Social media has redefined the way we interact. As a result, public relations has had to evolve considerably to keep up with the pace of modern interaction. These days there are hundreds of tools and dedicated software aimed at improving the PR process, making it particularly challenging to choose the right tool for your business.
So, without further delay, here are 10 of most popular paid and free tools designed to streamline and scale up your PR:
Unquestionably one of the most effective tools for PR and online marketing; Buzzstream collects all the separate aspects of digital marketing (emails, searching for prospects, building relationships etc.) and packages them up into one, easy to use product.
Buzzstream comes in 2 products: Buzzstream for link building and Buzzstream for social media. For all intents and purposes, the former is geared more to the SEO side of marketing and the latter for digital PR, therefore it is important to distinguish the differences between them.
Buzzstream is relatively inexpensive for the small business and has a range of price options to easily fit into your budget.
Cision are big players in the game when it comes to developing public relations software. Over the years, their innovations have changed the way PR professionals network and communicate with their influencers.
Cision offers a KPI dashboard style program, allowing businesses to strategize, effectuate and analyse their PR campaigns using a range of tools contained within the program.
Being aware of where you spend your time, effort and money in your PR process can really help in developing new strategies and concentrating resources where they are needed. Cision may be one of the priciest tools to make the list but if your PR efforts are going unheeded, it may be of help, and with Cision offering a free trial of their software, there’s no harm in trying!
3) Pitch Engine
Pitch engine is more a tool for content marketing than PR, but with lines blurring in the industry, it’s not uncommon for the modern PR manager to adopt other aspects of digital marketing into their campaign.
Pitch engine is more than just a tool for companies to dispense their press packs. Simply put, Pitch Engine allows your business to create and publish professional, interactive content and distribute it via social media, straight into the laps of your influencers and target audience.
Until now, it has not been this easy for companies to reach the majority of their intended audience. This tool may not be affordable for the small budget business but it is no doubt a potently effective PR tool.
Does your business require that a lot of time be dedicated to twitter? If so, look no further than Bluenod. This handy app offers out a boatload of cool features to vastly improve your twitter marketing campaigns and provide deeper insight into the impact your tweets have on your network.
The piece de resistance however is Bluenod’s social graphs feature. Social graphs allow you to visualize the social dynamics of a particular hashtag or twitter account in the form of a complex graph, giving you access to a visual aid on how best to structure your new twitter campaign or hashtag trend.
Ok, so it’s not totally a PR tool, but the power of 5 second test is big enough that it’s worth mentioning anyway.
To be successful, your website / marketing / branding all need to convey the right message. You might think your new logo is awesome, but what do the general public think?
5 Second Test allows you to put your marketing efforts in front of completely unbiased, brutally honest members of the public. They get 5 seconds to look at your logo or your web page (or whatever) and then either pick their favourite, or answer a couple of quick questions.
Remember, your opinion doesn’t matter, all that matters is what your potential customers might think. Be prepared though; you may need a thick skin!
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a tool that might actually help you to get press in some of the big sites in your niche and even national press! Basically the idea is that when a journalist is working on a story and needs sources for the article, they will put a request on HARO.
As a business owner you can sign up for a daily email alert which lists all of the requests for that day. If you see a story that is relevant to you, you can pitch a response and if the journalist likes your response they might just use it in their piece.
There’s no guarantee of course, but the potential upside is big, so it’s worth taking the time to write an awesome pitch.
Alltop lets you know exactly what is happening in your niche. Imagine it as an online magazine rack about all your favourite things! Easily discover trends and stories that your brand demands you cover, all in one place.
Before long, you’ll be finding those priceless stories and little nuggets of information about the latest things in your niche, providing you with plenty of ideas for fresh content and inspiring new, innovative ways of reaching out to your influencers
Previously known as Gobbledygook Grader; the Marketing Grader (now owned by Hubspot) is a rather useful tool and very easy to use! This tool analyses your website or blog and grades you out of 100 on your marketing efforts and offers tips and advice on how to best improve your brand’s marketability.
Google’s alert tool is a fantastic way of monitoring the web things related to your brand. Monitoring things like keywords (i.e. your brand’s name), links, local news, specific websites, plagiarized content, you name it! This can provide a wealth of insight into your brand’s online reputation as well as staying on top of stories in your niche and even what your competitors are up to. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Neat!
Essentially an SEO tool repurposed for marketing; Backtweets simply displays every archived instance of a backlink in twitter. This can be a fantastic way of discovering influencers that you might not have already come across and connecting with them.
Written by Mark Johnson for Phipps PR. Phipps are a PR and marketing company who specialise in working with foods and drinks brands. Mark loves working with a variety of exciting clients and exploring the world of food!