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Is Public Relations Management a Technology? [PR Tech Sum]

Is Public Relations Management a Technology

Summary of monthly PR tech news: Muck Rack focuses on public relations management; Prowly enhances media database; new execs at Meltwater and Signal AI

The term “public relations management” sounds like an advanced college class but it’s shaping up as something else. A handful of companies that make software for public relations are staking a claim on the term.

Most draw analogy to customer relationship management, or CRM. Managing customer relationships is a business process that’s virtually impossible to perform at scale without technology, even as the term CRM has become synonymous with the technology.

About twenty years ago, I had a CRM client that was acquired just as the dot-com implosion was unfolding. It wasn’t funny then, but I can smile now remember how the company executives would nearly breakdown every time a reporter labeled it a “customer relationship database.” That’s an undesirable description for a company charting a course a new category.

Welcome to the second half of 2020! Here’s the summary of news – the monthly PR Tech Sum – from the world of the PR technology vendors.

>>> Looking for a B2B tech PR with expertise and execution? Give our services a try.

1. Muck Rack focuses on public relations management

Muck Rack announced “Public Relations Management” which promises a “unified platform” across the company’s “media database, monitoring, analytics and collaboration tools built for PR teams.”

The company says a centralized tool that links these things together will present a complete picture of media relations activity. In an interview with PRWeek, the company likened it to a CRM for PR.

The concept of CRM for PR isn’t new. Two small international PR tech vendors Prezly, and Propel, both promote a similar concept (here and here). Around 2010, I worked for a PR software vendor that occasionally rattled the CRM idea, but it never really got traction in the market.

The announcement seemed to me more of a vision statement than a technology product release. I read it as a repositioning from just a database for media contacts or a tool for media monitoring, to a vision for managing the entire PR process. I’ve promised the company I’d take a closer look at their technology for a PR Tech Briefing and I’ll try to get that done this quarter.

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2. Prowly adds features to media database

Prowly added several enhancements to its media database. New features the company highlighted is personalization – the ability to add the first name of a contact to an email pitch – and more flexibility to update your media list.

Additional enhancements include color-coded tags for managing multiple media lists, search filtering and some improvements to the user experience (UX).

Prowly is headquartered in Poland and is among a growing list of newer international PR tech companies worth keeping an eye on.

3. PR tech mentions

Here is a glance at some of the other announcements from the PR tech community in the last month:

  • Cision “partnered with print suppliers” to provide its customers with “print clips from regions across the world including Europe, Africa, Latin and Central America, Caribbean, Asia, and [the] Middle East.”
  • Meltwater announced its product leader, Niklas de Besche, has replaced the company’s founder Jorn Lyseggen as CEO. The company says the move was planned as Mr. Lyseggen has been on extended medical leave since last fall. Mr. Lyseggen will remain engaged as in a new role as Executive Chairman of the Board.
  • Signal AI appointed Luca Grulla as CTO; according to Grulla’s LinkedIn profile he’s served as a fractional vice president of engineering at the company since 2016.

4. Picks from the PR tech blogs and trades

In perusing the PR tech vendor blogs and placements, here are some that stood out:

a) Making the PR-to-Sales Connection: What’s Next in the ROI Equation? by Mark Weiner & Cision

“…when companies and brands increase their level of PR spending, there is no observable point of diminishing return. In other words, the more a brand invests in earned media, the more sales PR generates.”

b) Six Reasons Why Traditional Media Still Matters by Tressa Robbins & Burrelles

“Traditional media drives online news. More people (59%) now discover news through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media; these platforms deliver minimal information by way of headlines, video excerpts, and sound bites. Consumers are becoming more media savvy and often seek out the details and facts by clicking through links to traditional news media websites.”

c) Why Brands Are Kicking Demographics to The Curb in Favour of Audience Insights by Perri Robinson & Meltwater

“Classic demographics like age and gender…appear to be losing their popularity among marketers…as a result of the wealth of customer data now available.”

d) The best online marketing courses and certificates by Rafael Sternbach & Talkwalker

Best is subjective, but Mr. Sternbach does surface a couple that I didn’t know about and look interesting.

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Do you work for a company that develops software for the PR profession? This page is designed to help you understand how to get mentioned here.

>>> Looking for an agency partner with the content chops to build a sound strategy and execute? Give our services a try.

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Image credit: Photo by Headway on Unsplash and respective companies

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