With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, our thoughts naturally gravitate to expressions of love and appreciation. Those can extend beyond personal connections to the professional tools and trends that have captured our hearts in the PR industry. So as we celebrate the month of romance, it’s a good moment to send some love to the tools that PR professionals value every day. They’re not infatuations, but rather lasting relationships that make our work lives better.
It’s impossible to ignore the near-obsession with generative AI, particularly ChatGPT. ChatGPT is not new, but it dominates our conversations. And with good reason – generative AI has become a staple in PR, offering a new level of ideas to content creation, brainstorming, and even strategy development. Our CEO, Dorothy, has written about the need for PR to embrace ChatGPT.
But ChatGPT isn’t the alpha in this relationship. It should never have the final word, because human oversight is needed. Whether it’s true love or love-hate, our leadership encourages its use for first drafts of written content, research synthesis, rote reports, and more. The more we “feed” the technology, the smarter it becomes and the more it understands our voice and style. It’s not a fling, but a long-term commitment to staying ahead in the PR game.
Data-driven decision making has radically changed marketing, and its use in PR is more than a flirtation. Today, PR strategy is often informed by data insights. PR teams use data tools and platforms to glean patterns and insight from media coverage, measure audience engagement, and quantify campaign performance. Examples of data-driven PR include media coverage analysis to identify effective outlets and journalists, audience engagement metrics for optimizing content strategies, and campaign performance evaluation through web analytics. In general, it allows for more targeted approaches, ensuring that PR efforts are not only effective, but also efficient, maximizing ROI and making the hearts of budget-conscious clients and managers flutter.
Media relations tools like Muck Rack and Qwoted have become indispensable to PR teams as technology evolves. We like to think our devotion is reciprocated as well. Because we need to stay on top of media moves and changes, we depend on these tools for the latest and best updates.
These relationships aren’t exclusive, however. Among others, Muck Rack and Qwoted serve different purposes, but they’ve recently become so valuable that we don’t know what we’d do without them. Muck Rack is not only our go-to media database for journalist research, but a media monitoring tool for coverage and share-of-voice reports on a moment’s notice. The ability to pitch via Muck Rack and track things like opens and bouncebacks has helped streamline our targeted media lists. Unlike Muck Rack, Qwoted is a new platform, and we are enamored! Like HARO and ProfNets, it has delivered new media opportunities for our client spokespersons. The creation of profiles highlighting expertise, subject matter and recent media coverage has helped us secure some quick wins, and who doesn’t love that?
The passion for learning and development among PR teams is more vibrant than ever. Within the last year, our group has set aside time for company-wide training sessions to strengthen our skills and share valuable tips and tricks. These sessions, led by team members ranging from account coordinators to VPs, foster a culture of continuous improvement and knowledge sharing. Topics can be tactical, like how to improve on briefing documents; running client calls like a boss; how to promote yourself on social media; tips for better note taking; and how to use everyone’s favorite, ChatGPT for PR planning. These collaborative sessions not only enhance our skills but also strengthen our team bond—proving we are stronger together.
In a PR person’s career, the guidance and support of a manager-mentor are invaluable. Nearly 10 years in, I’ve met many people whom I consider vital in helping me shape my career. Having someone (or a rolodex of mentors) in PR to look to for advice, feedback, and encouragement is crucial for growth. I’ve gained insights that can help navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and develop professional skills. And I’m particularly grateful to have mentors with whom I can be open and candid during tough times and tricky situations. It’s a professional love that fuels personal growth and success and deepens connections in the industry.