7 myths about PR software—busted

Data, technology and new-school public relations approaches are transforming the industry. One pro advises using them to your advantage with these tongue-in-cheek tips.

There’s no denying that various technologies have changed the PR industry.

Social media, smartphones, mobile apps and instant communication influence consumers’ daily routines. To interact on their level, tech companies have developed tools for agency and corporate PR experts.

That is nonsense, right? When it comes to PR in the digital age, steer clear of fancy software if you want to work harder, not smarter. Here are some PR software myths, debunked.

1. Why use media database software, when Excel works just fine?

Many PR pros use Excel spreadsheets, but that doesn’t mean they enjoy it. Inputting each table in its own unique format and copying contacts from one file to another is such a joy, isn’t it?

Why give all that up for online software that’s accessible from all over the world?

2. No one would prefer a visually attractive, interactive press release

The press release is an essential PR tool . So, why would you venture into the unknown?

Why elevate your PR prowess with embedded videos or social media feeds when your brand’s copy is what matters the most? Did you ever consider that adding visuals might strengthen your copy?

Putting your copy into a single PDF, and letting it fly will get the job done, but will it set you apart from the competition? Probably not.

3. Attachments have worked since the invention of email; why drop them now?

You’ve probably been sending PDF attachments for years. It’s been successful, hasn’t it? Maybe once or twice the files were too large, or some people complained about the size on their mobile devices. This is how PR works, you’ve always thought. There’s no need to rock the boat and use online, attachment-free press releases that work on every device. That’d be too easy.

Here’s a tip that will make your life easier: Attachments are often viewed as clutter, and clutter gets deleted. Keep your emails clean, mobile-friendly and attachment free.

4. There’s no need for mass mailings; you have plenty of time to write each one separately.

PR pros take their jobs very seriously. Seriously enough that every single assignment should require your maximum attention, even if it means four hours of sending personalized emails to 50 journalists? Maybe not.

CRM (customer relationship management) mass-mailing tools provide the same result in less time. Use them.

5. Traffic measurement is for marketing.

Most online interaction can be tracked—so what? Traffic measurement and analysis should obviously be left for marketing pros, right? We are in the PR business and proud of it.

Think again if you’ve ever thought that you’re paid for your coverage alone, and not for your Web traffic. It is irresponsible to think that some journalist, somewhere has to publish your story eventually. Be proactive and cover all of your bases—marketing included.

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6. Why rely on data when you can trust your old-fashioned instinct instead?

A follow-up often requires picking up the phone and talking to a reporter. You might say, “Hey, did you get my press release?” or, “Was that interesting to you?” or, “Do you need any further information about our brand?”

Reporters must love this. Or, do they?

Although this is somewhat of a PR ritual, a basic CRM tool would provide data of who received and opened your email. A simple tool would provide you with all the facts you need—no unnecessary follow-up necessary.

7. Forget about cost efficiency—traditional PR is worth the money.

Some pros might tell you that PR software will save you lots of time and money. This is true, and it won’t take away from your prowess.

A silver-tongued PR pro might argue that PR is an art and is worth any and all your resources.

Don’t take the bait. Be as effcient as possible.

Rafal Salak is the communications lead at Prowly.com , a CRM tool for PR professionals.

Topics: PR

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