much of the surmising we’re about to embark on stems from things we’ve been reading, content we’ve been writing, and conversations we’ve been having over the past 12 months.

Many of these PRedictions have already begun to take root, which is great news for all of us. What jazzes us most is seeing these defining forces grow, blossom, and most importantly, spread so be sure to pass along the knowledge.

Without further ado, we bring you our 5 PR prognostications for 2015:

2015 PR predictions1. PESO model becomes the norm, not the exception

Gone are the days when a hit in the newspaper was enough to satisfy clients and drive real business results. With more digital tools than ever at our fingertips, fully integrated programs are now going to be more than expected, they will be demanded.

When PR gets stuck in “media relations only” mode, so many important opportunities get missed. When all the media forces combine —paid, earned, shared, and owned—what starts as one story can inevitably become a compelling campaign that reaches customers in a meaningful and targeted way.

2. PRTech cements its status as the next frontier in digital marketing

The PRTech ecosystem is just beginning to reveal itself, but there is no doubt that the individuals and company that make up this space are the one fueling the evolution of the PR industry.

As PR makes a move to embrace a more programmatic, data-focused approach to optimization and outcomes, it has become imperative for professionals to understand the players in the space and the conversations taking place. PRTech will lead this charge and provide the industry with a much-needed roadmap to understanding all the changes taking place.

3. Marketing and PR become BFFs

How PR works in tandem with all other departments (marketing, advertising, etc.) will define success across the board moving forward. The lines are blurring between social, content, media buying, and analytics, so it is imperative that PR reach out to its business counterparts to align all efforts while streamlining work.

PR will continue to push out stories and messaging that positions their companies in a positive light, but more than that, PR now has the opportunity to directly inform marketing and advertising in terms of what customers are saying, doing, and thinking about products, services, and beyond.

4. Social business increases its emphasis on people and relationships

The challenges and opportunities of social media’s evolution within organizations will continue to evolve, but in 2015 we will see brands value the cultivation of relationships over the perceived volume of their social “megaphone”.

While creating a social strategy to align with business objectives is important, what’s more important is to remember that people are at the center of the data available on social. Though social business offers a vast array of tech to tap for customer insights and feedback, it’s still about relationships at the end of the day. And let’s face it; relationships are what PR does best.

5. Value driven metrics take a firmer hold

FINALLY the PR industry will let go of metrics that don’t measure up (i.e. AVEs) in lieu of concrete data that truly proves ROI. Analytics will be embraced as the missing link that provides insights into what’s working, how to test, and where to optimize in future campaigns and content.

A widespread embrace of PR measurement will help show the entire business community PR is an investment, and not an expense. In other words: PR will shift from a cost center to a profit center.

All in all, the future of PR has never looked brighter however it still of the utmost importance that we all continue to demand excellence while embracing these shifts. The heart of PR is people, so let’s make the coming year the most forward-thinking, data-driven, creative-minded year yet.

Here’s to a PRosperous 2015!

 

PR-tool-to-up-your-game

Whether you’re working in-house at a startup or running your own shop, you’ll discover one fundamental truth about PR: It’s changing faster than ever. These shifts include everything from the implications of brand journalism on the PR function to the dwindling number of journalists filling established newsrooms.

As someone sitting squarely in the midst of these seismic shifts, which include the bubbling up of an entire marketing category called PRTech, I’ve had the great pleasure of speaking with many of the industry’s leading minds and picking their brains for best “tips and tricks” for upping your PR game.

From automated-marketing tools to modern skill sets, check out what the best and brightest are using to keep them winning.

Gmail plugins that will have you embracing email

Ugh. Email: the bane of many business professionals’ existence. It’s not that email isn’t useful; it’s just that there is so darn much of it. So how can you turn your email, or shall I say Gmail, into a mecca of usefulness?

According to Kristen Tischhauser, managing partner at talkTECH, Rapportive is one of the greatest inventions to date for the PR pro.

“This free, social CRM tool plugs right into your Gmail and provides a photo of your contact, an overview of their LinkedIn profile, company, title, location, Twitter, and connections you have in common,” she says.

I’ve used it, and she’s right. Rapportive saves minutes (those precious minutes!) of time because you can get all the pertinent info directly in the sidebar of your email.

Nora Wolf, a New York-based publicist, makes a good point: “Being a good publicist means diligently following up and not allowing any emails to slip through the cracks.”

For her, it’s Boomerang that does the trick.

“Boomerang helps me keep track of the numerous emails I send every day by letting me set a date and time for the email to return back to me. It works really well for long lead stories, reminding me to check back three, four, six months later when an article finally is published. A lot happens in six months and I want to make sure I always send thank-you notes and get a copy of the publication.”

This is another one I can put my “stamp” on. Boomerang has literally saved me from myself on numerous occasions and has reduced my anxiety around forgetting to follow up.

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Words

If you think about it from an extremely fundamental standpoint, words are likely considered the cornerstone of PR.

How one positions them against each other, strings them together, decides how to use or not use them: all are important aspects of PR. What’s more, as cultures evolve, languages evolve too…so knowing which words to use in specific circumstances and across certain “mediums” is also part of the job.

iStock_000026872564SmallSo today, and mostly for fun (who needs a boring, droning blog post anyway?), I bring you: Word play by the numbers.

#1 – Did you know, according to many many many sources, Oxford Dictionary has released their Word of the Year. Beating out “Bae” (slang for one’s beloved, or short for “baby”) and “Normcore” (unisex clothing), the word Vape” took this year’s crown.

Last year’s winning word was “Selfie.”

I suppose if you’re looking at the OD’s WOTY as a proxy for cultural trends, we’ve gone from self-obsessed to addiction curbing. I’d take the latter any day, as this is a vast improvement. Not great, but better.

#2 – Speaking of self-obsessed, Dictionary.com’s WOTY was released fresh on the heels of the “Vape” bomb. They chose “Exposure.” Ironically, the online dictionary seems to be a year behind the trend as the word “Exposure” would seem to align more with “Selfie.”

Or perhaps I’m thinking too critically about the whole ridiculous thing.

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Panel-moderating-tips

Ahhhh conference season. My favorite time of year.

Suitcase? Check.

Emergen-c? Check.

Extra phone charger. Check.

Priority boarding access? Notsomuch. But hey, we’re on a budget.

From New York to San Francisco – and any city in between with a conference center that holds approximately 5,000 people and sets its base temperature to 61.4 degrees – lanyards and media rooms and shoddy wifi unite to serve up new products, industry trends, and cocktail hours to those in the know.

Or at least to those trying to get there.

As a regular conference goer, typically under the auspices of media-speaker-moderator (sometimes I even pretend I’m part of the catering team just to change it up), I always like to brush up on my skillzzz prior to embarking on these journeys then reflect back on what I could have done better.

PR experts panelThis year was more of a “moderator” year, so I became personally fixated with how to up my game. In light of that, I surveyed a few super smart folks who are moderating pros, and came up with a listicle of things you can pass along to your unsuspecting clients (be gentle) or can implement yourself if that tickles your fancy.

Ah-hem.

Porter Gale says…

#1 – Over prepare. Know everything you can about your subject and the topic. Make sure you have some fun facts that demonstrate the depth of your knowledge (e.g. past career moves, personal stories, quotes from PPTs or articles they’ve written).

#2 – Don’t interrupt your subject but know how to thoughtfully move to a new subject if needed.

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