When you leverage a full stack of PR tools to monitor, track, and grow media mentions, your brand’s PR and communications team is more effective.
Problem is, how do you know which PR tools are the right ones for the job? Choosing the wrong tools can create more work for your team, meaning you may waste time (and money) doubling up on tasks or overlooking media mentions.
If you’re looking to expand or improve your team’s PR tool stack, you’ve come to the right place. Below is a list of public relations tools and tips. Use them to manage media relations, pitch more effectively, track success, and optimize media campaigns. Your brand’s media mentions can benefit from the boost in tool technology and so might your team.
Successful PR professionals excel at managing relationships. Companies or clients hire a PR person based on who they know and how well they leverage and manage their contacts.
A relationship-management tool helps you tap into niche networks, find new media contacts, and maintain your existing contacts through relevant updates. The best tools both automate and personalize the process, which means you can give reporters and bloggers the white glove treatment without spending hours a week sending emails and making calls.
PR Tools for Building Media Lists
More than a media database, Anewstip is kind of like a search engine for PR pros. The browser-based software lets you search for journalists, bloggers, editors, and media professionals based on their social media posts or articles. Filter the results based on customized conditions, and then add them straight to a media list.
You can even base your search on competitor brand names, gaining insight into who’s writing about your competitors.
Related: How to find guest blogging sites.
Gorkana is a media database and news-distribution platform covering media professionals in 170 countries and 40 languages. As well as finding relevant press contacts, you can also search upcoming media calendar listings and access lead times for news opportunities.
A media database with advanced search and filtering features, Vuelio helps find accurate, up-to-date information, including contact names and numbers. You spend less time sourcing, and more time building relationships.
Fill in the missing information in your media list using identity resolution by FullContact. With just an email address or a social media handle, the platform consults its identity graph housing one billion profiles and creates an enriched profile with all the information you need to message an individual with context.
SellHack is great for PR people trying to identify prospects and automate first-contact emails. The tool has a 12-step process to verify prospects’ contact emails, which you can then use to build out customized audiences on Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Follow up prospecting emails with a retargeting campaign for recent press releases or campaigns to stay top of mind.
Bonus: DIY media list building
If you’re bootstrapping a PR tool stack, it’s possible to build media lists using Google, LinkedIn, andHunter Y, an email plug-in. Start by searching job role and sector—”journalist” and “cloud computing,” for example. Restrict your search to LinkedIn, as in the image below.
You’ll get a list of relevant profiles. Find their email addresses using Hunter, a Chrome extension that reveals work email addresses associated with any website you browse.
PR Tools for Staying in Touch
Outreach Plus lets you send emails at scale, personalized to include contacts’ hobbies and interests. The software then tracks contacts’ responses and triggers automatic email chains based on the responses. It’s a great way to build links to your content and get wider campaign distribution.
Maintaining and updating media contact lists in Excel spreadsheets is cumbersome. Mustr replaces Excel as a media list management tool, consolidating media lists into a single source of information.
Prezly sends mass press-release campaigns fast, tracks all of your brand’s interactions with journalists, and gives you in-depth analytics on campaign interaction. You can also set up a branded digital newsroom where interested journalists can subscribe to your content.
Email isn’t the only way to keep media contacts warm. Close is a CRM that automates calling leads, records and transcribes each call, and manages all that information.
If you need to track digital influencers on social media and elsewhere, Traackr‘s CRM is for you. The software helps you discover relevant influencers and then track interactions with them across all platforms.
Pitching & Distribution
Getting quality media mentions depends on pitching the right content to the right people. If your pitches fall flat, campaigns won’t get airtime; if you don’t have good distribution networks, campaigns won’t get the publicity they need.
Media pitching and distribution tools give you a leg up by customizing pitches, reacting to rejections positively, and distributing relevant content at the right time.
PR Tools for Pitching
With Muck Rack, you can customize reporter outreach, track metrics related to those messages, and organize your company’s relationship history with every journalist. You can also create reusable pitch templates to save time.
Boomerang is a Gmail plugin that schedules emails and sets reminders for you to follow up if you don’t get a reply. You can schedule pitch emails at the best time of day for individual reporters and keep your inbox (relatively!) under control by snoozing emails until you need them.
