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How Can Public Relations And Journalism Benefit By Using CRM?

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How Can Public Relations And Journalism Benefit By Using CRM.

CRM is the abbreviation of Customer Relationship Management. This system is widely used all around the globe and its popularity keeps on growing day by day. CRM has all the potential to automatize the way we maintain business management on a daily basis. Such sectors as sales, marketing, and customer service can’t imagine its functionality without this tool. Everybody can benefit with CRM to boost communication, productivity, and cooperation between team members.

When it comes to Public Relations, the situation is slightly different. There are still a lot of PR specialists who prefer to use old-school solutions for handling workflows/spreadsheets, managing a vast amount of data, sending media files, and tracking project progress. Do you know that around 60% of public relations specialists prefer using such a tool as spreadsheets for trading?! Let’s see how CRM can help PR handle working issues. 

The Definition of CRM

Customer Relationship Management is a powerful tool for business. It enables a business owner to build an efficient strategy and boost productivity. By using CRM, a business organization is able to keep focused on its relationships with colleagues, partners, suppliers, service users, and clients. It is wrong to think that only salespeople use CRM in their practice. There are many other sectors, for example, Public Relations, Human Resource, Customer Support Services, that can benefit a lot after implementing this technology.

What Are the Advantages of a CRM Tool in PR/journalism?

CRM system is efficient in eliminating the usage of spreadsheets and notes when it comes to organizing Public Relations Management workflow. These are the tools old-school journalists and public relations specialists use to keep their work well-organized.

Here are seven ways a Journalist or a PR pro can benefit from using CRM technology:

  • Storing/managing your social media contacts

The first advantage of the CRM tool is its ability to manage/store all the social media contacts of your organization in a separate database file. We recommend you use the tool for eliminating multiple spreadsheets created in Excel and storing such data as emails,  correspondence, documents, invoices, media handles, event reminders, and conversations associated with a particular blogger/journalist/influencer in a single place. You must know that your CRM system has a special feature for managing and structuring contacts with tags, which you can customize according to your business needs.

  • Tracking media/business contacts for future follow-ups

As a PR expert, you have to deal with bloggers/journalists/influencers on a regular basis. These are the people you deal with the most. Indeed, it is an essential task, but it is very time-consuming. Thanks to integrating the CRM system into your organization, you’ll automate a lot of tasks, such as scheduling and sending follow-up emails. It is a way to get rid of a long chain of emails between your organization and media contact.

  • Public Relations driven by data

When you perform any kind of business operation, it has to be based on the most relevant data concerning the market, metrics, and analytical results. CRM is able to provide a vast amount of data and assist you in improving the needed correspondences or finding bloggers/influencers who might be interested in your PR services. Do you know that you can even check whether your sent email has been opened or your blog/site has been viewed?! All this helps to make your PR campaign efficient. Besides, you can share your report with the entire team.

  • Integrating various tools within one CRM system

It is possible to integrate several tools for tracking your PR activities on many social media platforms, such as Gmail, Google Analytics, etc. Tracking PR activities with your own business have never been so simple! You will stop wasting your time keeping track of metrics on many different online platforms. CRM provides a dashboard to make your business decisions based on data.

  • Cooperating with your PR team members

The demand for PR experts grows, so many agencies have big teams. By using the CRM tool you can work closely with multiple team members under the same project. You’ll have a clear idea who works under pitching certain media requests, what reporters they deal with, or whether there are people they’ve already reached out to several times. If you do not work on structuring your team workflow, your public relations work will become a real nightmare. CRM is efficient in organizing a big number of conversations with partners, clients, and other media contacts. You won’t find a better approach to communicate with your group and keep everybody informed about the most up-to-date news.

  • Monitoring social media news

When it comes to finding new public relation opportunities, social listening is one of the essential keys to success. The CRM system is able to track the most recent social media news, people’s discussions on forums/chat rooms, conversations about your organization/startup, and information about your top competitors. This data can be efficiently used for identifying the most relevant public relation opportunities. Do not lose your chance to build meaningful relationships with top influencers, bloggers, and journalists in your industry.

  • Boost personal relations with insights

A successful and experienced PR expert knows that his/her success is based on strong relationships built within the organization and outside contacts. We mean your colleagues, clients, social media influencers, and other representatives of the media space. A CRM tool can show the data about all your existing contacts and their preferences in movies, music, literature, etc. Knowing this personal data is essential when it is time to send suitable pitches. Besides, it will help you build a strong bond with your target audience.

