An enhanced communicator: new technologies and new tools

On 15 February, 2024
3 min
new technologies and new tools for communicators

With more data and new automation tools, new technologies are enabling communicators to get back to the heart of their business: creativity and relationships.

After revolutionising sales and marketing, new technologies are transforming the profession of communicators. As a result, the nature of the relationships between companies, their agencies, the media and other stakeholders is changing.

By "new technologies," Is meant not just the ongoing digitization of the media environment and the communication sector in general, but the emergence of software tools that optimize, and sometimes disrupt, business processes. Today, the Dircoms have a range of tools, communication channels, and technologies at their disposal for dissemination, monitoring, and measurement.

The data generated by these tools "enhance" strategic intelligence and fuel the creativity of communication professionals.

Tools that unleash talent

Automation can be cause for concern as it eliminates low-value tasks, such as producing reports, indexing content, formatting, updating files, and more. Certainly, teams are experiencing an inevitable period of friction in the transformation of their profession with the disappearance of certain tasks and their replacement by others, often more enriching and creative, albeit sometimes more demanding.

There were no data scientists in public relations in 2016. Now there are a few who handle crucial data for evaluating strategies and contribute to the daily efficiency of communication actions.

Ultimately, task automation and the influx of data empower communicators, their intuition, creativity, and relational and writing skills. Content indexing is a good example. No need to fumble around to identify the right hashtag. The communicator produces the tweet, and the tool takes care of the rest. In this transformation, it's not so much the content of a press release or an annual report that is transformed, but its format (more multimedia), distribution (multi-channel), and the analysis of its impact. When distribution is automated, the value lies in the content production.

The comeback of relationship building

How to orchestrate the global dissemination of strategic information with multiple teams, in different professions, and geographically separated? It is these infamous silos that collaborative tools now is allowing us to break. These tools optimize time by shortening the steps of a process. For example, by facilitating the deployment of a document distribution sequence. All relevant team members (media relations, digital, internal communication, content, investor relations) can interact and validate in real-time on a common platform the channels and targets that concern them. Technology also reinforces the extended enterprise model that blurs the usual boundaries between integrated teams and external consultants.

With automation, there is a significant comeback of interpersonal relationships in communication professions. Technology allows, for example, understanding the digital identity of a contact. Having a real-time overview of all their public publications (xs, LinkedIn profile, articles). Such data enables adapting to the interlocutor and being more effective in the relationship by encouraging empathetic qualities. Technology cannot and does not claim to replace these human interactions. It will allow us to deepen them, for a richer relationship because it is better informed.

New technologies: robots producing information?

Is there a risk for communicators whose role relies primarily on human qualities? In an era where Artificial Intelligence is taking up more space, humans are sometimes sidelined. Chatbots or virtual assistants have taken over, and algorithms are deployed to identify reliable and useful information. Regarding content creation, The Washington Post magazine uses new technology to draft its articles, and it is highly likely that its use will increase.

This is much less likely for sophisticated and nuanced content. The machine can assist, of course, but it doesn't have the "final cut."

What is happening in communication mirrors what has occurred in other business functions. Technology doesn't replace but "augments" the intelligence of the humans using it. To leverage this, companies must encourage their employees to embrace these tools, fostering a positive approach within a supportive framework, without instilling unnecessary fears of change. It is perhaps one of the paradoxes: the more technology there is, the more humanistic values are emphasized.

Not all communicators are computer engineers. They were often hesitant to embrace new technologies. However, communicators have now recognized their importance in communication and in their daily lives.

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