Customer relationship management, or CRM, helps sales, media and PR professionals manage their interactions with current and potential clients in an effort to grow their businesses. CRM is so much more than a sales tool, it’s a relationship management tool; a public relations CRM, for example, helps PR reps nurture their client relationships in a more organized fashion. Being organized helps streamline your daily tasks with clients, and helps clients have a rewarding business experience with you as well.
A CRM eliminates the need for spreadsheets and Post-it Notes and whatever else it takes to keep all of the correspondence you do with your clients organized. You also won’t have to do business out of your inbox anymore. For example, a media relations CRM holds much value for anyone working with media lists, media outreach, and social media in general.
Here are five ways a PR professional can benefit from using a media relations CRM:
1. Managing contacts
A CRM allows you to store all of your contacts in one place. No longer will you have to rely on an array of spreadsheets that you keep for each individual person. A CRM allows you to store contact information, birthdays, social media handles, files, documents, contracts, meeting history, payments and invoices, email correspondence, follow-up tasks and anything else that pertains to that particular client. Most CRMs allow you to customize your fields so you can organize your information and make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for when the time comes.
Side note: Maintaining relationships on social media helps PR reps get an extra glimpse into what their clients are chatting about with a social CRM that monitors conversations and social activity.
2. Track your metrics
A CRM provides a wealth of information when it comes to analytics. Just from this one tool, you can gauge whether someone opened your email, looked at your website, how much time they spent on site and if they made some kind of conversion. A CRM will reveal all the metrics you need so you can see where your correspondence can benefit from improvement and if your media contact is truly interested in your product. For example, you can see how long someone read your last email campaign before they suddenly bounced, giving you a chance to see what the email was lacking and what it would need for someone to increase their time on the page before the next mailing goes out. You’ll also have the ability to establish notifications if one of your metrics goals was achieved in the way of your website getting a certain amount of hits or surpassing your last email open rate.
3. Have consistent follow-ups
Using a CRM eliminates the back-and-forth it sometimes takes for you and your client to agree on a meeting time. Now you can set availability on your booking page, email the link, and schedule and manage appointments from there. This kind of automation allows you to set follow-up dates, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. You can also set a follow-up schedule that will prompt your CRM to send subsequent messages to your clients after the initial contact is made.
4. Create segments and tags
Segmenting your contacts in a CRM by industry, job title, location, whether they’re potential clients or long-term customers, will help you stay organized and locate the correct contact when needed. Once you’ve sufficiently segmented them, you can create tags for each topic. Make sure you tag each contact when you’re adding them into the system so you don’t have to worry about doing it later. Tagging will streamline how you sort your contacts and ensure that you send a proposal to the right person.
5. Develop more personal relationships
PR reps measure their success based on their relationships with their contacts. A media relations CRM will allow you to collect more informal data about your media contacts including what their interests are such as favorite color, TV show or movie, band or genre of music they prefer. The more information you have along these lines, the better you can gauge their personalities and cater to their interests on a deeper level, resulting in stronger, potentially long-standing relationships.
Again, a public relations CRM can be so much more than a sales tool; you have endless possibilities in how you can reach out to and interact with your contacts to maintain a robust and prolific client base that will respect you for expressing interest not just on a professional level, but on a personal one as well.