Martech, edtech, medtech, commtech—the number of industries that have added “tech” to the end of their name continues to grow.
Listen long enough and it becomes mind-numbing. What do all these things mean, anyway? And do they actually mean something specific enough to warrant an entire new term?
Well, we can’t answer for every other industry, but in commtech, the answer to that second question is: yes. Commtech actually does mean something highly specific and new—it’s not the same old communications work, just conducted over email or Skype.
Here’s a breakdown of this term, and why it matters.
Communications + Technology = CommTech
It’s no mystery where the name came from, but what exactly is communications technology?
You could apply this term to all kinds of technologies that are not actually part of commtech—texting, email, video conferencing. Those are all technologies that help us all communicate.
What commtech actually refers to, however, is a broad combination of elements that are driven by technology, not just elements of tech themselves. It’s not only the tools and software themselves—it’s also the behaviors and ways of thinking about communications that emerge from the usage and integration of these tools into a communications strategy.
So, for example, one type of commtech would be the data and analytics tools that PR professionals use to measure the reach and impact of a piece of news coverage.
Another would be the web development tools that allow a brand to create custom microsites on a swift turnaround, or the social listening tools that allow comms staff to monitor the online conversations that are relevant to the brand.
As The Page Society defines it, “CommTech is a new discipline in our profession, a blend of new tools, systems, roles, KPIs and ways of working that move the function from shaping perception to driving behavior….Building a CommTech team that listens through data, creates and iterates on content regularly based on that data, targets people as individuals and modifies strategy based on user behavior, organizations can tangibly and demonstrably drive behaviors that address real business needs.”
How commtech can help your brand deliver its message
If commtech is more than just a collection of tools, but a whole shift in mindset when it comes to communications, how do you develop a commtech-oriented approach in your own organization?
One of the first steps is certainly to embrace data and analytics, which you’ve likely already done. Reporting tools are becoming increasingly important as a way to justify a department’s spend, and that’s as true of the comms department now as it’s always been of, say, the advertising department.
Another way to help your department move forward is to focus on how you deliver your content, and how it can be streamlined.
In other words, how much time is your staff spending on things like resizing photos or forcing your website template to accommodate a piece of content that doesn’t actually fit?
How much time do you spend waiting for IT to fix a problem you wanted fixed days ago?
How long are you waiting for messaging to go out to the public, and how can you cut that time down?
Most departments these days can’t afford to hire a full-time person to handle all the technical aspects of communications. The other option is then to work with an outside vendor, but it’s challenging to find ones that actually know both the communications side and the technology side of commtech.
But get this: That’s literally why Wieck exists. We started back in 1991, and our very first project for our very first client, the New York Times News Service, was to speed up their photo distribution through what was then a very new tool: the internet. They had a need, and we figured out a way to fill it.
Since then, we’ve built our team to include staff with deep expertise in journalism, communications, PR, web development, and event management. Our whole passion is for marrying the best of communications with the best of technology, and that’s why we’ve developed offerings like:
- Digital Content Hubs, the 21st century incarnation of the tired old digital newsroom
- NewStream (coming soon!), which allows brands to securely stream content to diverse audiences.
- Our Digital Asset Management systems, which come with 24/7 human support
- Story Capsules, one-page websites that integrate any and every type of content you could ask for, with a four-hour turnaround time.
- CommTech Concierge, which is whatever our clients need.
We’ve been in this for a long time, and we plan to be around for a lot longer. Commtech is in our blood—and it has been right from the beginning. If you’re ready to see how commtech can transform your comms department, give us a call.