In the UK it's that time of year when everything gets thrown out of sync by public holidays. It's a LinkedIn focused edition of PR Futurist this time as Microsoft reports record growth for LinkedIn, which is yet more evidence as to why PR and communications people need to take it seriously.
There's also a provocative article by SEO and digital marketing guru Rand Fishkin who argues that marketing folk take attribution far too seriously. You won't hear any argument from us, as it's what we've been saying for years. PR folk often see marketing folk boasting about attribution and using it to 'prove' their success. It's often B*!!**!t, with a capital B. Read Rand's article and talk to us to learn more about what does and doesn't work when it comes to measuring and evaluating communications.
Finally, what's an issue of PR Futurist, without a mention of AI? This time it's another article examining the ethics.
Data, measurement, analytics
Provable marketing attribution is a boondoggle
This is a fascinating article that affirms what we're always telling clients. Attribution is dangerous. If it worked perfectly, attribution would be brilliant. But the fact is that despite amazing leaps in technology and what we can do, we still can't definitively track how people make decisions and end up doing something or buying something. There's lots we can measure and track, but we've got to be much smarter at how we do it. This is especially important for PR and communications professionals to understand, when we've got marketing colleagues making extraordinary claims for what they've achieved.
Stop using Excel as a database
If you're still using Excel as a database then please stop. It's a brilliant spreadsheet (have you experienced the wonders of pivot tables?), but an awful place to keep lists. Excel is not a database. One of the most popular tools we recommend is Airtable. It has a familiar spreadsheet view, but it also has forms, calendars, timelines and more. It has hundreds of templates for things as varied as event planning, content calendars, CRMs (contact relationship management), project management and more. It's powerful, easy to use, and it's also free, although the paid for version adds lots of extra functions and automation features. Disclaimer - it's an affiliate link, so Stuart gets $10 if you sign-up, even if it's just to the free plan, so what have you got to lose?
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Don't be shy. If you're thinking about any of the issues we highlight in the PR Futurist newsletter then get in touch. Talk to us about how you can modernise your PR and communications by investing in the right CommTech and ensuring your team gets the best out of it.