Is Public Relations Keeping Up with Technology?

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Some may argue that as technology is changing the media landscape, public relations is being left behind with inferior practices. In Media Measurement News, the article, Is Public Relations Failing to Embrace New Technologies?, looks at some thoughts from public relations veteran Bill Hankes on how the public relations industry failing is because of its unwillingness to embrace new technology.

Is this true?

Let’s take a look at what he’s saying. Hankes feels that in most cases, what is inferior are press release distribution services and media contact databases. He states that very few editors read press release distribution services since they need original news. And he feels that media databases remain chronically outdated and mainly enable mass email blasts that editors then label as spam. He’s is essentially right – out of date tools that provide generalized information will not deliver information targeted to the audiences you seek.

The good news is that public relations has largely transitioned from mass press release blasts to the public relations professional carefully crafting and placing targeted articles. Public relations professionals now work closely with the editors so the clients get spot-on coverage in the publications that matter. Also, by using the various social media platforms, the new technology is being used for public relations even though it was never designed as a public relations tool.

Technology evolves

The upshot of this is even more social media tools - increasingly sophisticated social media monitoring and measurement services that enable tracking and analyzing of online mentions of brands.  All of which allows the public relations professional to identify top brand advocates while safeguarding a client’s online reputation. So it is new technology, not the old, that is now aiding public relations professionals today.

The use of technology tools is ever progressing and Hankes is right that some tools become outdated and should be discarded or used in only a targeted method.  And public relations professionals need to be aware of when a technology is no longer useful. How we communicate is rapidly changing and public relations professionals must continually keep up with the methods and technology.

Technology and public relations is a relationship that is continuously changing as new players enter the field. If your company would like to explore how public relations and the technology of social media and media monitoring can help you, contact AOE today!  

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