PR is an incredible – and economical – way of reaching and engaging with an audience. Although the results are well worth the effort, you may find it difficult to know where to start when it comes to carrying out an effective PR strategy. Fortunately there are a range of online tools that PR pros use to deliver great results more expediently.
So, whether you work in a PR agency, or are an entrepreneur looking to do your own PR, here are some of the most useful tools we use here at Spider PR, to point you in the right direction.
1. Media Monitoring Tools
Media monitoring tools give you near immediate access to all relevant coverage, allowing you to track positive (or otherwise) mentions of your brand, industry terms and your key competitors. PR pros usually choose between services such as Gorkana, Precise, Vocus or Meltwater, however Google Alerts and Mention are great alternatives if you’re on a budget. You can also create journalist Lists on Twitter to be kept up-to-date with the latest news in your industry.
2. Media Databases
As any PR worth his or her salt knows, building strong relationships with the media is vital to success. The first step towards achieving this is to know which journalists and titles to pitch a story to. Online databases such as Gorkana, Cision, Journalisted and MuckRack feature contact details for print, broadcast and web reporters – as well as information on the types of things they cover. This ensures you can adopt a targeted approach to media relations.
3. Tracking Online Conversions
Once you’ve achieved a great bit of coverage, you’ll want to know the effect it has had. Google Analytics has a whole range of great features, and being able to cross-reference coverage with website visitor spikes is extremely useful in determining the success of a campaign. You’ll also be able to check where visitors to your website are arriving from. If you would like to identify the most shared content, we recommend using BuzzSumo.
4. Social Media
In the fast-paced world of social media, staying on top of all conversations and interactions can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to help you do just that. Social media management dashboards such as HootSuite, BrandWatch and Sprout Social allow you to keep all your platforms in one place, as well as helping you monitor traffic and discover relevant, trending keywords across multiple networks. This information can then be used to create optimised content to drive further traffic to your website and social media accounts. For a free alternative to the above, check out TweetDeck.
5. Shareable Visual Content
Strong and engaging visual content enhances a PR campaign and the good news is that you don’t need any coding or design skills to create eye-catching shareable graphics. Online design tools, such as PiktoChart (for infographics), Prezi (for presentations) and Flipboard (for custom magazines) let you produce professional-looking visuals by simply choosing a template, and then modifying its contents using a drag-and-drop platform. Visual content can be posted on your website and shared on social media to build links back to your website.
We hope our suggestions will help get you started and enhance your PR efforts, building awareness about your products, services or brand. For any support or guidance, do please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org