Editor’s note: Although technology and CRM do not fall within the traditional wheelhouse of PR and corporate communications teams, the need for data-driven platform subject matter experts is on the rise, requiring specialists and generalists join these teams, writes Seth Ulinski of Technology Business Research.

HAMPTON, N.H. – Although technology and CRM do not fall within the traditional wheelhouse of PR and corporate communications teams, the need for data-driven platform subject matter experts is on the rise, requiring specialists and generalists join these teams.

Couple this development with many organizations and CMOs seeking to improve internal and external efficiency across historically siloed PR, marketing and advertising functions, and agency extension of capabilities may become a requisite for competitiveness in the long term.

PR and communications firms will benefit from considering new services in areas such as paid media and analytics to meet evolving client needs.

Corporate communications teams and PR agencies are tasked with developing heavy-hitting stories that will resonate with key consumer demographics such as millennials and generation Z in 12 seconds and 8 seconds, respectively.

They leverage a variety of visual communication tools and platforms, including digital video, graphics and animation, which are well-suited to generate brand awareness via “microstorytelling.”

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat represent important areas of investment for PR and communications efforts, as these platforms reach key demographics and support shortform content.

However, while an array of technology platforms spanning social media, analytics and CRM are increasingly critical for in-house and agency teams, traditional media outlets and communications skills are still needed.

To meet PR and communications needs, organizations must attract and hire generalists and specialists versed in data and the 140-character Twitterverse.

As agencies and communications teams seek to create meaningful stories between brands and consumers, CRM data is a powerful resource.

Agencies must forge close relationships with clients, as access to client data is the ultimate testament of trust.

Editor’s note: TBR moderated a panel discussion at Publicity Club of New England’s Masters Institute Breakfast. Attendees included client and agency professionals with 12 years or more of industry experience. Publicity Club members on the panel included: Mark Stephenson, head of Brand, Communications and Digital, Philips North America; Ed Cafasso, senior vice president of Communications, WinnCompanies; Jeff Dillow, vice president, Hollywood Public Relations.

(C) TBR