More than ever, PR is at the forefront of digital marketing – and the right online PR tools make all the difference.
Whether you’re engaged in influencer marketing, mainstream media link-earning for SEO or simply looking to amplify your brand across digital channels, traditional and developing PR strategies are at the heart of an integrated strategy.
There are many PR tools available but there are only a few that are simply an essential part of what our teams do every day.
So…following on from our last post about the best SEO tools, let’s look at 2017’s three most useful PR tools.
Top of the list in any PR pro’s toolkit, Gorkana is one of the most useful assets for digital PR – and more non-PR people should make use of it.
Essentially, Gorkana is a complete journalistic database that is home to millions of media contacts and publication details.
Gorkana has over 80,000 journalists and nearly 23,000 publications and outlets detailed on the platform – all easily filtered. With a built-in press release distribution function that allows for easy personalisation and quick replies, it’s a great asset to get content marketing assets picked up by the media, create relationships with industry publications and maximise PR reach.
Gorkana isn’t free. The platform is available on annual, bi-annual or quarterly payment plans, and the pricing is frequently subject to negotiation, and how much you want to use of this massive resource. For digital marketing agencies like Blueclaw where PR is a the core of our content, brand amplification and SEO strategies, it’s a key tool.
It is crucial to understand what topics are popular within the media industry so that you are able to gauge whether or not your campaign will be successful – Buzzsumo is one tool we use every day to do just that.
Buzzsumo is a powerful online tool that enables you to uncover the type of content that is popular online by topic, or by website.
In digital PR the key advantage is to be able to create and pitch content and stories that you know will resonate both with your target audiences, and the publications and news outlets you want to reach them through.
By allowing users to monitor the influencers in a particular field and how well different types of content is performing, a more data-driven approach to the creative process and online PR is unlocked.
From a reporting standpoint, checking how many shares your campaign asset or news story earned to report back to clients, via their website or their handy Chrome extension is ideal for in-house, or agency marketers.
Measuring reach across different social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more gives clear insight into what your multi-channel PR strategy should be – and where your competitor’s content is strongest and weakest.
Buzzsumo costs $79.99 for the basic plan. The Buzzsumo enterprise plan costs $559 and includes an awful lot of superior functionality.
This is possibly one of the simplest but most effective PR tools. Boomerang for Gmail allows you to schedule emails for when you know you won’t have access to them.
Consider the following… A journalist is expecting you to send an email on Friday morning at 9:00 am, but it’s Thursday Afternoon and you’ve been asked to attend a last minute agency meeting with a client out of the office.
Instead of sending it now or later in the evening that will see your email fall into the bottomless pit of other PR emails, schedule your email to be sent at 9:00 am Friday, while you’re busy elsewhere. Essentially, Boomerang is a quick and easy way to be two places at once with Boomerang and make sure your email is at the top of the pile – the perfect tool for PR and outreach professionals who like to be prepared.
Boomerang plans range from $4.99 to $40.99, with a range of plans as you might expect.
Once you’ve got to grips with the tools above, the following are also worth taking a look at:
Response Source extremely useful tool for PR professionals and for journalists. It enables you to send out requests for contributions to relevant industries or media publications for information on stories and campaigns.
As well as this, you can opt to receive daily emails from outlets who are themselves searching for sources – and react to help them out and hopefully win some coverage (and links) for your company or client.
Response Source is particularly good for this type of adhoc PR when your ability to respond to quick deadlines – such as providing expert insight for breaking news – can achieve great results.
BrandMentions helps digital PR professionals to track down any mention of the brands they are working with online. This is a useful tool for tracking keywords and relevant web mentions for a particular term – typing a specific word or phrase into the database will bring up all the websites that contain that specific word or phrase.
Quite simply great for finding extra pieces of coverage or for snooping on what your client’s competitors are up to.
A brilliant display program that allows PR professionals to input their links into the website and the software will combine the important information (such as all the coverage your campaign earned, online readership and average domain authority) into a report for you to present to the client.
Whether you are familiar with all of these tools or just a couple of them, they are all useful in the digital world of PR.
Some are available to trial for free and others you need to sign up for a membership to utilise the full benefits that they offer – and to experience serious benefits, sometimes serious investment is needed.
Either way, they all come in handy for a professional, or in one of the many stages of a PR campaign.
Give them a try – or get in touch with us at Blueclaw and we’ll be happy to work with you on your next digital campaign.