21 March 2017 Business PR Musings

Why PR is about people and not automated tech platforms

Whether you like it or not, automated tech is here to stay. In the PR industry, automated tech platforms have made aspects of our roles more efficient, such as putting together coverage reports, scheduling social media posts or collating SEO activity. Sending out press releases and searching for journalist requests, can be accomplished with the click of a button. Yet recently, we have noticed a few services offering to automate the whole PR process.

We say effective PR is more than just a press release. When making the decision to hire a PR professional or agency, you’re not just gaining someone’s ability to write a press release, more importantly, you are benefitting from that professional’s relationships and knowledge of the media landscape. Yes, an automated platform can blast out 1000 press releases to a list of media. What it can’t do, however, is foster and keep personal relationships with the journalists it’s reaching out to. An automated platform isn’t going to remember that George Osborne is also a member of parliament, or that Mike Butcher from TechCrunch, just isn’t interested in your most recent product update. Fostering successful working relationships with the media is what PR professionals do and this can’t be replaced with a generic email send to everyone.

You see, media want creativity and great storytelling and that can’t be automated. Coming up with ideas for campaigns that specifically support business milestones such as global expansion, new product launches or partnerships with other brands, requires people that think creatively and quickly. What makes these ideas successful, is identifying new stories gleaned and pulling elements together to make them worthy of media coverage or what’s shareable. This process cannot be done through automation.

That’s not to say automated platforms don’t have their place, (creating coverage reports in particular!) but they are best used supplementing our working lives, not taking over them!

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