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By Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer October 6, 2015 Reading time: 5 minutes


Last week in New York, #TeamAirPR hosted the 2015 PRTech Awards to honor the leading minds in PR, Marketing, Technology and Media. Needless to say, the brainpower gathered in one room was staggering. (You can peruse a few snaps of the mind meld here.)

Everyone in attendance was there to acknowledge that our industry is at a great point of convergence and the future has never looked brighter for PR. The individuals honored were nominated because their innovative work is propelling the PRTech ecosystem forward at an unprecedented pace.

2015-PRTech-AwardsBesides having an excuse to throw a great party (isn’t that what PR pros do all day anyway?), this was also our opportunity to show gratitude to the folks who are bringing greater visibility to all the opportunities that exist in the PRTech space.

This is not just about the work AirPR is doing. It’s about recognizing that the work we do wouldn’t be nearly as impactful without all the other amazing companies who surround and complement us. As our sage Chief Strategy Officer astutely quoted (the African proverb), “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

And we want to go far…really, really far. Which means we are committed to going together.

In order to ensure everyone is properly equipped to tap into its power, we’ve recapped the 5 main tenets of PRTech below. These are are meant to reinforce the importance of this conversation and cement your adherence to this movement.

Let’s do this.

5 Main Tenets of PRTech

1. Technological Innovation

Technological innovation is ushering in some of the most exciting shifts the PR industry has seen and we should embrace this paradigm shift that helps us all be more strategic in our communication efforts. Instead of fearing or being overwhelmed by tech, we need to commit to researching new platforms and learning new skills that help us communicate better and measure PR smarter.

The PRTech ecosystem is quickly becoming STACKED with amazing tools to help PR pros do their job better, so dive in. Every tool in the ever-growing ecosystem is waiting to take PR to the next level.

2. Access To Data

PRTech is raising the industry’s “accountability bar” by demanding that PR professionals use data to drive and optimize their efforts. The best part? By tapping the tools and services that stem from technological innovation, PR has more data at its fingertips than ever before.

Though the volume of data can overwhelming at first, it’s when data becomes the foundation of PR’s decision making process that everyone sits up and takes notice. Data-driven decision making is the key to establishing PR as a significant piece of the digital marketing puzzle and a key driver of business.

3. Data Literacy

The ability to read, create, and communicate data as information (aka data literacy) is another key pillar of PRTech. It’s not just about accumulating data, it’s also finding and communicating meaning in the numbers. Luckily, there are number of resources in the PRTech ecosystem expressly devoted to helping PR pros tell stories using data.

What good is data if you can’t communicate the findings in a compelling and sharable manner? With more tools and resources available than ever, PRTech is rife with opportunities for PR pros to apply quantitative insights to their qualitative work. The future of PR depends on storytellers who can also look at data and infer possible outcomes.

4. Metrics That Matters

PRTech shifts the paradigm of the PR silo from “cost center” to “profit center” as the industry begins to have solid metrics to prove the true impact of PR beyond mere brand awareness. PRTech is providing companies and publishers insights into what is working in terms of content and messages. Access to data is allowing PR pros to capture user behavior, engagement, web traffic, and specific interactions across various digital properties.

Furthermore, PRTech is uncovering what really matters versus the numbers that make the ego feel good but don’t actually provide any true insight. In other words: let’s work smarter not harder.

5. Relationships

There is tremendous opportunity in the PRTech ecosystem, but the one thing we can never lose sight of is that relationships are, and always will be, at the heart of PR. Data can provide feedback on what works, but at the end of the day it’s always about people and how they think and feel.

Jennifer Hirsch, founder of Marked Point, put it best, “PR is a human discipline. Even if you never see your customers, you are having a very real impact on people making decisions. Use your intuition and emotional intelligence to walk in their shoes and then connect to them in real human ways.”

Data is empowering the industry to tell better stories, prove our value, and reach further. Measurement is providing robust audience insights that are invaluable to content production and social engagement. PR is moving fast and gaining ground and now is the time to harness the power to technological innovation to propel PR into the driver’s seat.

Buckle up. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.

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