Public Relations Industry Analysis – Q2 & Q3 2015

In the analysis of the first quarter of 2015 of the Public Relations Industry we saw:

  • Cision acquiring Viral Heat
  • Twitter and IBM announcing cloud data services surfacing Twitter insights
  • New vendors entering the US Market – Talkwalker and MediaMiser
  • A hot new vendor in the UK – PRgloo

Change

What’s News in Q2 & Q3?

The landscape has changed with major consolidation and is going to continue to change. There is an expectation now that the PR & Marketing disciplines will continue to merge and morph on the software side as companies seek market share and differentiation.

ChurnZero – You Mon and Mark Heys both former Vocus and subsequently OutMarket veterans started ChurnZero. According to You Mon “…tools to help understand customers and their usage of our product were few and immature. So, with brute force, we pooled data and a few projects together to attack customer success.” ChurnZero is not specifically a PR tool, but these guys are focused on the health of the customer – happy customer = less PR/Marketing work to maintain brand health.

iContact PRO Select – It is a mouthful but branding is everything. Cision has chosen to strengthen the iConact brand and not back the short-lived OutMarket. Back in September 2014 GTCR had Vocus, Cision and a brand identity problem to address. Ultimately Cision won the branding and Vocus won the technology. Vocus’ Marketing Suite was re-branded to OutMarket. Now OutMarket has been folded into iContact (part of Cision through the Vocus acquisition) and re-launched in April 2015 as iContact PRO Select.

On the Move

Pearson Plc sold one of Britain’s most respected institutions, the Financial Times, after nearly six decades to Nikkei Inc. for $1.3B. Announced in July, Pearson is looking to focus on its education unit. The purchase allows Nikkei Inc. to capture market share (and revenue) outside of Japan. As a daily reader and happy subscriber I haven’t seen any difference in the high quality I have come to expect. Congrats to Nikkei Inc.

Preferential Treatment

CrimsonHexagon has joined Adobe Social, Curalate, Spredfast Intelligence and Union Metrics as a preferred data partner with Tumblr. The industry advantage of this preferential partnership is real-time access to Tumblr’s data stream.

Going, going, gone

NASDAQ is slowly shuttering mymediainfo, the PR tool purchased from Thomson Reuters as part of a larger acquisition, ever so quietly. MyMediaInfo was started by RedEgg and positioned as an integrated Web-based PR solution designed to help PR professional efficiently identify, reach and engage traditional and social media contacts, and monitor coverage across all outlets. While inexpensive the product was not able to maintain a satisfactory renewal conversion rate.

Improving Fortunes

Only days ago (September 21st) iQ media secured $9M in Series B funding. Additionally the iQ media board has been beefed up to drive revenue growth and explore new markets – the board now includes Sandeep Swadia, COO, Magnetic; Rick Rudman, CEO of Tracx and former President & CEO of Vocus; Michael Holloway, President at GMH Ventures, iQ media investor since 2011; and, Michael Kopelman, General Partner at Edison Partners.

Who’s Shopping?

Reuters UK reports Cision is shopping for press release market share. UBM which owns PR Newswire has started the process for selling this high achieving business unit. Why? Because UBM wants to focus on the more lucrative and growing trade show business, which is has continued to invest in with the purchase last year of Advanstar Communication Inc., and PR Newswire doesn’t get the attention is needs in that ecosystem to grow and contribute to the bottom line.

Whoever picks up PR Newswire will instantly rocket to the top of press release market share –but for how long? Press releases are valuable in imparting information but they no longer hold the position of power and exclusivity they once had given the speed and accessibility of information in a digital media world.

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