Final Words

CRM has vast potential in managing PR workflow and boosting its efficiency. In this article, we have just described the top pros of the tool, but there are much more to discover and implement in your organization. We encourage you to explore this online platform for enhancing pitches, monitoring contacts, tracking social presence, and boosting management within your organization.

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Journalism

Article: Trust and Journalistic Transparency Online

Patricia Cruz

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The study “Trust and Journalistic Transparency Online” by Michael Koliska from Georgetown University experimented on news consumers’ trust as brought on by transparency, and further, in the second experiment, explored the reasons for the findings in the first.

Transparency in journalism is defined as opening up the journalistic processes (production, decision making) to outsiders, i.e. making journalism more transparent. Karlsson (2010, 2020) further divides transparency into disclosure, participatory, and ambient transparency. 

Defining trust, on the other hand, in journalism has been tricky, as it has been associated with credibility. Kohring and Matthes (2007) define the four elements of trust: 1. trust in topic selectivity; 2. trust in fact selectivity; 3. trust in accuracy of descriptions, and 4. trust in journalistic assessment. 

This study recruited its participants from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) platform. There were a total of 1092 participants. They were presented with a news story about nanoparticles – a topic that was unfamiliar to most and therefore had a low risk of partisan opinions. The article was presented in six different webpages that had differing transparency items in them.

There were 11 different trust items in the first experiment. Based on the results, the hypotheses were rejected. They were H1: A a) production transparency news item and a b) producer transparency news item will be trusted more than a non-transparent item. H2: A full transparency (both production and producer transparency) news item will be trusted more than a) a non-transparent article, b) a production transparency article, and c) a producer transparency article. And H3a: A full transparency news item will be trusted more than a full transparent article that includes biased information about the producer. H3b: A producer transparency news item with neutral personal information will be trusted more than a producer transparency article with biased information.

Nevertheless, the participants agreed that the journalist was trustworthy and that they sometimes trusted the news media. On results, it was speculated that the participants did not recognize the transparency features as cognitive heuristics and did not interact much with the transparency items. 

The second experiment was similar. There were a total of 379 participants, who were not the same as in the first one. They were assigned to read the same article as in the first about nanoparticles, placed again on five different webpages with varying transparency features.  

Further on, the participants were asked to recall the transparency features (such as hyperlinks, author bio, editorial explanations etc.) and to recall specific information from the article and the transparency features. 

The participants recalled items such as the photo (84% of the ones assigned to the webpage with a photo) only 34% could correctly identify the journalist. Similarly, 53% of those who had seen an editorial explanation recalled it, but only 26% could recall a detail from it. Participants also had trouble recalling the individual transparency features they were exposed to.

It was noted that the participants had better recall on items that were part of the actual story than the ‘digitally outsourced’ transparency items. It is possible that this information is not adequately processed or they failed to acknowledge the utility of this information. 

In conclusion, it still remains unclear how the link between transparency and audience’s trust is created. The question remains on whether news consumers recognize transparency features as markers of journalistic quality.

The article “Trust and Journalistic Transparency Online” by Michael Koliska is in Journalism Studies. (open access). 

Picture: scrabble tiles spelling trust by Ronda Dorsey.

License Unsplash. 

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Journalism

News ideology and media storms in France and Israel

Patricia Cruz

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The article “What Happens in the Eye of the Storm? News Ideology During Media Storms” by Doron Shultziner from Hadassah Academic College looked at the nexus of news ideology and media storms using two media storms to analyze the topic: the Yellow Vests Movement (2018) in France and the Occupy Movement (2011) in Israel.

Media storms are defined as events or topics that take up a substantial part of the coverage for a period of time. They typically peak after few weeks in the beginning and then begin to fade. They have been studied widely with various terms being applied to them like “media event” or “media hypes”.

In the past 15 years, there has been an increase in the amount of studies on media ideology. Measured against the hypothetical gold standard of pure objectivity, media bias can be seen when coverage varies from source to another in different weighings and so on, with professional considerations having been overtaken by ideological ones.

