The evolution of technology, including online reporting tools, the Internet, online file sharing software, smart phones, social media, and even word processors, has definitely had an impact in my life as a public relations practitioner, college professor, and freelance writer. I am highly dependent on the new “gadgets” of technology and applications to deliver my best work to my clients, my students, and my readers. Some of these technologies have been around for a while and before writing this article I may have taken it for granted. Here is a list of the technology that empowers me as a professional.
Google Analytics – On this digital era, it is highly important to be able to measure the results of every online effort. Google Analytics has proven to be a highly resourceful tool in measuring the traffic received on my personal blogs, columns or my client’s webpages. With Google Analytics I know things like from which countries are people visiting these pages, which keywords are they using to search for information that led them to these sites. I can also know if they access through computers or mobile devices, which pages have the higher exit rate, how many new visitors we get per day, month or year. This information can help me and my clients optimize our online efforts.
Internet – No one can deny that the Internet has become one of the most powerful tools because of the almost unlimited access it provides to information available all over the world. Search engines allow any person to look for information about any topic and get results in just seconds.
In my profession the Internet saves me time, allowing me to search for information in just seconds. Thanks to the Internet I can connect with clients, colleagues, different audiences, and/or suppliers from all over the world and exchange information in a faster and more efficient way, saving myself a lot of time and money.
The Internet helps me stay updated about everything that is happening around the world that may have an impact on my clients, and stay up-to-date with the newest trends, and technology that may impact my profession as well. I can take online courses or webinars, some free or some at a cost, but the important thing is I can keep learning from the comfort of my home or office, and at my pace.
As a writer the Internet has given me the exposure to reach thousands of people all over the world with my articles and reviews. I was able to serve a niche market interested in travel articles through already mature platforms that take care of all the administrative details, all I have to do is write and publish.
Online file sharing software – In this profession, I have to deal with many types of files, including graphics, photos, presentations, and other files that sometimes are too large to just send it by email. Through online file sharing softwares like YouSendIt, I can email files up to 50MB without taking all the space from the recipient’s inbox, at no extra cost. For larger files, I could sign up for Pro Plan to be able to email files up to 2 GB and store up to 5GB of data. xOne downside of YouSendIt is that documents received expire within a few days. To use it more effectively, I need to have a good communication with my recipients to make sure they access the files before they expire.
Smart phones – Smart phones allow me to stay connected to my clients and our audiences no matter where I am, which in my industry is very important. I can send and receive emails through my phone from different email accounts, access the Internet and social media accounts, take pictures or videos with the integrated camera, and even record full interviews. My smart phone allows me to manage information for my business and my clients in a more effective and timely manner.
Social media networks – My profession is all about building and maintaining long-lasting relationships with different people. Through social media, I can engage with communities of people who share interests and characteristics relevant to my clients and deliver value to these communities by providing information that is pertinent to them.
Through social media I can share articles, graphics, links, news, photos, and videos with anyone or with a group of people at the same time. Social media networks allow me reach and interact with these communities in a more effective manner.
In addition, marketing, public relations and technology "gurus" are more accessible through social media. I can reach industry experts I may never meet personally and interact with them through these platforms.
Word processors – Word processors have been around for more than two decades. The ability to create virtual documents and be able to edit, and measure things like word count, and even the readability level of my writing is priceless. Today’s applications for word processing allow me to create complex documents easily, check for spelling or grammar errors, and even email my document to someone else, at any time. As a public relations practitioner, college professor, and freelance writer, I am truly thankful for word processors for writing is a big part of my career.
Communications and information has gained the leading role in today’s society. I have learned in my career that technology has raised people’s expectations about response time. People expect to receive right away the information they need and want. With all these technologies at our service, people expect an immediate response from everyone, their families, their friends, and everyone they interact with. Technology definitely plays an important role in the quality of the services I give to my clients, readers and students. With all the above mentioned technology, I feel empowered to meet their needs and expectations more efficiently.
Please share with us which technologies empower you in your career in the comments section below.