How does technology affect public relations professionals’ life?

Woman sitting next to a table and writing on a notepad. Above the table there are a laptop, a mug and a smartphone.

Public relations, or PR, consists in managing the public opinion of a business or product through working with the media, managing business events and coordinating interviews and press conferences. In a way, technology has made it possible to reach anyone, anywhere and anytime, faster than ever before. There are many tools available today that enable PR professionals to be more agile in their day-to-day work life – but how does technology affect public relations?

Tools for helping with workflow, creativity, audience engagement, campaign measurement and evaluation have changed the face of PR,  to match not only the evolution of communication vehicles and channels but also the emergence of new professions and influencers. Technology has brought many benefits to PR professionals, and here are some of them.

 

For better or worse, there is no going back

Not so long ago, fax machines were one of the primary means of distributing a press release to reporters. Now, we send releases and media pitches by email or even over social media. According to a recent study, 75% of journalists prefer email correspondence for news releases. If you are asking yourself how technology affects public relations, the answer is the digital revolution brought about by the advent of the internet and e-mails – the foundation for the digitalization of communications.

Some of the advances provided by technology include: communicating via email or social media, content shared through websites, online newsrooms or social media channels, managing contacts and crisis comms via social media, leveraging SEO to make content findable on both desktop and mobile, leveraging digital channels for user-generated content and utilizing influencer software to identify the right target audiences based on content. 

So if we consider how technology affects public relations, in many ways these particular technological advancements show that tech has had a hugely positive impact that (when not abused or misused) can make everyone’s life a little more manageable.

 

You need to keep up. Everyday. 

Our means of communication must be cross-platform enabled, and conducive to this particular change in behaviour, which is changing constantly. Online networking and messaging tools have allowed us to build relationships faster; automation via sophisticated monitoring systems means we can provide far more comprehensive coverage and insights, social media and influencers have made our communication methods more dynamic and clipping tools help us save countless hours during the workday. All these advances enable PR professionals to focus on what really matters: the client’s goals.

 

Ease of PR Communication

The Internet and online tools serve as the first point of communication for many organizations. PR specialists can keep the public and consumers instantly updated with company news and product innovations through email and social media. Not so long ago, even providing a simple photo required an extensive planning process before the image could be produced and delivered to the journalist. 

Now, in addition to offering a photo or video, we have access to live streaming, 360-degree videos, VR, VA and others. This is one of the most impactful developments on how technology affects public relations, since personalized and creative content will continue to be an important asset for PR professionals.

 

PR and Technology walk side by side

Fundamentally, how technology affects public relations is by enabling it. There are countless tools for PR professionals to choose from. Technology has changed PR for good, and will continue to be fundamental to the PR professional’s work since it is in everything that we do – making our jobs easier and offering new and exciting ways to connect. Tell us, how does technology affect public relations in your work?

 

This blog post is a part of our public relations 101 guide. If you’re up for diving deeper into PR matters and learning basic tips, check out our blog and follow our social media channels (@sherlockcomms) to read more content written by our team of specialists. 

 

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