Digital tools and the communications landscape

It’s time to embrace new digital tools and enhance your PR results (and your career). Here’s what communicators need to know.

It’s time to embrace new digital tools and enhance your PR results (and your career). Here’s what communicators need to know.

Digital transformation’s last frontier

Digitization has transformed many business functions and industries from media and services, to retail and finance. Closer to home, we’ve seen marketing functions embrace digital tools – mostly driven by a need to take a more data-driven, insights-led approach to targeting audiences and capturing visible results.

Yet the PR industry, as a whole, has been slow to embrace digital. Perhaps it’s the historical lack of tools that support impactful communication efforts; or a general lack of understanding or interest; or the lack of willingness to fight to justify budget spend to support investment. Based on what I’ve seen first-hand, perhaps it’s a little of each.

Whatever the reason, these excuses are no longer relevant.

Any communicator who chooses to ignore this will be left behind in a world where experience is everything, and everyone consumes content that is personalized, relevant and readily accessible via their channels of choice.

In my role leading Text100’s North America Public Relations Practice, I’m constantly looking for ways we can be more efficient, get more done and generally offer more value and insight to the industry. And I’m so excited about the rising number of digital tools that can help.

Today, we’re testing and embracing new technologies faster than ever.

And it’s already starting to give better results. Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • It’s important to find solutions that’ll engage everyone (without alienating the naysayers). Like many agencies, ours is filled with people fresh out of school and people with decades of experience. The moment when you see those disparate groups brought together by technology is pretty cool.
  • Make sure to try before you buy. We’ve made it a point to get familiar with several tools and really understand the differences. We’ve invested time to get close with our vendors and really understand to what extent they can support things like training or work with us to evolve their product roadmap to address our specific needs.
  • Hone in on a few and test them while building a base of critics and champions. When we’ve tried new technology, we’ve actively sought out feedback, and acted upon it. This has helped us narrow down options, build the case for the tools we really want, and prepare for broader roll-outs. As a result, we’ve been able to create a base of internal champions who serve as advocates and resources as we scale technologies out.

We’ve reached a frontier where digital tools can make or break the customer and employee experience – and our careers. There’s never been a more pressing time to embrace technology. We’re on it. Are you?

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