Chris Blackwood, partner at Third City, examines five new pieces of PR tech you can use to simplify your life in communications.
Remember the days where you would handwrite a press release, read it to the client over the telephone/Morse code/smoke signals to get sign-off and then hand deliver it the next day on Fleet Street? Those were the days, hey?
Today the PR world is awash with new technology and if you’re not using it, you may as well be carving your press releases into stone tablets.
But don’t worry. Here’s a quick run-down of five modern tools of the PR trade and the inside track on how they work, without all the technical guff.
No, we’ve not gone back to Victorian times. Telegram is a mobile and desktop messaging app, like a beefed up WhatsApp. And just like WhatsApp you can create groups, but with much higher capacity.
This is great for handling an integrated campaign. Plonk all agency teams into a group with key client-side people and it means everyone stays in touch and up to speed, without generating thousands of unnecessary emails.
Even better, as Telegram groups can have thousands of users, it can be utilised instead of email address collection as a way to recruit and inform ‘super fans’ of your brand activity. But if you take this second route, don’t scrimp on the admins.
If you hate having to wade through millions of emails, Slack is the project management app for you. It’s designed to facilitate team collaboration, enabling everyone to talk to each other, develop ideas and share documents in a format that looks and feels more like Facebook than Outlook.
Crucially, you can create separate channels where only specific people are invited to participate in conversations. This can work well for planning different campaigns, or serving different areas of your client’s business.
How many iterations of a document have you gotten up to? I think there’s a release draft V34 somewhere on our servers.
Filestage won’t help deal with indecisive or over-eager clients, but it does take some of the pain out of the process. It works in a similar way to Google Docs, in that many users can comment on a document and an editor can amend. But unlike Google Docs, creating a new, clean version with comments taken on board creates a fresh copy without losing the past ‘layers’ of changes.
Long story short, this prevents the pain of a document growing into a mass of messy comment chains and eye-popping luminous track changes, bringing zen to the process of document development.
Most PR agencies do wonderful SEO work without even realising. Those backlinks to client sites on the likes of BBC, the Guardian and MailOnline help push them up Google rankings and make AdWord bids more competitive.
SEM Rush lets you quantify the value of organic links and traffic, without needing a coding degree to use the thing. PR has always had an issue with evaluation, but there’s no excuses with tools like this available.
A cryptocurrency wallet
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life. I’m talking about your clients asking to pay in cryptocurrency. It really shouldn’t be a barrier.
The UK has one of the best-regulated crypto exchanges in the world, London Block Exchange. Here you can open an account and with your personalised wallet number, can accept crypto payments with ease. Almost like a… bank account.
You can then instantly convert this to pound sterling or leave it unconverted and ride the crypto rollercoaster.
Another piece of technology simplifying the lives of communicators is the Cision Communications Cloud®. Find out more about the world’s most advanced communications technology here.