As an agency, the start of a new year signals the perfect time to reassess everything we’ve been doing within the business and discover different ways to improve our current methods and tools.
Like most things, the digital PR and social media world is in a constant state of change and there are never-ending streams of new tools, platforms, and media outlets coming in to play all the time.
It can often feel like a full-time job keeping up with these changes and trends, which is why we have put together a list of the PR tools that will stand the test of time and deliver the results needed for both you and the client.
What are PR tools?
PR tools play a key role in helping to secure and monitor coverage for brands and businesses across the world.
Although all tools are different, they are predominantly used for outreaching content to journalists, measuring results, creating media databases and tracking current online trends among an abundance of other things.
Why do we need them?
Over the years, it is clear the industry has come on leaps and bounds and it is now more important than ever to stay hot on heels of the latest trends and topics to enable us to create engaging content and this is where PR tools come in to play.
Before we get started
To decide which platforms are best for you, you first need to ask yourself: What are our goals for the client? What are our key messages? What is our budget? And what do we want each platform to achieve?
Once you have clearly answered these questions, you will begin to understand which PR tools will work best for you.
Let’s get started
BuzzStream is the perfect tool for outreaching content and keeping on top of your communication with journalists. The software can create personalised pitches and upload media lists at the touch of a button.
The tool allows you to send automatic follow-up emails after a select number of days if it recognises that your original email has not been responded to. It will also let you know if you are attempting to contact a journalist who you are already in talks with to ensure you are not bombarding them with new content too often.
The main aim of the tool is to help marketers build the relationships with influencers to help drive word-of-mouth traffic, improve search performance and increase awareness.
Vuelio is essentially the holy grail of PR contacts. Think of it as the modern day yellow pages with every media outlet, blogger and marketer you can think of, all in one place.
The platform allows you to search for contacts via location, language, media type and subjects covered along with a host of other things.
Having recently acquired the market-leading journalist service ResponseSource, Vuelio is now able to allow journalists to reach out to a database of PRs when they are looking for specific content.
This resource is invaluable to PRs as it gives them a headstart into getting published in a host of media outlets. Response Source also enables PRs to build their database with the most relevant contacts at publications.
Vuelio also offers a media monitoring service which means you can track your brand mentions both in print and online, so you never miss a piece of coverage for your clients.
As Vuelio has quickly become a fully integrated service it is now competing with other industry giants like Gorkana.
Meltwater is a media intelligence platform which combines the largest news and social media database in the industry, to bring clients advanced media monitoring, social media listening, social media management, PR analytics, and influencer engagement tools.
The platform tracks online coverage in real-time and gives you the option to search for keywords, meaning you can track competitors and find out what is being talked about online.
Mention monitors over one billion sources, including social media platforms, forums, blogs and the rest of the web. The resource can set alerts so you can track your brand mentions in real time as well as research influencers and competitors.
The easy to use platform offers in-depth brand intelligence tailored to your business and the automated reports mean it is simple to share your results with clients and colleagues, which ultimately saves you time and money.
One of the most useful tools on mention is the influencer tool. This allows you to see who has been interacting with you on your channels and it will give them an ‘influencer score’ based on factors such as the number of their followers and overall reach.
You can also search for influencers in different fields, giving you the option to approach them with shareable content.
Sprout Social looks at analytics, engagement, publishing and uncovers trends and actionable insights from social data which can improve business marketing strategies.
The social media management software helps you find, form and deepen real connections with the people who love your brand and allows you to schedule posts in advance, across all social media platforms.
The tool will inform you of the best times to post, taking into consideration when your audience is the most active on each platform to encourage maximum engagement and brand awareness.
So what now?
The PR Census in 2016 found that the UK PR and communications industry is worth £12.9 billion, which is over £3 billion more than the previous figures sourced in 2013.
The industry has now grown to include approximately 83,000 employees, which means that everyone’s needs will be entirely different and the platform you choose to work with will be selected through personal preference and what works best for your business and clients.
One thing that will remain the same is that these PR and social media tools will stand the test of time in delivering results for you and your client.