How will technology change the shape of PR and comms businesses? Jon Hughes on the PRmoment Podcast

Welcome to the latest PRmoment Podcast. This week I’m talking to ex Golin CEO Jon Hughes. These days Jon describes himself as a Senior advisor specialising in technology and corporate communications.

Jon’s been looking at how technology is likely to change the shape of PR and communications businesses over the medium term and he’s giving us an insight into these ideas today.

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2.00 mins What Jon has been up to since he left Golin

3.20 mins Why does Jon believe PR firms are behind their marcomms peers in their use of technology?

4.00 mins Why the PR sector has now got a hunger for speed.

4.56 mins How the pandemic has brought an explosion of data that is available for marketers - ”every digital breadcrumb is available for analysis.”

6.40 mins “Marketing is way ahead of PR in terms of using technology and automation” 

8.25 mins “There are 2 big buckets for technology (use in PR):  integration and agility.”

10 mins CMOs role within businesses are changing and that will have implications for PR people

10.45 mins Large brands have invested heavily in CRM systems and they are using these for paid and owned media - Jon predicts they will need to use these expensive pieces of marcoms software for earned media as well.

11.17 mins According to Gartner 26% of marketing budgets are now spent on martech and 58% of the martech stack is left unused.

12.20 mins To what extent is martech technology useful for automating large amounts of PR practice?

13.41 mins Why data and insight is “creating a growing rift between clients and brands and some agencies where clients feel their agencies are no longer keeping pace with them.”

15.40 mins Post pandemic agencies need to “re-look at what they do, there’s no point trying to automate what you did in the offline world - it’s a new environment now.”

20 mins Why the media database business model has been blown apart.

22.45 mins More integration is coming both for agencies and in-house teams - CMOs are increasingly going to want a “single view.”

24 mins How Jon sees the PR tech market developing

25 mins There are around 8000 martech solutions, and less than 1% of which relate to public relations

26.41 mins Why prediction of media trends tech is an interesting area for PR, “because that has always been public relations’ Achilles heel.” 

28.10 mins Why the visualisation of data is an important area for PR tech.

29 mins Why a lot of the best technology for PR is not PR tech.

32 mins “There is no one software vendor that does it all, they may do part of it really well and you then supplement with..point solutions” to build your PR Stack.

33 mins “Your PR stack needs to automate and integrate everything you so”, whether your agency or client side.

34 mins “What you do with the data, how you bring the data together, how you cross reference it... that is the magic, that is the opportunity, that is the value.”

35 mins A warning from Jon for agencies thinking of developing their own tools “The fact of the matter is that agencies are usually pretty awful at developing their own technology”

38 mins Agencies need to think about how they can integrate their PR software into martech like Marketo and Hubspot.


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