New campaign management platform aims to eliminate media relations follow-up calls

The launch of campaign management platform Public Address in Sydney enables PR professionals to harness the power of machine learning to drive better results while making media relations tasks more time and cost efficient.

“Public Address is the first media relations campaign management platform built by communications professionals, for communications professionals,” said Shane Allison, co-founder of Public Address and 2018 Mumbrella Agency PR Professional of the Year.

“Traditional media relations tactics are under pressure – the changing media landscape with fewer journalists producing more content in a 24/7 news cycle means that plain text media releases and follow-up calls aren’t delivering the results they used to,” he said.

“Our aim at Public Address is to cut the volume of follow up calls from PR professionals to journalists by 75 per cent in the next two years. Media Stable research shows that only one per cent of journalists appreciate follow-up calls – most journalists view them as an interruption to their busy day and an incredible waste of time.

“And it’s probably one of the least enjoyable parts of a communications professional’s role.

“Reducing follow up calls, making it easier to share important materials, book interviews. This is all part of our goal of making journalist’s jobs easier – if we can do that, we’ll be providing a significant benefit to PR professionals,” said Shane.

During the Public Address beta testing, one in eight journalists in Australia interacted with the platform and it has been proven to cut the time and cost of service delivery on comparable campaigns by 25 per cent. This was achieved by:

  • Providing one-click interview booking and scheduling
  • Automating routine and repetitive tasks such as customising emails for different journalists and media outlets
  • Halving the amount of follow up calls by introducing a machine learning algorithm, the Predictive Pitch Indicator, that highlights media most interested in a story

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Thomas Mitchell, former NZ Young IT Professional of the year developed the platform.

“There’s a huge opportunity for media relations to be conducted more efficiently and effectively. It’s time that the traditional media pitch changed and evolved, Public Address is the pitching tool that public relations professionals today need,” concluded Thomas.

Since the company’s foundation in July 2017, Public Address has raised $110,000 in seed capital to finance the development of the platform. Public Address is powered by AWS, the largest provider of cloud computing globally, and SendGrid, the email marketing provider trusted by Uber, AirBnB and Spotify.


To view the release on Public Address, click here.

Reducing the cost of customer acquistion

On the way to work Tuesday, I was offered vouchers from three different start ups, before I even made it from my house to the train station. 

 At first, this presents as an odd marketing strategy for companies which brand themselves as digital powerhouses, but in practice demonstrates the increasing problem faced by all start ups – a skyrocketing cost of customer acquisition.

What’s fascinating is that in this environment, it appears that what are considered the more traditional forms of marketing communications truly excel. 

Increasingly, the problems being caused by the rocketing cost of acquisition is being recognised by venture capitalists. It’s no longer enough to turn up with an incredible new technology which will push a traditional industry into obsolescence, start-ups need a marketing and communications strategy, with a relationship with a strategic PR firm. For some VCs, this is now the price of entry. 

But what is the long term outcome of this transition? The cost of customer acquisition is only going to continue increasing, the price of Google AdWords will go up exponentially (research indicates that in Q2 2015 alone, CPCs for brands rose 40%), and I’ll continue to receive my daily quotient of three vouchers on the way to the train station. 

research indicates that in Q2 2015 alone, Google AdWords CPCs for brands rose 40%

But the one, truly traditional, cost of customer acquisition that will not change is the ability for start ups and their founders to polish and refine the story of their business, telling this at every opportunity, through every available medium. For the powerful story transcends a single paragraph adword, creating an emotional connection with a brand and individual and driving long term purchasing decisions.

A powerful story that resonates starts with simple questions – why are we here? what drove the development of the product? whose lives are we seeking to change? But the true power of a story lies in the ability for those who hear it to become evangelists – this sharing is inherent in human nature, and not only underlies the power of social media for brands, but also the power of traditional media and strategic communications in acquiring new customers. 

For while print media faces its challenges, the power of  using mass media for brand communication is not diminishing. The wide reach of these outlets ensures that a broad audience will hear your message, and even if 90 per cent of this audience isn’t interested in your message, if you’re telling a powerful enough story, they will want to share this with those in their community who will benefit from your product or service. 

It certainly seems like a better way to keep your cost of customer acquisition down than paying someone to hand out thousands of vouchers with a minuscule conversion rate, surely?