Bringing PR into the Digital Age with Cision’s Rebecca Dersh

If you’re a PR pro, you’ve probably already used Cision to pull media lists. However, as Amy found out in this interview with Rebecca Dersh — Public Relations Manager for Cision — the platform can do so much more. 

As Rebecca describes it, Cision is a software solution helping PR and communication pros reach, target, and engage their audience. During the course of Amy and Rebecca’s chat, we discover how tools like Cision can help us justify our activities to our clients and open the door for more strategic work.

PR Reporting is Changing

Everyone in PR should be doing a better job of measuring ROI. In the analog days, that wasn’t always easy, and some industry members remain stuck in that old mindset. Rebecca explained how Cision makes it possible to connect PR activities with direct business results — the same way marketing and advertising can. This ability allows PR pros to showcase how consumers viewed a piece of media coverage and how it generated website visits and purchases.


PR Analytics are Now a Reality

Through their recent acquisition of TrendKite — a PR analytics company — Cision has brought PR reporting in line with ad and marketing tech. Now, PR pros can sync Cision up with their client’s Google Analytics and use the resulting information to place their efforts in context and tell better stories.

Rebecca believes these new capabilities also open the door for greater integration between earned media teams and their advertising and marketing colleagues. For example, how can paid media pros use earned media analytics to repurpose and retarget their paid media opportunities?


Will Automation Steal Our Jobs?

As their conversation progressed, Amy broached the subject of PR automation. Cision can automate tasks like updating media lists, ed calendar tracking, delivery and reporting. So, is PR ever at risk of becoming fully automated?

While Amy and Rebecca both agreed that the creativity and strategic thinking necessary for successful PR could never truly be automated, using tools like Cision to their fullest can make the average PR pro more successful. Ideally, most of our time should be spent thinking strategically to craft the best pitch possible. Instead, we often get bogged down in other time-consuming tasks that could otherwise be automated. So we might as well use technology to free up a little extra bit of space in our brains, and in turn, do better work.


Wait, There’s More!

Listen to the podcast to hear more of Amy and Rebecca’s conversation about emerging PR technology, and to hear what it’s like for Rebecca to do PR for PR. You can also subscribe to the PR Talk Podcast on Stitcher, iTunes, and Google Play.

About the guest: Rebecca Dersh

After earning her B.A. at American University, Rebecca Dersh began her career with global branding agency Wolff Olins. While there, she worked with a wide variety of clients from nonprofit to tech, before leaving New York for Austin, Texas. Today she works for Cision as its Public Relations Manager.

Connect and follow Rebecca on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Josh Friesen
I'm a writer and content marketer at Veracity, telling client stories one post at a time.