3 Tips to Increase Adoption of Your PR Relationship Management Platform
When a public relations firm purchases a PR relationship management platform, the main goal is often to centralize reporter and client information across the entire firm.
However, if employees fail to adopt the system, the chances of the system living up to its full potential are slim. This fear is common in the PR world, where many professionals cling onto Excel spreadsheets to manually manage media lists and client contact databases. But with a new wave of technologies that help to automate and streamline these lists and processes, it’s time to embrace both change and new technology.
In addition to centralizing key information, a relationship management platform can introduce a wealth of other benefits, like up-to-date account health and improved reporter and influencer relationships.
But even if your firm recognizes these potential benefits and invests in such a tool, it can still be a long road to get your team to leave its old ways and adopt the platform.
Here are three tips to improve the implementation process and increase the chances of your PR CRM adoption:
1. Put the right team in place.
Create a task force or committee that will help all members of your firm transition onto the relationship management platform. This group can set best practices and answer any support questions. The committee can also serve as a liaison to your chosen vendor – this can be especially useful during your initial migration of existing data. Open communication will ensure that your firm’s needs are met and any technical difficulties are taken care of in a timely manner.
2. Move swiftly, but allow for a transition period.
It’s only natural that employees will resist change (some more than others). Once you purchase the software, don’t waste any time before starting the transition. But if some are struggling to move off Excel, allow for a grace period. Set a deadline, and pay extra attention to employees who are having trouble letting go of their spreadsheets. If you try to force people over too quickly without proper training, they could fail to adopt altogether.
3. Emphasize benefits and highlight successes early on.
Many PR firms that switch over to a relationship management platform have horror stories about the lack of communication across the firm before they made the switch. Maybe two account executives pitched the same reporter at once. Maybe two different branches of the firm were proposing to the same client. Once you transition over to a centralized system, however, these oversights become a thing of the past, and relationships with reporters and clients begin to improve rapidly.
For example, if an account executive logs into the platform and sees that a colleague has a great relationship with a specific reporter, that connection can be leveraged to secure glowing coverage for a client. Once you see start to see multiple instances of anecdotal success, circulate these stories in an internal newsletter or email. The more your employees are exposed to the benefits of CRM, the more likely they will be to start adopting the system.