If you’re a public relations professional, you’re probably extremely skilled at creating newsworthy press releases, writing interesting content and helping clients shine on social media. But do you have the right tools to showcase the work you’re doing? An exceptional public relations practitioner will invest in a wide arsenal of communications tools to have at their disposal.
To implement a successful campaign, consider investing in the following public relations tools:
One of the most important parts of a campaign is measurement. How many stories were published? How many people were reached? Tools like Meltwater, in addition to Muck Rack and TV Eyes, can track media placements, competitors and mentions of your brand or key terms. Utilizing Google Alerts is another simple way to keep up with relevant coverage, but if you’re looking for metrics along with your alerts, you’ll likely need to look into a paid service
Your distribution channel is crucial to a killer content strategy. Create social media schedules and make a plan for when you want posts to be distributed to each platform. To save time and make scheduling easier, invest in software like Hootsuite, SocialFlow or Sprout Social, These platforms allow you to choose exactly when you want your posts to go live on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more, in addition to offering conversation monitoring. You can add images, videos and even GIFS, save content as drafts if you’re waiting for post approval or a link to go live and also view all of your upcoming posts in one place.
One of the primary roles of a public relations professional is to act as a liaison between journalists and the organizations they cover. Thus, building a thorough and up-to-date media list is crucial. Services like Muck Rack and Cision provide the detailed information needed for crafting lists of contacts, keeping up with coverage and seeing a story’s impact. You can easily search by outlet name to identify the most relevant contacts working at the publication or news station. If you’re not sure which outlets to pitch, you can search according to geographic location, subjects/topics covered by the outlet or even outlet type. With so many search options, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find contacts who will be interested in receiving your news.
News databases like Factiva are also helpful for conducting relevant research to include in your pitch. You can also peruse recent research conducted by The Harris Poll to see if any survey data might fit nicely into your pitch.
Constantly brainstorming ideas for a new blog or social media post can be tiring, and sometimes leads to repetitive content. Try a site that helps you map and brainstorm your content, like Stormboard or GroupMap, to get the ball rolling and keep your ideas exciting, unique and fresh. BuzzSumo is also a useful tool when searching for influencer content
While your business may outsource design work or have a graphic designer on staff, it’s helpful have a basic understanding of graphic design. Many novices favor sites like Canva that provide free templates and elements to assist with graphics for social media and presentations. While you will need to upgrade to a paid account to have access to all the templates and images, you can easily create posts for Instagram, LinkedIn and other uses in just a few minutes. Canva allows you to upload your own logo and brand colors too so that you can make images that fit your brand guidelines. And the best part? There’s no annoying Canva watermark on your designs.
Software like the Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, provides more advanced options for PR pros to use in creating designs. From the Adobe Creative Cloud blog to the Adobe YouTube channel to Creative Cloud tutorials, there are many places that you can turn to for additional support in creating content with these programs.
A thorough analytics report is crucial to measure the outcome of your campaign. Services such as Google Analytics help you visualize and manage your return on investment (ROI) on all your data. Mention is another simple way to track social mentions, analyze competitors and protect your reputation. Review your data on a regular basis so that you can identify trends, set new goals and share insights with other team members to generate ideas on how to improve your campaigns.
The communications landscape is always changing, so it’s important to stay informed about current trends affecting marketing tools and platforms. When used strategically, a well-crafted toolbox of these technologies can unlock countless possibilities. Whether you’re a public relations practitioner in the B2B or B2C field, using and mastering these key tools will ensure your public relations campaign achieves its goals.
Full-service agencies have the above tools and more at their fingertips – learn how Mulberry can leverage these tools to elevate your brand.
Thomas Jilk is a Senior Account Executive at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. He uses his journalism and marketing skills to tell compelling brand stories for clients.