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Voice Search In Public Relations - How To Understand Them

Technology plays a huge role in the way people run, promote, and develop a business. One good example is voice search in public relations. What is its relationship with PR?

Feb 21, 20244K Shares85.4K ViewsWritten By: Alastair MartinReviewed By: James Smith
Jump to
  1. What Is Voice Search?
  2. Benefits Of Voice Search
  3. Voice Search In Digital Marketing
  4. PR Strategy
  5. Voice Search In Public Relations - People Also Ask
  6. Final Thoughts
Voice Search In Public Relations - How To Understand Them

What is voice search in public relations, and how do these two, when combined, relate to businesses?

Well, Alexa may have the answers. Or should we better ask Google Assistant first? How about Siri?

Forget about the search bar and typing the question there.

Just . . . “talk” to your smartphone - to a digital assistant: Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri - and ask right away.

Though no longer something new, voice search in public relations is something worth exploring, particularly by business owners.

A white cylindrical Amazon Alexa near the edge of a dark brown table with wooden surface and steel frame
A white cylindrical Amazon Alexa near the edge of a dark brown table with wooden surface and steel frame

One way to understand voice search in public relations is to know each one of them.

Voice search technology allows users to perform searches on the internet or within specific applications (apps) by speaking aloud rather than typing keywords into a search bar.

This technology relies on various components and processes, including:

a. Speech Recognition

Voice search technology begins with speech recognition, where the spoken words are converted into text. This involves sophisticated algorithms that:

  • analyze audio input
  • identify individual words and phrases

b. Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Once the spoken words are transcribed into text, natural language processingalgorithms interpret the meaning of the words and phrases. This involves understanding the the query’s:

  • context
  • intent
  • semantics (the meaning of the words)

c. Query Understanding

Voice search systems analyze the user’s query to understand what information or action the user is requesting. This may involve:

  • analyzing the query for keywords
  • identifying entities (e.g., names of places or people)
  • determining the user’s intent
A smartphone screen showing a Google Search result page with the word ‘analytics’ on the search bar
A smartphone screen showing a Google Search result page with the word ‘analytics’ on the search bar

d. Search EngineIntegration

Voice search technology often integrates with search engines (e.g., Google, Bing) or proprietary search engines within applications, such as those within:

  • e-commerceplatforms (e.g., Amazon, eBay)
  • social mediaplatforms (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn)

The processed query is then sent to the search engine, which retrieves relevant results based on the query and other factors, such as:

  • user location
  • search history

e. Feedback and Improvement

Voice search systems often incorporate mechanisms for feedback and improvement. This may involve:

  • learning from user interactions to improve speech recognition accuracy
  • understanding user preferences over time
  • adapting to changes in language usage and search patterns

Specifically, it’s the benefits of voice search in public relations (PR) we’re going to present here.

According to a 2023 article by the financial company The Motley Fool, PR, in relation to businesses, is about managing how the public - the potential customers or target market - perceive the business/company and its product(s) and/or service(s).

By managing the public’s perception through PR, companies and businessowners can better market and sell their product/service and attract investors.

When voice recognition technology emerged, people who do PR saw an opportunity to utilize it in their work; thus, voice search in public relations became a part of PR strategies.

Below are some of the good things concerning voice search in public relations as specified by New Delhi-based educational technology (EdTech) company IIM Skills:

a. It makes the flow of information faster.

As PR personnel can process data more quickly, carrying out strategies can be timelier.

b. It aids in improving SEO(search engine optimization) campaigns.

In a nutshell, SEOhelps a business website to rank well, so that when people look for something online, there’ll be a greater chance for that website to be found.

That said, in handling brand awareness- making the public familiar with a product/service - PR strategies (as well as digital marketing strategies) include SEO.

Together, they make a “winning combination,” according to techmarketing expert Tobias Liebsch in his 2022 article for PRLab, an Amsterdam-based PR agency.

The words ‘sale,’ ‘vendita,’ ‘ausverkauf’ and ‘rebaja’ each written on a colored rectangular card
The words ‘sale,’ ‘vendita,’ ‘ausverkauf’ and ‘rebaja’ each written on a colored rectangular card

c. It supports different languages.

When the language barrier is removed, the market for a product/service can become wider. PR campaigns can reach and be understood by more people.

d. It makes online searching more user-friendly to older people.

Online activities can be a struggle among senior citizens; so, voice recognition technology comes handy.

With voice search in public relations now a thing, PR personnel can reach out more easily to potential elderly customers.

Voice Search In Digital Marketing

According to Atlanta-based mail marketing company Mailchimp, digital marketing, aka online marketing, is the process of promoting a business/company, brand, product, or service to the public through the internet and other forms, such as but not limited to:

  • mobile calls
  • text messaging
  • video conferencing

A company, for example, gets promoted through the application of various digital marketing strategies in conjunction with PR strategies, with the latter used to enhance that company’s image, reputation, and credibility to gain the trust and admiration of the public/potential customers.

