Anyone who has spent a considerable number of years in Public Relations remembers the time when press releases were printed out and hand-delivered to reporters and media houses. While the internet existed even then, it wasn’t a mainstream tool, and e-mail was a practically inconceivable concept.
Fast-forward to today, and we can no longer imagine PR without a robust tech-backed support system streamlining intentions, simplifying tasks, and enhancing execution. The shifting sands of communication, combined with the staggering increase in sources of information, have led to a new-age, tech-empowered communications sector that is just starting to come of age.
As the business transforms at a dizzying pace, here’s a look at some of the technologies leading this evolution:
Data-driven decision-making has added the element of precision to communication. PR professionals can cut through the clutter with crucial insights about brands, target audiences, publications, and opinions. Analytics arms us with the knowledge and research required to understand a brand’s tonality and objectives, resulting in more efficient and effective campaigns.
Digital PR has presented the sector with endless opportunities, including online press releases, video-based storytelling, and immersive podcasts. Moreover, Web 3.0 is changing how brands look at their digital footprint, allowing them to reap the many benefits of creating a virtual presence, from virtual brand integration to virtual storytelling.
Digital PR has also unlocked the infinite potential of multimedia content creation, which can help a brand expand its reach. From interactive audio-based content such as podcasts to engaging and informative videos or even a detailed newspaper article, content strengthens every PR campaign.
At this point, the primary goal should be to create unique, authentic, and purposeful narratives distributed through the appropriate channels to reach suitable stakeholders for maximum impact.
The rise of Web 3.0, with blockchains and NFTs at its core, have got people excited about the possibilities of the Metaverse in PR. A digital extension of physical life, the Metaverse offers a huge opportunity for brands to offer an immersive experience to brand stakeholders. It will bode well for PR professionals to gain an understanding of the Metaverse and gauge the way it can help their clients expand their narrative and reach a larger section of digital-first stakeholders.
Some ways in which the Metaverse can be leveraged is through virtual storytelling, virtual product placement, and virtual reputation management. Proactive, innovative PR campaigns will be able to set clients ahead of the curve as Metaverse continues to come into play as a strong conversation medium.
AI & ML
While the use of AI and ML in PR is still in the nascent stage, the possibilities are enthralling. PR professionals can use predictive analysis to foresee the advent or impact of client crises. They can also leverage the power of ML to map market trends, predict audience response to particular campaigns, and gauge the impact of each piece of communication. In fact, AI can tell you exactly what to include in a press release to make it more impactful and recommend the channels through which it should be pushed.
AI-led systems can also understand audience preferences and create compelling content for brands. In fact, publications – including some as prominent as The Washington Post – already use AI tools to create news and feature stories. While the human connection is understandably missing from these stories, we’re slowly but surely getting there.
The PR and communications landscape is hurtling towards a stage where technology and communication will be unified to ensure that a brand and its stakeholders are well connected through the right platforms. But, there’s still a lot left to do in terms of tech integration. When it comes to technology in PR, the conversation has just begun.
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.
This article was first published in the PRAXIS 2022 special edition print magazine of Reputation Today.