Why PR Pros Need to Embrace New Technologies

Guest post by Courtney Lukitsch, founder and principal of Gotham Public Relations.

This is a guest post by Courtney Lukitsch, founder and principal of Gotham Public Relations.

As professionals, we are increasingly expected to embrace new technologies which we then deploy as marketing and PR tools on behalf of our clients. More often than not, we face resistance from clients who do not see the value in these new digital tools.

Confusion from clients is common unless they are educated by the agency in detail about related benefits–and the commensurate value-added results attached by employing them over a measurable period of time. This is where PR professionals must step up.

Utilizing emerging digital platforms yields measurable Marketing PR results, which is the underlying goal for every client. With constant skepticism regarding the value of investing in new digital platforms, ultimately it becomes the job of the PR professionals to connect their clients with the technology necessary to further grow their business.

This “measurable” timeline typically assumes the form of a business quarter on the short side, and 18 months over the longer term, when results convert into meaningful business metrics. Given the current popularity of algorithms, which serve to calculate and micro-target consumer and business behaviors, as well as specific audiences, these new technologies in the form of social media and apps become a powerful PR asset.

Mobile access is another facet of technology that is perhaps the most important element a company needs to consider. As a culture constantly on the go, mobile devices become our go to source for information. PR worthy search results are optimized on mobile layouts, and as a device driven society, companies do a disservice to themselves by not fully utilizing mobile access. At Gotham Public Relations, a firm that works in 25 countries globally, mobile access is especially crucial. Having social media and websites up to date and accessible to all mobile devices ensures that those who are seeking information regarding your firm and your clients can always find a recent, resourceful and polished platform.

As a recent example, at Gotham PR our agency team met with a futuristic 4D tech app company that aims to work with big name architects, developers and builders — not least of which luxury real estate brokers who would benefit from this new option as a viable if not groundbreaking sales tool. The app visualizes large-scale buildings onsite, alleviating the need for expensive model building or fly through videos, which can cost in the mid-five figures to create.

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Photo: VU Frame

What struck us as a fascinating technology created in Germany quickly became a means of our ability to ideate on behalf of our many clients working in the visual realm, including many architects, designers, developers, builders and brokers. We learned how to use the technology to create value client-side, which in turn allowed them to possess a powerful real estate asset.

This has been the case for other agency clients initially resistant to pursuing a dual digital-print media plan, supplemented by video and broadcast coverage, respectively.

We have a showroom client that works both with consumers and the design trade who was resistant to Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. Fast-forward 18 months and that brand’s marketing dollars are now 50 percent aggregated to all of the above platforms, since they garner millions in traction as well translate into actual as sales.

As embraced by creative and strategic PR practitioners, social media and a focused digital presence must be managed in tandem with overall client-side reputation and marketing objectives. New technologies continually emerge, so utilizing these new communication platforms becomes the increasing purview within the PR practice.

These skills are relevant in the public relations field as well. Even more so, we must be savvy with PR technology as it relates to our own professional success. New PR technologies can assist in gaining attention and support from your company or firm and help in achieving the most desirable result.

For instance, instead of the same presentation platforms, take your pitch to the next level by using new digital formats. Haiku Deck, for example, is customizable for iPad, and Sparkol is the most successful for online video presentations. Analytics technology is another tool for PR professionals in regards to content promotion and brand development. Niche sites such as CustomScoop and BuzzSumo provide customized monitoring and analysis reports and can rank content based on number of shares generated. There are also new digital sites that help with company budgeting and pitch editing and distribution. These are valuable tools and insights that many PR professionals overlook.

As PR professionals, we must juggle an ever-changing set of tasks, which more recently includes mastering new forms of technology to ensure our success as well as the success of our clients. No matter the scope or industry of your client, or the caution they express to dive into new platforms, digital advances and new technology provide an opportunity for client promotion and successful, traceable results.

The power of these technologies lies with the user, so as PR pros we must be dynamic and forward thinking as the digital realm continues to evolve.