In addition to having traditional public relations skills, PR pros must also be tech savvy. Because not only are the social and media relations landscapes changing at rapid rates, but the needs of clients are evolving as well.
Clients want PR professionals that have access to tools and resources that measure impact and streamline efforts. It takes time to learn and manage these tools, so working with a professional who is already immersed in the technology can be valuable. Plus, the right PR agency will have already invested in these tools – which means the client doesn’t have to.
There are a variety of cool tech tools that help PR professionals do their jobs more efficiently:
Must-Have Media Relations Tools
- Building media lists: Some tools allow you to build customized media lists to ensure you are pitching the right journalists at the right media outlets. Software such as Cision and Meltwater allow PR professionals to research media outlets, journalists and bloggers nationwide and build distribution lists from there.
- Connecting with journalists: Dozens of journalists search for story sources every day. Tools like Help A Reporter Out and ProfNet allow PR pros to connect with reporters who are in need of expert sources. Utilizing these tools can help secure valuable media coverage. Company experts are often viewed as thought leaders when they are quoted in stories and have by liners published in targeted publications, so fostering relationships with the right people is key.
- Distributing press releases: Press release distribution services deliver news to a wider audience. Press releases posted on these sites reach millions of consumers and top media outlets worldwide. There are many free and paid distribution services available to fit most needs and budgets.
- Monitoring coverage: Tracking mentions of your brand in the news and on social media is critical, as is monitoring competitors. One of the easiest (and free) ways to monitor what’s being said in the news is through Google Alerts. There also are many paid options out there for managing mentions in print, online, on TV and in social media. Once you have coverage to report, a tool like Coverage Book makes it easy to collect and present the media mentions and results of your earned efforts.
Creating and Leveraging Content
Let’s face it. Creating great content is good for business. It provides valuable information that is shareable, and it positions companies as thought leaders.
Blogging is one way to create and share content. One of the most popular platforms is Word Press. It’s free, user-friendly, and there is no coding or design knowledge necessary. Other platforms include Blogger and Tumblr.
Another way to share original content is by publishing articles on LinkedIn. These long-form posts become part of one’s professional profile and are easy to share with connections and followers.
Team and Client Collaboration
When it comes to managing comprehensive campaigns, certain tools ensure that teams collaborate, meet goals and complete assignments…all the while making sure that clients are in the loop on progress as well. Whether it’s time tracking software for billing purposes, an internal team collaboration tool or client project management software, these tools can keep everyone on track.
Of course, this is a mere sampling of cool tech tools for tech savvy PR pros. These days, PR professionals also are expected to be skilled in social media management, the creation of images, video and infographics, email marketing platforms and analytics ROI. And there are a plethora of tools out there for those as well.