I work with clients all over the country, and occasionally internationally, helping them manage their PR and Social Media. Most of my clients provide a product or a service to the automotive industry. While none of my clients have offices nearby, I very rarely need to journey to see them for a face-to-face meeting –  the exception being the occasional video shoot that needs to be done in person. I’m sure many of you conduct your business the same way, so as such, I thought I’d point out 6 Technologies I simply could not do without and why:

 #1 – Skype:  Skype is so versatile and simple; I really rely on it every day. I use it to stay in touch with my clients and my team. I use it for instant messaging and long distance. I use it both on my mobile phone and on my computer. It saves me money, time and effort – what more could you ask from technology!   I really am embarrassed to say that I do not yet use video on Skype – which makes me a bit of a dinosaur in this respect– but hey – I don’t need people to see me sitting at the computer in my ‘jamies!  Time will tell on this one however!

 #2 – HootSuite:  My team manages Social Media for several clients. We couldn’t get it done without our Owlish friend Hootsuite helping us distribute news and updates to multiple social networks all at once. We can collaborate and share tasks quickly and efficiently. If you’ve struggled with trying to keep up with all of your social networks, give it a try!

 #3 – Gmail:  What would we do without our Gmail accounts? I use mine to tie business and personal into a feed to my phone that makes it simple to sort and reply. Google docs can also be great if you are working with remote teams or clients, it’s easy to share and track edits.

 #4 – GPS: Does anyone go to a new city anymore without GPS? Any time I travel, I know that I will be able to find my way with my phone. I have to caution however not to become too reliant – know your map skills as well and keep a map handy if travelling somewhere unfamiliar. My GPS signal failed once and I was so completely lost. I think the only downfall of GPS is that sometimes you fail to learn your true environment and how to get around. They can also be a little “quirky”.

I was once driving across a causeway and had the GPS insist that I turn right – into the water! Also in England I have found it will sometimes take me down these little out of the way lanes and get me lost. So – there IS very definitely something to be said for having a good old map handy. Being too reliant on technology CAN get you in trouble!

 #5 – Internet!  I know, I’m stating the obvious, but as someone who’s been doing this for almost 20 years, let me tell you that my job is so much easier, I am much more productive and yes – a little dependent on the Internet. “Back in the day” when researching which reporter to pitch a story took forever – and required several huge thick binders — now I can find out the exact person in just a couple of minutes, which saves me time for crafting a clever pitch rather than doing the legwork to figure out who I’m pitching to!

 #6 – Smartphones:  I do so love my Smartphone. In this day and age, and especially in public relations, we have to be ultra responsive to our clients. Yes it can be intrusive that now you are expected to be available pretty much 24/7. However, my viewpoint is that my Smartphone allows me to live the life that I want and still be in touch when needed. I can be out in the wilds camping, or out sailing, and as long as I have cell phone reception, can still take that important meeting or view and edit that document.

 Well, thanks for taking a walk down memory lane and a day in the life of Carter West PR. I’m sure you can relate to how much business has changed in the last 20 years. Things we now take for granted were mere thoughts back then. If you had tried to explain Twitter to me 20 years ago, I would have laughed at you! Write me back and let me know what you’re hooked on.

Sara Callahan | Carter West Public Relations




by Sara Callahan