The public relations industry naturally adapts to technological advances. The rapid evolution of PR strategy over the past 20 years is partly attributable to the reach of social media and the network culture. Here are four ways technology is changing public relations.
Big Data Invasion
Large, disparate volumes of data that can only be efficiently collected and processed digitally are referred to as “big data.” Large datasets are compiled over long periods of time and may contain information about past purchases, internet usage and market fluctuations. Big data has proven to be incredibly valuable in the field of public relations. Big data research enables PR professionals to understand long-term market trends so they can accurately predict future changes. Better PR strategy planning can result from these precise predictions.
Being visible in the first place has always been a key component of public relations strategy. In the past, this involved using conventional marketing and media relations strategies. But the paradigm has changed. Online brand awareness is growing by leaps and bounds. Large volumes of traffic are directed to websites by sites like Google, so it is essential to rank well on search engines. Search engine optimization refers to a set of techniques used to increase a website’s page rank. Specialist businesses such as The Publicity Dude help PR and marketing professionals provide clients with the best possible internet performance. They achieve this by structuring websites for fast loading, researching and applying keyword strategies, and mobile-optimizing client websites. These elements all impact search engine rankings.
Rise of influencers
Today, influencers are crucial spokespersons for businesses trying to boost their PR or sell their products and services. As social media grew in popularity, influencers emerged. These people are self-taught internet personalities who often have a close connection with their audience. They are able to connect with audiences that are beyond the scope of conventional PR techniques because of their personal relationship. Sponsoring influencers or making them brand ambassadors has been proven to be quite profitable, which may help explain why the influencer marketing and PR sector is so huge.
Crisis management problems
Public relations experts are all aware of the importance of acting on a problem before it turns into a catastrophe. Public relations catastrophes have the potential to drastically damage a company’s reputation and reverse any image-building efforts made by their PR team. The worst PR mishaps are remembered forever.
Two technological advances in particular have made it much more difficult to contain modern-day PR crises. Disasters can now spread rapidly and out of control around the world due to the growth of social media, which regularly attracts the attention of mainstream media outlets. There are essentially no barriers preventing the transmission of negative publicity due to the near ubiquity of mobile technologies.
Due to advances in technology, public relations practitioners must react faster than ever before and prevent PR disasters.
(The author is Mr. Rahul Singh, CEO, The Publicity Dude & Business Outreach Magazine and the views expressed in this article are his own)