In July, Forbes published an article ‘14 Apps Top PR Executives Can’t Live Without’ adding clarity and insight into a marketplace that can otherwise be overwhelming. With that notion, Public Relations Network (PRN) distributed a survey on the topic to its member agencies worldwide to gain further insight into how important apps/tools are to their work. The results differ slightly, depending on the region, but several overarching themes stood out.
What’s trending? The survey found that most (89%) respondents can’t live without apps/tools in their work, with many using them to stay organized and engaged. To this extent, apps that assist with account management, billing/accounting, general note taking, etc. help agencies stay organized, while others helped in staying engaged both privately (on WhatsApp or Slack) and publicly (on social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn). Of course, the results show that apps/tools for media distribution/monitoring and news collection are of relevance, but didn’t rank as important to respondents.
Regionally, certain apps are used more heavily than others, depending on trends in the market and high rates of use. An example of this is LINE, a messenger app used heavily in South Korea; when considering dissemination tools, LINE would be an obvious choice in the Asian nation, however, it would have little to no relevance in the South American context, for example. Interestingly, Twitter – one of the most popular apps worldwide – wasn’t mentioned as a ‘most used’ app by any of the agencies.
It didn’t come as a surprise that less than half (42%) of survey takers said Cision (and other press release distribution services) is/are the ‘most useful’ app(s)/tool(s) to their agency. As our industry continues to evolve, there has been a shift in focus from traditional media relations to social media dissemination given our ever-connected world.
How to find the right one?
With the abundance of apps/tools to choose from, it’s no wonder that not one respondent to this survey found it easy to find the right app for the right job. There’s simply an overwhelming amount of tools, and no streamlined way to find what you are looking for. A number of agencies mentioned that because of the cluttered marketplace, they test, trial, and compare apps/tools until they find what works best for their needs.
What’s true is that PR professionals always have their finger on the pulse of industry changes. As our world modernizes, and people become inundated with options, there will always be clear shifts in how we live, communicate, and share. As PR practitioners, and citizens of the world, we are excited to see what that next big “shift” will be.
Disclaimer: the ‘PRN Survey – Best Apps/Tools for PR Practitioners’ survey was distributed on July 22, 2019 to active members of the Public Relations Network. The survey received an 86% completion rate and collected data from our agency partners around the world.