Since we started SourceCode over two years ago, there has been no shortage of exciting new experiences. In this new role, I’m not just a public relations professional; I’m also an entrepreneur. This mix has allowed me to really hone in on my own PR skills (and build a kickass team doing the same in the process), but it’s also given me, and my partner Becky, the autonomy to ask two important questions: how can we continue becoming better at what we do, and – perhaps just as importantly – what new tools or strategies should we be using to get us there?

This position has also given me a stage to share this expertise with other interested PR professionals, whether they’re also considering branching out on their own, or simply want to sharpen their day-to-day activities. That’s why when I was asked to participate in the ‘Create Better PR Campaigns’ PR Week Webinar at the end of 2019, it was a no-brainer.

I was given the opportunity to steer my portion of the conversation into an area of my choosing. The possibilities were endless, but I wanted to identify a topic that we are experienced in at SourceCode, and also one I knew would not only be beneficial to participants, but also insightful, maybe even brand-new. With that, I landed on discussing the process of bringing data-driven insights into PR through the adoption of technology.

As a practice, PR has typically revolved around individual instinct and knowledge. But as PR becomes more integrated with Marketing and a company’s overall bottom line, it’s becoming increasingly important to back those recommendations up with hard data. At SourceCode, we’ve identified three main categories of technology that have been central to our pivot toward data-driven PR:

  • Listening tools: To keep a pulse on what audiences are responding to, what competitors are saying and what topics are getting traction in the media.

  • Efficiency tools: To do the (important but) tedious part of our jobs better and faster, so we can focus on our time and energy on the more creative aspects of our role.

  • Measurement tools: To directly gauge output and either validate or invalidate our strategies, which in turn can inform our decisions moving forward.

These tools have been an integral part of our campaign strategy process at SourceCode, and we’ve found that they’ve really resonated with our clients, as well. Take, for example, pitching a creative idea that might push a client outside of their comfort zone. Before we had these technologies, we found that nine times out of ten, the company struggled to visualize the value in pursuing these campaigns. But now, with the data to back up our recommendations, we’re seeing a greater amount of buy-in from our clients, which in turn is helping us drive them to be more creative, grab media attention and be part of higher level conversations.

There’s no right way to kick off your tech PR journey. But at SourceCode, we know data-driven PR is the future of the industry. That’s why we’re serious about our tech stack, and committed to getting it right through a trial and error approach. Each tool we’ve adopted has all had their pros and cons, and we’ve kept some and discontinued others for a multitude of reasons. But across every tech platform we’ve tried, one clear sentiment has rung true: technology – in any shape or form – exponentially improves what we do every day.