The ideology is often seen in framing – as in this case, left-wing media tends to frame the protests positively and right-wing negatively. This was one of the topics in this study.
There were two data sets for the study: the Israeli one and the French one. The Israeli dataset consisted of coverage from Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel Hayom, Maariv, Haaretz, Makor Rishon (a national-religious newspaper), and Yated Neeman (an ultra-religious newspaper). Israel Hayom, Makor Rishon, and Yated Neeman are right-wing, the rest are left wing.

The French dataset consisted of coverage from Le Figaro, Le Monde, Libération, and L’Obs – listed here from right to left ideologically. The articles from both datasets were coded either positive, negative, or neutral based on several criteria.

The results show that media storms are a multi-media phenomenon, affecting a number of newspapers at once. The findings also demonstrate a media bias: if professional considerations were the only thing that mattered, the coverage in left- and right-wing media would have resembled each other.

Instead, there was a trend of negative coverage in right-wing media and positive in left – and what is more, the lines of coverage moved to opposite directions, showing increased polarization. There were differences between the storms: in the Israel case the newspapers chose their sides early and there was no significant move, but in France the lines diverged as the media storm went on.

News ideology also operated through production bias mechanisms, such as sizing of articles or their placement in the newspaper (front page or somewhere else). Due to the differences of the two cases, the hypotheses regarding the decline stage of the storm were hard to assess.

The author notes that the study has implications for future research. It proposes that media storms may be high-risk events that even challenge the ideology and interests of the news organizations. As important, politically charged events become media storms, they may become political storms instead.

The article “What Happens in the Eye of the Storm? News Ideology During Media Storms” by Doron Shultziner is in International Journal of Communication. (free access).

Picture: Storm Approaching by Johannes Plenio @jplenio.
License Unsplash.

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Covering women’s sport: My sports journalism career highlights

Patricia Cruz

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There has never been a better time to work in women’s sport and for early-career sports reporters, the opportunities are endless.

Here, multimedia sports reporter Milly McEvoy shares how she has covered everything from the Olympics and Paralympics to international women’s cricket and football tournaments, only a year after finishing her sports journalism course.

In June 2021, fresh off finishing my Multimedia Sports Journalism qualification with in Manchester, I made the move down to London to join Sportsbeat as a reporter.

It feels like a lifetime ago, but what has come in between also feels like a blur – it has involved international rugby and football, the British Athletics Championships and domestic cricket and netball (and lots more) in person. 

I have also covered the Summer Olympics and Paralympics, Wimbledon, the Commonwealth Games, remotely and I have had the opportunity to interview sportspeople involved from the grassroots to the top of the game. 

On top of all that, I spent two months covering the Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. 

As I came to the end of my history degree in 2020, I already knew I wanted to be a sports journalist, but I started thinking about what form that would take. 

I quickly settled on women’s sport. 

I had always kept an eye on women’s sport, and proudly say the first sporting event I ever attended was a Women’s Euros football match in 2005, but my interest in sport came from what was easily available – and even two years ago most women’s sport wasn’t. 

2020 was a slippery slope to full-on obsession including listening to the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup final on 8 March in the early morning on the radio. 

Even across the airwaves, the sound of 86,174 people packing into the MCG showed to me that there was plenty of appetite for women’s sport, people just need to be able to see it – and read about it. 

Fast forward two years and Australia were winning another World Cup, but this time, I was there to see it with my own eyes before heading to the press conference to speak with captain Meg Lanning. 

What had led to that point at around 9pm on 3 April 2022 was two months covering one of the most exciting tournaments cricket has ever seen, and I’m luckily not yet jaded enough to have cursed having to rewrite my match reports as momentum swung wildly in several games. 

I learnt so much from covering that World Cup producing over 120 previews, reports, reaction pieces and features, but my favourite one was the last thing I did in Aotearoa, speaking with a slightly hungover Grace Harris the day after she had won the World Cup. 

Having returned to the UK, I enjoyed a full circle moment in July as I covered the Women’s Euros, and just like the 2020 T20 World Cup, I watched from afar as 87,192 fans cheered the home team to victory. 

Except, this time I was writing the match report for the Lionesses and I couldn’t get into the Wembley press box because there were so many people eager to cover women’s sports. 

It feels like England’s win will be a turning point for women’s sport, one that is long overdue, and I am excited to be part of what is to come and grateful and proud to have been a small part of what has already been. 

You can find out more about our multimedia sports journalism course here.

For a taster of our award-winning journalism training, sign up for one of our free workshops here.

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