Staying ahead of the technology curve is crucial in the world of PR; the rules are constantly being rewritten and everything from why we communicate to how, can be redefined overnight. I don’t mean to suggest that Limelight is removing the human element of what we deliver, but technology plays a crucial and undeniable role in how we do it.
To celebrate our 15th birthday, I have compiled a list of 15 ways technology and new-media have added a spark to our clients’ PR and communication strategies:
1. One of our clients recently hosted an event about CRM to 50 delegates and we were able to broadcast it live via Periscope, meaning another 50 targeted prospects could follow, share and engage with the event via social media.
2. At another event, one of our Middle Eastern clients was able to collect all the best User Generated Content (UGC) via the event hashtag through TINT, increasing engagement and social impressions outside the venue.
3. Working with our friends at Sapio Research, we built a dedicated landing page for a major recruitment process outsourcing business to gather data and insight that we were then able to use for a targeted PR campaign.
4. Our carefully designed ‘Brand You’ programme has been incredibly well received, and through it we have designed personal blogs, websites and had renowned executives publishing on LinkedIn Pulse.
5. Using Twitter Cards and sponsored tweets we were able to drive traffic to our white paper on employee engagement. This meant we could increase downloads of the report and could feed back detailed sales data to the client.
6. Again, using social media, we have been able to position our clients as experts offering their opinions in real time. When industry-related news broke on zero-hour contracts, one of our clients was able to offer on-going commentary that led to multiple media interviews.
7. Huffington Post, Forbes, Buzzfeed are all publications producing user-generated content and leveraging algorithms from the likes of Facebook and Twitter. We have worked with all three publications using these new methods to generate coverage for clients.
8. PR and organic content has become ever more integrated with search engine optimisation. There are plenty of tools in the market that measure a client’s on-site and off-site SEO performance and plan necessary keywords. We personally favour ahrefs and have been evaluating how we can enhance organic search results for clients, improve their backlinks and increase their domain ranking.
9. Google’s partnership with Youtube means that video content is ever-more searchable and consumable. We have therefore built and populated various YouTube channels for clients and recently filmed a series of interviews to help a client position themselves in the HR services sector as a thought leader.
10. To help identify influencers in the world of customer experience, we used Followerwonk which helped us understand the social authority of various influential spokespeople in the industry. The hard part was working out how to engage them!
11. When I began in the industry, I sent out press releases by fax and had to cut out coverage and stick it in a book posted to clients. 15 years later, we use Coveragebook which comes with all the necessary analytics to showcase our value.
12. From the same people who brought you ‘Coveragebook’, comes answertheclient. This allows you to take your work and plug it into a client’s Google Analytics to assess the effect of your content and become more accountable.
13. In terms of account management, we love Trello. It allows our clients to see, in real time, the status of each and every project we are working on, whilst allowing the teams to share ideas internally.
14. Anewstip is a search engine for finding journalists, influencers and media outlets that have recently mentioned a topic on Twitter. You can filter by a journalists’ topic and sort by influence or number of tweets. It’s a particularly effective tool when planning a client’s campaign in specialised sectors. We personally saw it used very well when we tackled the automotive industry for instance.
15. Despite all this, sometimes it’s equally effective to do away with technology all together! Recently when presenting to our client in media buying, we simply created one big picture and stuck it on the wall with blue tack. When considering the effective ways of using technology, remember not to neglect the value of human interaction.