One of the most significant trends affecting the marketing industry is the flow of dollars from paid media to earned and owned media. As noise grows and consumers increasingly tune out ads in search of content that resonates with them, marketers and communications pros are needing to step up their game by creating great content, continuously.
Owned content – including blog posts, newsletters, e-books and social updates – and earned media – such as articles, interviews and shares in influential publications – are some of the key drivers for generating brand value and loyalty.
Owned media has been revolutionized in the last decade by innovative tech. Incredible content marketing platforms like Contently, Hootsuite, HubSpot, and dozens of others have given comms pros unprecedented productivity and insights.
However, earned media, also known as PR, has been slower to adapt to the demands of the digital age than owned and paid media. With just a handful of startups and only a few legacy technology players dominating the space (Cision and Meltwater come to mind), earned media’s evolution has been lagging. That is, until now.
As demand for earned content accelerates and drives technology infusion, a new crop of innovative startups have sprouted in the PR space. With an expected growth rate of 15 percent annually, the market for PR software is projected to increase from $5.4 billion today to $11.25 billion in 2026.
Let’s take a look at three of the technologies driving the PR revolution.
Started by the creator of The Shorty Awards, Muck Rack is a media database and monitoring tool that helps PR professionals discover targets to pitch. Self-styled as “the new standard in PR software,” Muck Rack is unique in its two-sided database.
While enabling PR pros to search for journalists, the tool also enables journalists to create and update a profile in the system. As such, media professionals can update parameters like beat/topic preference and contact information.
The tool has pitching capability via the website, and reporting features as well. Muck Rack is refreshing in its modernity and simplicity.
Propel PRM is an all-in-one PR tool that lets agencies discover journalists and influencers, send and track pitches in their native email, monitor coverage, measure business outcomes and create reports. Having launched in 2018 as a CRM for PR with Gmail and Outlook integrations, Propel expanded last year into media database and monitoring.
The company is creating a new category it calls “PRM” – which stands for Public Relations Management. PRM is the first type of PR software to unite the discovery, execution and analysis phases of PR, with Gmail and Outlook integrations.
With its new synergies and insights, PRM delivers real value and has likely become the smartest PR software. The CEO (who ran a PR agency for nearly a decade before founding Propel) says AI-based recommendations are on the way.
One of the most time-consuming and least favorite parts of a PR professional’s week is creating reports for clients and/or executives. Enter CoverageBook, a report creation platform that does the work in a fraction of the time.
Simply enter an article link, and the tool will serve up valuable metrics, including estimated views, links from coverage, the readership of a publication, and actual business outcomes.
The platform also pulls images from selected articles to make the reports visually stimulating. In a field where creativity and relationship building is crucial to driving success, CoverageBook helps PR pros spend less time on administration and more time doing the things that matter most.
As technology continues to evolve and deliver significant value to PR and communications professionals, the industry is poised to experience exceptional growth. The result? Earned media has a promising, and innovation-filled decade ahead.