It has been a while since there seems to be taking place round table discussions on the reality of automating public relations domain. For many, the idea to automate public relations seems like an oxymoron because public relations is an industry which tends to survive merely on building unique and tailor-made solutions for each situation and establishing human connection.
However, with advancements in technology and the dire need for measurable results, PR professionals should focus on embracing certain aspects of their tedious tasks. As witnessed, automation technology is helping PR firms scale faster and more efficiently than ever before.
The key to view automation in public relations is to work smarter, not harder, and incorporation of automating particular aspects of public relations would require minimal effort. When we tend to automate the repetitive tasks and processes, it will help save time, effort and energy, which will give a boost to the creativity in crafting messages and the relationship building aspect of the industry.
Publishing and distributing multimedia press releases
Building a multimedia press release is hard enough and curating it in a responsive and email-ready manner is even harder – you need to import your contacts from Excel to your email provider, upload high-resolution assets to your press room, add image previews to your emails, make sure your assets look good on multiple devices… the list is endless!
A software called Prezly comes handy here. It resolves this issue by combining multimedia email distribution with custom online newsrooms. Create a multimedia press release in your own custom-branded newsroom, and Prezly automatically generates a multimedia email version that you can pitch to journalists. Both the newsroom and the email are responsively customized in a way to look great on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, and every email includes analytics to help you track response rates.
When utilised to a maximum advantage, automating some tasks, like media monitoring, media outreach, social media, and reporting can save time while also improving planning and results.
Building lists of influencers
The days of Google search to look out for influencer contact details are over. If you are exhausted of searching for influencers and entering their contact details into an Excel spreadsheet one at a time, give Buzzstream a try.
Using a bookmarklet called Buzzmarker, Buzzstream lets you turn a website or blog post into a contact record in their database. Bookmark an article by an influential journalist, for example, and Buzzstream will automatically pull in any email addresses and social profiles associated with that journalist. One can even email influencers directly from the platform.
Building media lists can be, well, tedious. With automation, it can be less so.
Also, how do you track unread pitch emails? How do you collate a spreadsheet for those who respond to your emails in a quicker and effective manner?
Yesware is a Gmail add-on that can be used to monitor opens, clicks and responses for every email you send to influencers. You can also use customized templates to automate your outreach and track which messages resonate best.
Crafting a relevant email response
When an influencer emails you, it is of paramount importance to craft a relevant message. So what do you do? Do you research this person on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google to see who they are and what they care about, and tailor your email accordingly? Or do you automate this tedious process with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator?
Sales Navigator is a simple Gmail add-on that automatically gives you an evidence how important social data from people who email you, helping you to create a relevant response based on where they live, what they’re tweeting about, and any other recent online activity. The information appears right in your inbox, where you can take action on it immediately.
It’s quite evident that automation and PR are not mutually exclusive. Public relations professionals can automate processes ,while not only staying true to the relationship part of the profession but also empower PR’s workflow.