Advances in technology continue to change the playing field for PR professionals.
Finding a sketch artist or graphic designer to create a visual storyboard or infographic is ancient history. Instead, public relations professionals can go to a website and make one themselves. Gone are the days when you had to spend hours manually putting together a media coverage report. Now you can use an online program that generates the report for you and makes it even easier to share with your client.
Here are some of Swyft’s favorite tools for PR professionals that will help streamline everything from reporting to distribution.
Brandwatch is a social media monitoring tool that enables customers to track current PR campaigns or any trace of a company mentioned in the media. This tool is especially useful for crisis management or tracking breaking news.
CoverageBook is a media monitoring service that makes it easy to visually showcase the impact of a PR campaign and share with clients. To use the tool, just enter any website, offline coverage, or article and CoverageBook reports back visits per month, domain authority, estimated coverage views, and social shares.
In addition to monitoring online, broadcast, print, social media and podcast coverage, Cision provides analytics that track impact. Cision’s service also shares the content of conversation surrounding earned media and competition for a company.
Meltwater takes media monitoring one step further with their global media monitoring capability. The comprehensive media analysis capability allows for building dashboards and sharing results, benchmarking progress against the competition, and creating comprehensive reports equipped with AI-insights.
Brand24 offers a discussion volume chart which identifies changes in discussion volume about your company to quickly spot problematic issues. Brand24 also provides mention analytics, an influence score, and sentiment analysis.
Media Research and CRM
Cision provides a global media database with over one million contacts along with an editorial calendar that allows you to plan and map story coverage. Furthermore, Cision offers audience insights which highlights relevant information from sources such as Twitter feeds in order to curate a leading story.
Agility enables users to build media lists, send pitches, and track engagement. Additionally, Agility offers a live social stream which shows influencer activity that consumers can filter with keywords and encourages consumers to find new influencers to add to their media list.
Muckrack offers a database of detailed journalist profiles that provide intel about journalists in order to create personalized pitches. The platform also enables PR pros to create a media list that stays up to date on what a journalist is up to which includes recent articles they’ve written or if they’ve switched to another publication.
Meltwater uses a keyword search tool to allow PR professionals to find niche journalists and engage with the most relevant authors of a specific topic. With Meltwater’s CRM relationship-style management function, you can log interactions your team is having with the media as well as your own.
Prowly organizes your media contacts by responsiveness so you can follow up effectively. In addition to monitoring responsiveness, Prowly has over one million media contacts and allows users to utilize search filters as well as keep notes on every media contact.
Prezly keeps track of your media relationships and will even organize your media list based on where a relationship left off and tell you which contacts need attention. Prezly tells you the level of interest, reach, and impact your pitches have with journalists and allows you to track who opens your email and views your published content.
Aside from being able to search any relevant media contacts by what they have written or tweeted from a database of 200 million articles and one billion tweets, Anewstip Autolist continues to monitor relevant content to help you build a media list. Anewstip monitors your personalized pitches by tracking opens and clicks in real time in addition to monitoring twitter and news articles from across the web.
HARO, which stands for “help a reporter out,” is a useful tool powered by Cision that allows reporters to share stories they want to write about and in turn allows PR personnel to curate pitches specifically to a reporter’s needs, increasing the chances of getting a story published. Story ideas and pitches are under a masked email and if a journalist likes your pitch they will reach out to you outside of HARO.
Social media is a great place to establish your brand as a thought influencer. Posting a LinkedIn article, for example, boosts your brand’s clout while the reach of social media has the opportunity to influence others on a wide scale. Furthermore, because social media traffic is so fluent with trends, it makes social platforms a great place to generate ideas for a story in real time.
Reddit is a popular media site in which users increase the chance of visibility on the site by giving content “upvotes” and decrease chance of visibility by giving content “downvotes.” Companies can also use features in Reddit such as “Ask Me Anything” or “First Look” to get an audience’s thoughts on content prior to writing. Reddit can also be used as an opportunity to post content that supports your company’s ambitions and inspires others.
Quora is a platform in which people ask questions and other people answer. PR professionals can use intel from answered questions on Quora to get honest audience opinions as well as use the platform to network with people in the industry. Answering other people’s questions frequently and accurately could create influencer status for yourself and your brand.
Medium is a digital publishing platform that allows anyone to freely share their ideas. Medium curates topics and articles tailored to the reader’s interests to inspire and provoke compelling ideas. Therefore, having an article on Medium will establish you as a thought influencer.
With creative individuals posting content every day, from all over the world, YouTube is a great asset to show your audience and competition thought leadership through effective visuals. People are inclined to watch videos, so having visual assets on your site and a colorful YouTube account will help enhance your status as a thought influencer. In addition, the social platform is useful for idea generation when brainstorming a new angle.
WordPress is a website creation tool for aspiring bloggers, small companies, Fortune 500 companies, or anyone needing to create a website to enhance their brand. WordPress has professionally designed themes and layouts to use so that your website creation is made as easy as possible. Starting a blog on your company website is an excellent way to showcase content and establish yourself or brand as a thought influencer.
Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design tool that enables users to create visuals such as infographics, flyers, brochures, invitations, business cards, and more. Choose from thousands of templates that can be customized to your project, or create your own visual masterpiece from scratch. With consumed content increasingly going visual, resources like Canva are advantageous for PR professionals.
Unsplash has a collection of over one million photos collected from a community of over 150,000 photographers. The photos posted on Unsplash are free to use and can effectively spice up any presentation or post to increase aesthetics and in turn increase click rates.
Most people would gladly watch a two minute YouTube video over sifting through a long presentation. Use YouTube to create dynamic content and tell your story in a creative and visual way. YouTube is relatively inexpensive and though making a quality video can take time, the benefit of ease to the consumer will outweigh the negative.
Wire is one of the most secure collaboration platforms on the market. Guest rooms and file sharing enable easy distribution between clients, journalists, and sources, which ensures that everyone is protected.
Cision’s PR Newswire distribution service has been active for 65 years. The distribution service offers connections both domestically and globally, as well multicultural distribution networks. Cision offers a one-to-one email distribution tool that saves users a few extra steps by sending pitches to media contacts directly through the Cision service. The service is an all-in-one utility responsible for lots of eyeballs on your content, however only those who subscribe to the service may use it.
With Agility’s Newswire feature you can reach a broad audience, schedule distribution ahead of time and track the progress and reach of your story afterward. All wires, or stories, are one flat cost meaning you can add an unlimited amount of words, links and pictures to your release.
For personal use or for business, Google office provides a way to distribute content and interact with your teammates through its sharing and editing technology. Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets in the Google Drive tool enables teammates to edit documents and leave notes. Gmail works in tandem with Google Drive, Youtube, Google Maps, Gnews and more to make collaboration simple.
Microsoft Office enables users to distribute content created on Word, Powerpoint, Excel and more to either teammates or journalists using Microsoft Outlook email. One Drive uses cloud technology so users can access work from anywhere and save content in one place without having to take up space in computer files.
Prowly makes distributing press releases easy by limiting attachments and instead using shareable links that will take a journalist straight to your flourishing Prowly newsroom. Prowly also allows you to schedule personalized campaigns, taking manual distribution out of the equation and in turn freeing up more time for you.
Prezly’s distribution system delivers emails from your own email account so that consistency is maintained with clients and journalists. With email distribution also comes Prezly’s tracking system so you can stay up to date on who is reading your pitches and press releases and when.
About Savannah Burns: Savannah is a marketing and communications intern for Swyft, which has been listed as one of the best PR firms in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft recently opened a satellite office where it offers PR in San Francisco.