By: Erika Goto (@thisiserikagoto)
To be completely honest, I had no clue what CRM stood for when I first looked at the syllabus during week 1. Maybe some of you were in the same boat as me and decided to look up what it was all about. Now that I’ve done some research, let me tell you a little more about CRM.
What is CRM?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. It is essentially what it sounds like – building and tracking relationships with your target audiences and customers. Every company knows that strong relationship building is the key to success. By having strong relationships with your audiences or customers, your company’s services will not only be used more, but will be talked about more. Some may think that CRM is solely a sales tool, but PR professionals certainly benefit from it as well. Tools such as Cision serve as a CRM tool for PR professionals and agencies.
How do PR professionals use CRM?
Like we’re told frequently, public relations is about who we know and the relationships we create. With that being said, CRM makes it easier for PR professionals to build, foster and maintain positive relationships with both their contacts and audiences. Here are some ways that PR professionals use CRM:
- Contact management: As a PR professional, you meet and connect with many industry professionals including potential clients and media contacts. It makes life much easier when these contacts are neatly organized in order to find them, especially in times of crisis. You can organize contacts with anything from specialty areas to geographic location.
- Track your contact list: Just as much as organizing your contacts, it is important to keep track of how your contacts are responding. With CRM, you will track the performance of the content that you sent to your contacts and that can determine if it needs a follow up. This can also help determine what works (and what doesn’t work) for certain contacts which you could note for next time.
- Keep in touch: Proactively keeping in touch with your contacts is key. It can open up new opportunities and the more you keep in touch, the more likely they will think of you when something comes up. By using CRM tools, you can even schedule when to start conversations or follow up with your contacts.
- Know your contacts: CRM tools allow you to make note of anything that you learn about your contacts. For example, if you find out what type of ice cream a contact likes, you can note that. By doing so, you’re able to create stronger personal relationships which can go a long way in this industry.
- Measure results: Analyzing and taking in feedback helps individuals and companies grow. By keeping up with the feedback from contacts and audiences, you are able to improve your content and focus on delivering content that receives well with both parties.
As students become PR professionals, CRM tools will most definitely come in handy.
Why is CRM so important?
This world revolves around people and human interaction. With that, it is so important to focus on who we meet and what type of impression we leave on them. Further, it isn’t just about that first interaction, but how you maintain that relationship that matters.