Blogs  / August 24, 2020

PR’s Unsung Technical Visionary: Patrick Liang Promoted to CTO at Onclusive

by Dan Beltramo, CEO

In the world of PR and Communications, our heroes are typically Chief Communications Officers, PR agency chiefs, masterful account executives who continually craft the right stories, and media relations experts who consistently garner great coverage. Rarely is that distinction conferred upon a technologist. It almost seems odd to consider that possibility.

But at our company, one unsung technical visionary does have hero status; and we believe he deserves this distinction industrywide. We may be biased, but after hearing his story we think you’ll agree.

Not many Cal-Tech grads enter the PR business, but Patrick Liang co-founded Onclusive nine years ago. At that time, the company was called AirPR, and it was a marketplace for PR professionals. Since then, Patrick has built the company into the technical leader in PR analytics and, perhaps, the only fully integrated media monitoring company of its scale.

While many media monitoring companies have given up on data collection and outsource that critical function to other companies, Patrick masterminded the challenging task of building arguably the largest, global earned media web crawler and database in the industry.  As a company, we benchmark the database against various others and have yet to find its equal.

While some companies stop at data-gathering, Patrick and his team take that ever-increasing mountain of data and make it sing. He’s trained machines to read and score every article as humans do, but with lightning speed and far more consistency. Millions of articles a day in 100+ languages are, among other things, dissected for their relevance to any topic, the reputation of the publication, the repetition in social media, the sentiment of the article and the sentiment related to every entity mentioned in each article. All of that creates a rich meta-data layer that enables analysis with precision and scale never before attainable.

Sitting on top of that industry-leading database is an unparalleled analytics engine that sifts and analyzes all that data and metadata in innovative new ways.One example of that is the Power of Voice ™ metric that Patrick and his team invented. It is essentially a quality-adjusted share of voice score calculated in real-time consistently all across the globe for our clients. This means they don’t have to worry that the variance in regional or departmental methodologies could swamp any real signal in the data.

Patrick also architected PR Attribution™, the ability to tie earned media coverage directly to tangible outcomes. By integrating our clients’ website analytics software with our news media database, Patrick’s AI system sifts through billions of data points to identify which specific articles are driving which specific behaviors.

Just last year, he also introduced the first sentiment detection engine to the media monitoring business that can detect sentiment in 100+ languages.  In benchmarking tests, the engine was also more accurate than any of the off-the-shelf sentiment software packages used at other media monitoring companies.

All those data and innovative analytical tools are delivered through three media monitoring systems beginning with our flagship Enterprise product which incorporates the highest-end analytics including Power of Voice and PR Attribution. Recently, Patrick and team made our full media database and many of the cutting edge analytics available to a much broader audience, including PR agencies, via our new Essentials and Pro media monitoring services.

Under Patrick’s consistent leadership, our fully integrated media monitoring system meets the needs of of global, Fortune 500 companies. Through his commitment to innovation, this pioneering technology can now be enjoyed by smaller companies and agencies alike.

If you want to know where the state of the art is in PR or Communication Technology, keep an eye on what Patrick Liang and his band of engineers are producing.

The business of corporate communication and PR will grow faster and garner much greater stature, the more Patrick Liangs we can attract to the field.  Finding them should be an industry-wide imperative!

Patrick is a man of few words, but in an industry all about language his contributions to our industry speak volumes.