3 Ways To Make the Most of Your PR Software

When you invest in public relations software, you also need to invest your time. How can you get the most out of these tools? Keep reading to learn more.

Rachel Cwang

March 04, 2022

When you invest in public relations software, you also need to invest your time. Time to learn how to use it, time to set it up correctly, and time to maintain its function. While most PR software provides tools for measuring social media engagement and promises time savings on tedious tasks, you first need to invest time up front to benefit from this.

At minimum, you should be carving out 1 hour a week per module for onboarding, 1 hour per week for ongoing tasks post-onboarding, and 1 hour on a monthly or quarterly basis to evaluate your strategy. That may sound like a lot, until you think about how much time you spent doing all those tedious tasks that you purchased the PR software to improve. 

So, what should you be doing in this allotted time? And how do you make sure that you get the most out of your PR software? Keep reading to learn more!
 

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1.    Have a Success Plan for Your PR Software

A success plan is a document that states what you are trying to achieve and how you will achieve it. It’s your roadmap to reap all the benefits that your PR software promises. 

The key elements of your success plan are as follows:

  • Desired outcomes: What is it you are trying to achieve with this tool? Be careful not to answer this question with use cases. Use cases describe how you are going to achieve your desired outcomes using the tool. To get to your ultimate desired outcomes, keep asking yourself “so, what?” until you reach an answer that either increases revenue or decreases costs. We all know business is about the bottom line and if a software doesn’t help you to improve it, what is it doing?
     
  • Key performance indicators: How will you know whether you were successful or not unless you can measure it? You won’t. Ideally, you can identify both lagging and leading indicators to measure your success. 
    • Lagging indicators are metrics that tell you if you have achieved your ultimate desired outcomes.
    • Leading indicators are metrics that tell you if you are on-track to achieve your ultimate desired outcomes. 
      • For example, if sales revenue is your lagging indicator, a leading indicator could be the number of marketing qualified leads.
         
  • Roles: Who is responsible for what? When purchasing a PR software, it is important to understand who the decision maker is, who the administrators are, and who the end-users are. Within each of those groups, you may need to specify even further, who is responsible for which use cases.
     
  • Value by module or function: Sometimes, people purchase software and are excited by the shiny new tools i.e. tools for measuring social media engagement. But sometimes it’s not perfectly clear how each of these tools will support their desired outcomes. It is important to tie each module or major piece of functionality back to what you are trying to achieve so that you know why you are using it.
     
  • Account setup tasks: What are the tasks that need to be completed to be able to reach that place of efficiency? We recommend creating a complete project plan that includes these tasks, in the correct order, who they will be completed by, and when. That way, when someone asks you when you will have everything set up by, you will be able to answer them!
     
  • Ongoing tasks: Account setup gets you to the place of efficiency, but then you need to stay there. Listing out all the regular tasks that will need to be completed by each stakeholder, and when, will keep you and your team organized. 
     

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2.    Conduct a PR Software Feature Audit

If you have had PR software for a while, it’s likely that you have become complacent. You use the features that you are comfortable with (i.e. tools for measuring social media engagement) and may be stagnant in your success. 

In all your busyness, you may have forgotten about a feature that you didn’t have a chance to implement previously, or there may have been new features added that you are not even aware of. At the very least, on an annual basis, you should be reviewing all the features in your PR software to see if there are ones that you are not taking advantage of.

If any unused features can support your desired outcomes, that is an opportunity to get more value! The more features that are integrated into one platform, the more opportunities you will have.

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3.    Schedule Regular Success Reviews

Remember those lagging and leading indicators that you defined in your success plan? How are you trending on those? 

We all know measurement and evaluation are important, but we need to carve out time to do it. On a monthly or quarterly basis, we recommend reviewing your indicators to determine whether you achieved your desired outcomes or not. If you did, remember to celebrate! It’s important to celebrate all the wins! If you didn’t, find out why. Determine what could be done differently and add those tasks to your success plan.

If any of this seems overwhelming, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Most PR software companies will assign you a Client Success Manager to hold your hand through the entire process. They are there to explain how things work, provide support as you work through the tasks, and hold you accountable to move along your success plan. 

Don’t be shy to lean on them, as they are your partners in success. 
 

Do It All With the Notified PR Platform

Thanks for reading! We hope this blog helps you get the most out of your PR software.

Notified offers PR software that’s integrated, intelligent and easy to use. The Notified PR platform provides tools for measuring social media engagement, media monitoring, a media contacts database, press release distribution, newsroom publishing, and PR measurement

You get user-friendly tools in one place – no more disconnected systems and logins.

Real-time data and analytics flow seamlessly, providing a unified data layer and single source of truth to help you measure your performance and ROI across social media and earned media. Schedule a demo today.