The last decade has brought unimaginable innovation to nearly every industry. The marketing and sales industries have particularly benefited from thousands of technology companies bringing forth incredible advancements. For example, companies that use CRMs increase their sales by an average of 29%, and report that for every dollar spent on CRM technology, $8.71 is returned.
The PR and communications industry has taken longer to jump on the innovation train. But change is happening fast, driven by a migration of advertising dollars towards content and earned media in a world no longer dominated by a few dozen key publications. This sea-change in the PR landscape is creating demand for new, data-driven SaaS solutions.
As such, the PR software space is heating up – and this is great news for both in-house and agency communications professionals. At the center of the PR technology stack lies the universally required media database. Auxiliary services, such as pitching execution, media monitoring, report creation, topic research, and social analytics, are becoming increasingly important and central to effective PR operations. The ecosystem remains splintered, though, often with a different PR tool being used for each business use case.
Many PR teams use half a dozen or more PR tools simultaneously – creating painful and unnecessary workflow inefficiencies, data silos and lost insights. To unify the PR workflow, unlock insights and unleash the full potential of every communications professional, a new category of PR software is emerging: PRM, which stands for Public Relations Management.
A PRM unites the entire PR workflow – from media discovery to pitching, monitoring and analytics/reporting – in one system. The genius of a PRM lies in its unification of data across the entire PR value chain. For example, as someone builds a media list using a PRM, she is able to immediately see which journalists she or her colleagues have previously pitched – and whether the contact historically engaged. With that information, she can make an informed decision as to whether the contact is worth adding to her media list.
Media database search results in a PRM indicate which contacts have been previously pitched.
Another use case: because native email plug-ins and influencer contact management are both part of a PRM, advanced opt-out/unsubscribe options are available. A PRM user can decide to automatically include a link at the bottom of each email pitch that enables the journalist to click and decide to unsubscribe, in a variety of ways. The journalist can opt-out of receiving pitches from that PR professional, from the firm overall – or specifically they can opt-out of receiving pitches for that campaign or brand. Because email pitching, journalist contact management and media lists are all part of a PRM, the journalist’s opt-out selection immediately triggers an action that freezes that journalist out of all relevant media lists based on their opt-out preference. Unsubscribe links and opt-out capability are completely optional within a PRM.
After clicking on "Opt-out" at the bottom of an email pitch, a journalist can select what pitches he wants to stop receiving.
Since email pitching and journalist contact management are united, a PRM is able to create a comprehensive overview of a person’s or firm’s relationship with each reporter. Without rummaging through spreadsheets or notes, a user is able to immediately view all previous pitches sent to the reporter – and the engagement of each pitch. Similarly, he is able to see PitchEngagement, an algorithm that produces an engagement score for each PR professional and the firm overall, for each journalist.
See historical engagement of each journalist (with both you individually and your firm overall), as you build media lists and decide who to pitch.
Due to the fact that email pitching, influencer contact management and media monitoring are all part of a PRM, the entire funnel of each pitch is automatically updated and inputted – so that every account executive, manager or senior executive – can easily understand campaign performance, account performance and team performance in real time. Ebbs and flows in productivity and results can be tracked, and early warning signs can be addressed before it’s too late. All of this data can be accessed in easy-to-understand reports that can be used internally and/or shared with clients.
PR reporting becomes effortless, relationships with journalists are improved, tremendous time savings are incurred, and the ability to get earned media results are advanced. These are some of the benefits that a PRM – the mother of all PR tools – brings to PR professionals.
In today’s media landscape, where the volume of influencers and outlets continues to multiply and the competition for storytelling increases exponentially as content remains king, PR professionals need as much time as possible to focus on what matters most—storytelling, building relationships and intelligently interacting with clients and stakeholders. A PRM enables exactly that. Within a few years, PRMs will be as ubiquitous with PR teams as CRMs have become for salespeople.