What role does technology play in Public Relations?
Technology is a new reality today, and its growing role moves the stress from the complementary position to the mandatory. The digital channels are not only a cheaper way of interaction – they become of key importance for effective reaching of consumers, shaping of relations and meeting business objectives. There are at least three important lessons for Public Relations from that conclusion.
Firstly, technology allows to easier and faster deliver what is important today – personalised services or information tailored to needs. Websites and mobile solutions will contain not only information we looked up earlier, but will also be matching time and place, where we are. The website of a clothes shop, opened at the skiing spa, will open on the section for skiers. While opening a restaurant website in the evening, we will first see the dinner dishes. Everything will be faster, simpler, made to measure. The potential is unlimited.
Secondly, technology transfers Public Relations ever closer to „hard” business. Thanks to technology and tools operated by PR, new markets can be won effectively, business models can be influenced and costs optimised. Options offered by the digital trading, allow e.g. to place retail orders directly with the producer, thus reducing the costs of products. Examples can be proliferated.
Thirdly, this is a great challenge for us – experts. If we want to keep the leader position in this area, we must continuously develop, keep pace with novelties offered by today’s technology. In this discipline it is easy to fall out of the pack.
What was the biggest challenge you had to face in 2015 and what you have learned from it?
The biggest challenge each year is the same: be closer, listen attentively and react faster to people’s needs, because they determine the success of each company. It is only the context that changes – there are situations each year to corroborate it. Undoubtedly, the most precious lesson last year was learned – and on this occasion also taught us all the lesson – one of the candidates for the President of Poland, who lost the seemingly won elections.
Be closer today is to be above all in the internet, and the bar is high. One way communication, mess ups and lack of authenticity is the first step to hell, since in the internet the distance between success and disgrace is very tight.
Listen more attentively for the Public Relations expert – means understanding and anticipating the needs of his audience. If our message is too detached from reality, they will start building distance and in effect resistance may grow.
React faster, means not to neglect planning. Nothing will limit our effectiveness more than bad, late or ultimately – failed-to-hit start of a campaign. Like the wrong spending of money and changed direction of activity under the pressure of a failure.
Top trend in 2016 that will have the biggest impact on PR?
Personalisation of communication at the mass scale – is undoubtedly a new quality and a very big challenge. Let us imagine delivering various versions of the same message to millions of users, including the whole matrix of variables: location, interest, purchase track. Every recipient gets for himself something, which draws his attention. The potential is huge. Changes in the message can be minute, though it is not hard to imagine positioning or presentation of the various attributes of the brands, matched to various age groups. A good example are toys – kids desire them, but decisions are usually made by adults. It would be priceless to reach from the level of one campaign different recipients with a different message, and all this with the use of network, which allegedly guarantees anonymity.