Tools No PR Pro Can Live Without

Working in an industry that can evolve in a day, a great arsenal of tools is your best defense. PR pros have to deal with technology changing as well as the transition of new media. There are many tools that PR professionals use on a daily basis, but everyone has their go to tool when faced with a dwindling deadline.

Social Media

What did we do before Twitter? Twitter has been around since 2006 now and most PR folks can be found tweeting everywhere. But what Twitter client is the best around? When you start reaching a good amount of followers, you need to filter out how to get the information you are looking for on a regular basis. Jamie Floer, a Senior Account Executive at Wragg and Casas Public Relations, says her favorite tool to manage social media is TweetDeck.

The great thing about TweetDeck and other similar platforms, is you can integrate your updates to Facebook as well. Making it a one-stop-shop instead of manually signing in and updated multiple sites. You also can track more than one Twitter accounts if you have to tweet for your clients. Byron Gordon, Vice President, Social Media Marketing Programs at SEO-PR, says the one tool he can’t live without is Twitter, and uses Tweetdeck because, “[he has] discovered more using this app than just about anything else!”

Database Tools
Being able to reach reporters and media outlets is another must for PR professionals, and with so many to choose from it is hard to tell which one is best. Eric Brandt, an account manager at Internet Marketing Inc., says he couldn’t live without CisionPoint.
If you’re on a budget, Help a Reporter Out or HARO has helped me more times than I can count. Having access to direct quires from reporters couldn’t make pitching any easier. I couldn’t imagine my day without it.

Electronics

Besides a computer or laptop there are now many electronic devices on the market that makes the busy PR pro able to access their email and other essentials. Andrew Shipp, the sponsorship chair at Cincinnati PRSA and communications manager at Busam Auto Group says his favorite PR tool is his smartphone. “I would say my smart phone—[I] use it for SM, add video/pictures, access email anywhere.”

Let’s not leave out the iPad. This seems to be a marketer and PR pros new favorite toy. With rumors of the iPad 2 coming out this year, and BlackBerry taking a stab at a tablet who knows how much power these devices could hold.

Google Alerts are a great way to keep up to date on your company, clients any anything else you need to monitor online. You can also use them to track reporters writing on certain beats to help with your media outreach.

What is the one PR tool you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below.

6 Comments

  1. I’m with Andrew, my iPhone is essential. It’s great for checking the daily headlines and my Google Reader on my way to the office in the morning, and it always me to quickly create fair-quality content on the go.

    I also couldn’t live without Diigo. It auto-bookmarks every link I tweet and has a fantastic “Read Later” button. If there’s an article I want to read but don’t have time for now, I can hit “Read Later” and it stores in a my “Unread” folder on my toolbar until I get to it. I make time once or twice a week to go through all of the articles I’ve saved, which is a great way to find content to curate on CNW’s Twitter stream, our Worthy on the Web link round-up and to find ideas for my own blogging.

  2. I definitely cannot live without my iPhone and my iPad. I also love MyMediaInfo for my media database needs and cannot speak the praises of HARO and Profnet for providing so many opportunities. My Google Reader (first stop in the morning) and Google Alerts (emails throughout the day keeps me on my toes) are great tools for my arsenal. I also rely on social media (I use Hootsuite to manage my accounts) heavily. Thanks for this great article!

  3. Once you’ve got your contacts in order and tags done, Buzzstream.com is pretty great – a bit like iTunes (but web-based) for your contacts. Paul May (the CEO) is really hands-on too – we’ve seen the product grow and shape since we started using it about 6 months ago and it’s essential (though you, obviously, have to learn to put in your own information, which is pretty easy.)

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