BlogDash is a pitching and outreach platform to help PR pros connect with bloggers, not reporters. Bloggers opt in to have you place relevant links on their blogs, opening up backlink opportunities for your brand in relevant niches.
Journalists on OnePitch opt in to receive daily messages based on their writing needs. That means PR pros can be sure they’re pitching to targeted, interested contacts in a relevant niche. The reporters can contact you directly if they’re interested in the pitch.
PR Tools for Distribution
Sign up for Help a Reporter Out and you’ll receive information requests from reporters and media outlets worldwide three times a day. Respond and they may quote you or link to your brand in their articles.
Business Wire is a distribution network that lets you track interactions with press releases and post multimedia campaign content.
Gain organic distribution for content with Sniply. The tool adds your brand’s custom call to action to any page on the web, meaning that every time you share a link from third parties, you can encourage traffic back to your site. You’ll increase brand awareness while still curating varied content.
Bonus: DIY PR Distribution
Finally, #journorequest is a lively Twitter hashtag reporters use to request information or interview subjects. Follow the hashtag and check regularly to see if any requests fit with your brand.
Pitch your response right and you’ll increase mentions across traditional and digital media.
Monitoring & Impact
Once you have PR tools lined up to help you build media relations and distribute branded content, the next step is to monitor the impact of those activities.
Listening tools help you stay abreast of public sentiment, track who’s talking about your brand or campaigns, and evaluate impact. This means you can prove the ROI of your PR activities.
PR Tools for Monitoring & Impact
Agility PR Solutions combines the human touch with automation to analyze PR coverage, highlighting metrics like reach, share of voice, sentiment, and coverage trends.
One of the best-known PR tools, Cision is a full-stack tool that builds media lists and manages contacts. The monitoring and analysis features are impressive, letting you track your brand and trends across the media landscape, scoring impact and prominence for both paid and earned media mentions.
Use the Alexa backlink analysis to track how many sites, and what kind, are linking to your campaign content. You can also analyze competitors’ backlink profiles to determine the impact of rival media campaigns and mention profiles.
If you need to do broadcast-media monitoring, Critical Mention is a good option. The tool captures a staggering 40 hours of video content every minute, allowing PR teams to search and analyze broadcast-media coverage from 2,000+ television and radio stations worldwide.
More often used by UX or web design teams, Mixpanel is actually a good way to see how website visitors react to your site’s content. If you launch a microsite for a campaign, you can use the tool to track who saw your press release, clicked on a link, downloaded attachments, or saw images.
Use Buzzsumo to identify blog content being shared on social media. Track everything that has been shared from your brand’s site in the last year, and use the site-comparison feature to see what types of campaign content gets the most shares across the competitor landscape.
Bonus: Free monitoring and impact tools
Additionally, several free monitoring tools can integrate into your PR tool stack. Setting up Google Analytics Goals is a great way to track downloads of PR materials, such as press releases. You can also look in the Referral Traffic channel to see where traffic and downloads are coming from and then track back high-quality paid mentions from there.
Competitor Monitoring & Analysis
While monitoring the impact of your own PR efforts is important, it’s also vital to know what your competitors are up to. Analyzing competing brands can help uncover new opportunities for your company. Website traffic, lead conversions, and SERP improvements can help prove the effectiveness of PR campaigns and media mentions.
Alexa’s tools can help with that in the following ways:
- Find backlink gaps: Find out and list which sites are mentioning your competitors but not you. Reach out to the sites to ask whether they’ve heard of your brand; put them on your media list; and use one of our recommended pitching tools to customize future interactions with them.
- Find partnership opportunities: Alexa’s audience tools help you find sites in your niche that attract your target audience. You can use these to find guest-posting opportunities or sites to target for your next press release.
You can also use Alexa to analyze the performance for a group of competitor sites or news outlet sites. It’s free with our Site Overview tool. Benchmark competitors’ time on site, bounce rate, and page views per visitor for a clear view of traffic quality, and then build your strategy for growing mentions off of that.
An effective PR campaign is a process. Streamline it and boost execution with a stack of PR tools that help you find and contact media professionals, pitch stories, and follow up on them. Mixing paid and free PR tools can keep the price down while optimizing impact and improving reporting to clients.
Try the tools mentioned above, and sign up for a free trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan to test how the analysis and competitor-monitoring features can help you win and track media mentions.