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Harness the Power of New Public Relations Technology Technology is here to help. Embrace it and watch your client list grow.

By Paul Fitzgerald

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Across many different industries, advances in technology are opening the door for new opportunities and new, more efficient ways of doing things. While not an industry known for being at the forefront of advances in technological processes, Public Relations is embracing these advances and benefiting from their use to minimize, and in some cases, eliminate existing manual tasks. In some cases, technologies are being designed specifically to benefit and enhance the work that PR agencies do, in order to streamline and find efficiencies in everyday data gathering processes. These processes can be extremely labor-intensive when performed by an employee, but through the use of technology, they can be automated based on a provided data set.

Using tech to help PR agencies fulfill their client's needs

Public Relations agencies can access and adopt a variety of different types of technologies that will change the way they build and distribute their pitches and press releases to ensure maximum exposure and coverage.

Some of these options include Artificial intelligence programs used to suggest and recommend similar media contacts based on current contacts and the pieces that they cover. This will enable the PR agency to expand their database with a few quick clicks as opposed to hours of research. Artificial intelligence can have the ability to narrow in on an influencer's preference for receiving media pitches, which will help the PR agency to understand the best approach for their release to increase the likelihood of coverage. There are even AI programs that will help you write press releases and blogs and help determine reporters and editors who might be interested in your news.

In large PR agencies, teams can often reach out to the same contacts and influencers for multiple press releases. With the new technologies available to PR firms, their teams can ensure that the contacts inside of their database aren't being reached out to by multiple team members at the same time with different stories. While many agencies have programs available to them to track mentions as a means of counting impressions, one of the newest technologies allows PR agencies to track backlinks. These links can be far more valuable and provide a more sustainable media trail.

As podcasts continue to grow in popularity and gain listenership, the need for PR agencies to have the ability to track and identify media mentions inside of podcasts also increases. Google Analytics has a vast of information available for PR agencies to use and with the help of additional technology advancements, with some tech companies looking for ways to automate the tools used to track earned media.

Additional technologies are in existence and in ongoing development to continue to improve the way PR firms gather their impressions and media coverage to provide that data back to their client.

Related: How Technology Has Changed Business Communication

Changing the role of the PR agency

Overall, many of the technologies currently available or in development for use with PR agencies will be used to automate processes that are currently being done manually. This requires manpower, meaning employees are pulled away from helping to build and develop pitches, in order to determine potential contact leads, track media impressions, determine what pitches are successful and many other forms of analysis that clients want to know. Reverting these processes over to an automated technology program will allow PR agencies to free up their employees to focus their attention on building creative pitches. It will also enable the PR agency to provide its clients with a thorough report at the end of a press release or media pitch featuring a complete, comprehensive list of all coverage received through the course of the media blast.

What technological advances mean for employees at PR firms

When employees hear about the use of artificial intelligence and other technology capabilities in their industry, many of them may feel that their jobs are going to be phased out. This can cause employees to feel unsure about their future in their role and in the industry. The good news though is that the technology doesn't need to replace roles. If anything it is a good thing for employees working in PR. By removing many labor-intensive, time-consuming processes that are being done currently, technology allows the firm's employees to focus their time and attention on building high-level pitches and creative ideas to benefit their clients. This will allow for more unique and well-thought-out media releases, which in turn will receive more coverage and an overall more successful campaign.

Technology is here to help. Embrace it and watch your client list grow.

Related: How to Use Different Social-Media Platforms to Build Press Relationships

Paul Fitzgerald

Founder and CEO, Salt & Pepper Media Inc.

Paul Fitzgerald is the CEO of Salt & Pepper Media. He is also a technology and business journalist in the U.S. and Canada. He is nearing completion of his PhD in communication sciences.

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