Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Technology Use in Alamo City PR

I conducted a written survey of participants at last week’s PRSA San Antonio chapter luncheon. The survey was informal, unscientific and voluntary. In it, I asked basic questions about their use of blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, webcasts, e-mail updates, and web-based media rooms. The results show that the least known technology among our folk is the RSS feed (37 percent said they don’t know what it is). Over three quarters either know or “kind of” know what the other technologies are.

When asked if their organization provides these technologies, most said no, with the exception of e-mail updates (89 percent do provide them). About a quarter provide blogs and RSS feeds, and two of five provide webcasts and media rooms.

The third question asked whether they use these technologies in their work. Almost all respondents use e-mail updates often or sometimes in their work (96 percent). Over half use webcasts (63 percent) and media rooms (57 percent). And a small group use blogs (42 percent), RSS feeds (39 percent) and podcasts (31 percent).

For those whose organizations do provide these technologies, only 30 percent said PR people are involved in the planning or development, and 26 percent are “kind of” involved.

Just over half of the organizations represented are planning to expand their technology use in the next six months.

Out of about 65 people, I received 27 responses, which is about a 42 percent response rate. Two out of five respondents were from non-profit organizations and almost one-third were from corporate or business. Another 15 percent work with education institutions. Naturally, there is some repetition among responses since some participants work with the same organizations. Also, some respondents were confused by the term “media room,” as I was not clear that I was referring to web sites. (More on that point later.)

How are you using technology for public relations purposes? Post a comment to share.


Melissa Vela-Williamson said...

Hi Christie,

Just to show you how technologically advanced I am NOT, this is my first response to a blog. I hope I'm not eaten alive...

As one of the nonprofit folks that responded, I can say confidently that my agency has no clue what RSS feeds and podcasts are. Or mean. Or are used for. :)

My wall of resistance from learning about this new technology is breaking down though. Through education from good people like you and Kami, I will learn about them and in turn share my knowledge with my organization.

Take a picture! This shall be my first step out into this new world.

Kami Huyse, APR said...

Go Melissa, this is a friendly environment. These new technologies can seem overwhelming, but their potential to help public relations practioners "get out the word" is monumental. Thanks Chritie for taking the initiative on the survey!

Christie Goodman, APR said...

I feel a little funny saying welcome, Melissa, because I've only been blogging since February. This is a great way to learn about it too. We're getting to blog without making a big mistake that would impact our organizations. Still, I'm going to say it, welcome Melissa!