That’s why PR is an important part of digital marketing.

As Jessica Wong, the founder and CEO of PR and marketing agencies uPro Digital and Valux Digital, asserts in her 2021 Forbes article, those two “work hand in hand.”

When the role of voice search in public relations became evident, digital marketers were quick to explore it.

As early as 2019, based on an October 2019 Forbes article, there were already 65% of people aged 25 to 49 who used voice research - and do so at least once every day.

It’s not hard to decide whether to use voice search or not. As stated in the same IIM Skills article mentioned earlier:

As per research, on average, a person can talk 150 words in a minute on voice search whereas you can type just 40 words in a text search mode.- IIM Skills

As the number of people turn to this technology, it only bolsters the role of voice search in public relations.

For those bigger and more well-known American companies who do so, based on a 2023 LinkedIn article, they include:

Google AnalyticsStarbucks

The author of that article, Daniel Salvador, the senior director of brand strategy at Grupo Xcaret, a park and tour operator in Mexico, recommends to businesses adapting voice research the following courses of actions:

1. “Invest in research.”

Find out about the:

  • types of questions being asked
  • usual device people use for voice research
  • user’s expectations from it

For example, in the U.S., according to sales and marketing data platform DemandSage, 52 percent of consumers in 2022 inquired about food delivery thru voice research.

Imagine how valuable this piece of information is to food-related businesses.

2. Improve “contentadaptation.”

Work on making the content - what the digital assistant or voice assistant says to inquiring users in reply - sound “natural” once articulated out loud.

3. Invest on more “training and development.”

PR personnel and the marketing group should be more knowledgeable and skilled in voice search optimization.

4. “Test and iterate.”

Analyze your “voice search strategies,” monitor results, and review feedback to improve utilizing voice search in public relations.

5. “Stay updated.”

Technology evolves so it’s best to keep track of new and emerging trendsto make room for adjustment and adaptation.

PR Strategy

Now that we have already established how indispensable voice search in public relations and in digital marketing has become, below are some PR strategies in relation to voice search, courtesy of PR Boutiques International:

a. “Be concise.”

In voice research, a one-sentence reply is more ideal; therefore, ensure that replies are brief and clear.

b. When it comes to keywords, be selective.

Choose keywords that people “actually say” because, as Daniel Salvador pointed in his article, voice search is all about sounding natural.

How a keyword ranks is secondary; prioritize using “natural-sounding keywords.”

c. “Target mainstream news sites.”

Concentrate your efforts on them because of their global reach and reputation. Voice assistants will pick news from them.

d. “Focus on questions.”

Remember this: most of the time, people’s voice searches come in interrogative forms. They will, for example, more likely tell a voice assistant, “What’s the nearest McDonald’s Drive Thru?”than say “McDonald’s Drive Thru near me.”

e. “Use the right tools.”

To help you succeed in using voice search in public relations and SEO strategies, you must use keyword research tools. Here are some recommendations (prices indicated as of writing):

ToolPricing (U.S. Dollar)
Answer the Publicfrom $5 per month up to $99/month
BuzzSumo’s Question Analyzer$39 to $499/month
Google Keyword Planner free
Keyword.io$29 to $49/month

Voice Search In Public Relations - People Also Ask

Based on data gathered by DemandSage, here are the top ten most common uses of voice search in the U.S. in 2022:

SectorVoice Search Users in the U.S.
Food delivery and restaurants52%
Healthcare and wellness51%
Consumer packaged food49%
Local services49%
Making a reservation47%

Where Is Voice Search Used?

Per DemandSage, here are the places where voice search is used (note: 2022 data):

Place/EnvironmentPercentage of Users
Home (alone)60%
Home (with friends)over 50%
Office (alone)approximately 50%
Restaurant (with friends)over 40%
Office (with coworkers)over 30%
Gymover 30%
Partyover 30%
Restaurant (alone)over 30%
Public transportation30%
Restaurant (with acquaintances), Public restroom, Theatereach of them:over 20%

What Is The Difference Between Voice Search And Google?

According to advertising services company Content Hive, the principal difference is in the length of words used:

  • In voice search, it’s typically a sentence (an interrogative sentence to be exact).
  • In Google Search, a single word, a couple of words, and phrases are more frequently used.

Final Thoughts

How far will voice search in public relations go?

Daniel Salvador wrote in his 2023 LinkedIn article:

Voice search is more than just a technological trend; it’s a reflection of a broader shift towards more natural and intuitive human-machine interactions.- Daniel Salvador

There are figures that will validate his statement.

In 2024, according to DemandSage, the number of voice assistants to be in use is estimated to reach 8.4 billion.

In comparison, in 2023, there were 4.2 billion in use.

Therefore, voice search in public relations will continue to matter, and it’s up to companies, business owners, marketers, and PR peeps to adapt.

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