Folks in the PR world are instinctually innovative and hungry. Everyone earns their chops pitching media and with how fast the media world is changing PR professionals have had to change their approach to stay up with the times. Crazy to think that not too long ago, Twitter wasn’t important, and we accessed media info in those awful big, green books. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is how PR firms manage relationships, the life blood of a PR firm. Generally speaking, all relationships are managed in Excel spreadsheets, rather than in a CRM.
Let’s imagine this. You’re firm has 50 accounts and 10 account executives managing those 50 accounts. That means each account executive has 5 accounts, and ~5 media lists to manage. That totals up to 50 spreadsheets! Now, with the nature of spreadsheets, imagine that an AE learns that a reporter switches their outlet. The common workflow is now to email the firm with the update and hope that all 50 spreadsheets are updated, which realistically speaking, never happens. As a result of this, AE’s have to spend an unnecessary amount of time qualifying media lists and will often pitch reporters on outdated information, hurting your firms brand image.
There’s a better way though! Your firm should evaluate a CRM, one central location for all media relationships to live. This way, once someone makes an update on a reporter, it automatically will update every media across your organization. Additionally, it’s an easy way to identify who internally has strong relationships with key outlets/reporters. This allows your media team to better leverage internal relationships with reporters and to work smarter.
All in all, the world of PR is constantly evolving. Those who fail to innovate, fail to succeed. If your firm is still using Excel to operate your business, you may want to think twice about that.