AJ co-founded TrendKite in 2012 and oversees all aspects of the organization’s sales operations.
Public relations, at its core, is managing a company's target market and what its customers, future customers or other stakeholders might feel about a particular brand. It's a field that's important to companies large and small alike, but it's also something that's difficult to manage manually. In today's hyper-connected world, more and more companies are turning to PR software to help manage their PR tactics.
If you're on the fence about PR software and whether you need it, here are 10 signs that it's time. If any of these apply to you, it's probably time to evaluate how software can help improve your existing efforts.
1. You need a way to take in information.
We touched on this in the opening paragraph - information in 2014 is produced and reproduced at an exponential rate. Twitter's volume alone is impossible for any team of individuals to track, let alone other media such as blogs. PR software can help analyze and quantify the information coming from social media into data that is easily digested by your company's public relations team.
2. Nothing seems quantified.
The trouble with trying to digest information about your target market and their expectations is self-evident. All of the data collected is subject to human bias. PR software removes that element and lets you see the facts for what they are.
3. There's no press for your company.
We'll touch on this even more in-depth momentarily, but PR is all about developing a brand as much as it is about maintaining. If your company isn't getting coverage, then your public relations efforts clearly haven't been effective. PR software is incredibly effective at improving the results of your efforts.
4. You're trying to establish a brand.
We often correlate PR with large brands trying to manage their image, but PR is arguably more important for companies with no brand presence. In a company's early days, it's important to establish a meaningful connection with the right audience and to communicate your message clearly. The different software tools available can help make sure that you're doing just that.
5. You've implemented different strategies but haven't seen much in returns.
If you're the type to constantly change the way your PR team tries to reach its market, but the attempts seem fruitless, that's a clear sign that investing in software can help. PR software quantifies the data about your audience, making it easy to pick a strategy that will be effective in the long-run.
6. It seems like you're not reaching your target audience.
Are the wrong people contacting your company, believing that your products or services are meant for them and then disappointed when they misunderstood the message? PR tools can help reshape your efforts and make sure that the right audience is hearing your message.
7. Your team seems ill-equipped.
This one should stand out on its own. If your PR team has been making efforts on something for awhile and seeing little results, then maybe they need an assist.
8. You have no idea how successful your current efforts are.
Your team may currently be doing a great job of poring over different social media streams and other avenues to gauge public perception of your brand. However, without data to analyze the before and after, you might as well be taking shots in the dark with what your PR team is doing to impact this. PR software can give you a solid before-and-after snapshot, allowing you to see whether the time and money you're investing is being put to good use - or if you should refocus your efforts.
9. Keeping up manually is taking too long.
Very self-explanatory here. We've already talked about the volume of data coming out of the Internet. If keeping a pulse on it through manual means is too cumbersome, then it's time to let software should that load.
10. You think you need it.
This one is simple enough. If you feel like you might need software to help your PR team out, then you probably do. At some point intuition takes over. Whether you work in PR and want to take more control or you're the owner of the company, you've already identified the need for the software just by feeling that you need it. Now's the time to take charge.