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5 ways PR pros can use CRM
CRM or customer relationship management, isn’t just for sales professionals. Anyone who says that CRM is strictly a sales tool hasn't done their due diligence. CRM is a relationship management tool, and who values their relationships more than a marketing or public relations exec? Especially in PR, success is earned from the relationships you keep. I used to work in PR, and I’ve never seen so many spreadsheets and sticky notes. However, it wasn’t until I stared working with a CRM that I realized its true value for anyone working with media lists, media outreach, and social media.
So, as a former public relations professional, here are 5 ways I used a CRM for success.
1. Contact management
Put all of your media contacts into the CRM. Instead of spreadsheets, keep them in one accessible place. You will be able to easily find any contact you need, view all of their information, and much more. Most CRMs have custom user-defined fields you setup to help gather and store information about that person, like where they work, where they live, and much more.
2. Track your media contacts
Find out if any of the contacts you sent a pitch or story to actually opened your email, visited your website, or took some other action. A CRM with integrated marketing will let you see all of this information, giving you the power to see whether your media contact is actually interested in your product. For example, if you send an email that they never opened, perhaps follow up with them, try another subject line, or switch up your pitch. Analytics like these are a goldmine for PR pros!
3. Schedule follow ups
Chances are you spend a lot of your time following up with those you contact. Being able to set follow up dates, makes sure no pitch falls through the cracks. You can also set automatic notifications if one of your contacts hits a certain point threshold for perusing your website, opening an email, etc.
4. Tag for better organization
Tag each journalist, blogger, reporter, etc. to help you organize and find the right contact when you need them. Create tags for each beat or topic and make sure you tag each contact you add. For example, if you want to find a tech blogger, specializing in new apps, you can easily sort through your contacts and pitch the right person.
5. Develop more personal relationships
CRMs let you collect more intimate data about your media contacts. The more information you have, the better you get to know them, resulting in a deeper relationship. Public relations is so based on the relationships you have, so remember (making a note in your CRM) that your contact at TechCrunch likes Game of Thrones, might just give you a leg up the next time you try and pitch a story.
Bonus Tip: Collect social data.
Find out what your influencers are chatting about on social when you utilize social CRM to monitor conversations and social activity.
CRM is NOT just a sales tool; in fact, it is a very highly efficient way for public relations professionals to make their outreach more effective.