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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Technology: a PR Practitioner's Friend or Foe?

In relation to public relations (PR), is technology a friend or foe? It depends on whether you understand how to use it to your advantage. When it comes to PR, it can make or break your strategy.

Technology has greatly influenced how data is collected, making it easier for PR firms to compile and manage all of the data they need. However, mining that data for valuable consumption is crucial. There is no lack of products that help collect the data and "pluck" it for relevancy. You can collect as much or as little as you need. 

Social media was born as a result of the layman's interest in technology, and not to mention college students' social lives. Social media is easier to use than ever and is one of the cheapest and easiest online tools available for PR practitioners. There is no more convenient publicity than free publicity. The numerous social media platforms available today make it easier than ever to reach a broad audience. Keep in mind that social media is no longer targeted for millennials. The number of middle-aged Facebook users has surpassed the number of millennial users.

Tip #1: understand how to use social media influencers. Get to know those people out in cyberspace whom you might never meet, but can help you launch a campaign. Sometimes you can create your own influencers because they already are product clients. Many PR companies have launched enormously successful campaigns by using them to promote their service or product. There's an art to this, however, just like any relationship-building tactic. 

Tip #2: If you do not understand search engine optimization (SEO), get familiar with it. As someone in working in PR, just knowing the basics of SEO can result in tremendous returns by driving more traffic to your brand's website. Learn and understand which keywords are important to your business and learn how to use them in all of your online content. 

Today, we all essentially live and breath technology. It touches every aspect of our lives whether we want it to or not; and whether we realize it or not. It provides a tool to help you anticipate, avoid or deal with any crises. Have a technology plan for your PR business or your project and utilize it. Be certain that each person involved knows their function with regard to how you will take advantage of technology. Then simply own it and make it work for you.