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PR Tools Every PR Student or New Grad Should Know


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PR Tools Every PR Student or New Grad Should...

In a fast-paced world of ever-changing technology, PR students and new grads are expected to know how to navigate the world of media technology by creating infographics, websites, media coverage reports, press releases and more. This can be overwhelming if you don’t know the right places to start.

To help with this, we’ve collected some of our favorite tools and sites that range from how best to keep up with the media to all-around useful tools and sites. Below are some PR tools that every PR student or new grad should know about. 

Keeping Up with the Media

Coveragebook

This media monitoring service can help you visually show the impact of a PR campaign with clients. This tool can take any website, offline coverage or article and showcase the visits per month, estimated coverage views, domain authority and social shares. Overall, this website can show whether your campaign was a hit or a miss.

Brandswatch

Brandswatch monitors social media platforms for current PR campaigns. It also can trace any company mentioned in the media. This is an excellent tool to track breaking news and keep track of media for your crisis management team (CMT). 

Meltwater

Meltwater displays a comprehensive media analysis that allows for building dashboards and sharing results, which takes global media monitoring to its highest potential. It helps you benchmark progress with competition and creates a comprehensive report that is fully equipped with AI insights. 

Brand24

Brand24 helps you identify changes in online discussion amount about your company by offering a discussion volume chart. This website enables you to quickly spot problematic issues as well as provide analytics, influence scores and sentiment analysis to give you a competitive edge over the competition. 

Finding the Story

Muckrack

When looking for a detailed database of journalist profiles to help you create personalized media pitches, Muckrack is the place to go. This tool enables you to make connections, stay up to date with journalists and create a media list to reach out to once you have written your media pitch. 

Meltwater

By using a keyword search tool, Meltwater helps you find niche journalists to engage with concerning your specific topic. This site also allows you to log your interactions with the media as well as your team’s through their relationship style management function. 

Anewstip

Anewstip Autolist monitors relevant content to help you build a media list. Through an extensive database of 200 million articles and one billion tweets, this site is helpful in gathering information on any relevant media contacts by searching what they have written or tweeted. Lastly, Anewstip monitors your pitches by tracking who opens them in real-time as well as monitoring Twitter and news articles online. 

Knowing your Audience

LinkedIn

This form of social media can help you establish your professional brand out of college as well as get to know those around you in the workforce. By publishing an article on LinkedIn, you can boost your reputation and further the influence you have in the PR world. This site is also a great way to create ideas for stories due to its media traffic and trending updates. 

Reddit

Reddit helps you get to know the users through features such as “Ask Me Anything” or “First Look” that help you get an audience’s thoughts on your content prior to final writing. This media site is popular because of the users’ influence on visibility by giving content “upvotes” or “downvotes” to increase or decrease visibility consequently. Overall, this site helps you get to know your audience and, if done well, raise a loyal following. 

Quora

Quora is a site that allows people to ask questions and have others answer them. This enables those in the PR world to gain honest opinions from your audience as well as network with people in the industry. By answering other user’s questions yourself, you can also cultivate an influencer status for yourself. 

Medium

Specifically a digital publishing platform, Medium allows for anyone to share their ideas. Tailoring topics to the reader’s interest, this platform helps you find new thoughts and ideas from a wide range of audiences. 

Creating Appealing Visuals 

WordPress

A tool used by a wide range of bloggers, small companies, Fortune 500 companies or anyone wanting to enhance their brand, WordPress allows users to create visually appealing content easily. This site is an simple way to publish content in an organized, aesthetically pleasing way. 

Canva

When working in the PR world, Canva can quickly become your best friend. With it’s user-friendly interface, Canva can help you quickly create graphics for infographics, flyers, presentations, brochures, invitations, business cards and more. It offers thousands of templates you can customize to create your own personalized project. This will quickly take your graphics and presentations to a new level in the professional PR world. 

Unsplash

When searching for background graphics, Unsplash can be a great place to start. With collections of over one million photos that come from a community of over 150,000 photographers, Unsplash can be a great resource to help with the aesthetics of your project. Free to use and download – this site can spice up your project without worrying about copywriting. 

Sharing Your Work 

Wire

One of the most secure collaboration platforms out there, Wire makes sharing easy by creating guest rooms to share files between clients, sources, and journalists, making sure everyone is protected along the way. 

Google Office

Great for personal or business use, Google office helps you share and collaborate on content with your team. Whether you are using Google Slides, Google Docs or Google sheets, this tool allows team members to leave notes and edit the same document for simple collaboration. Not only that, but Gmail works with Google Drive, Youtube, Google Maps and Gnews to help make collaborating and distributing easy. 

Microsoft Office

By pooling together Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, Microsoft Office can help you share your story. One Drive uses cloud technology to enable users to access their work from anywhere and save content without taking up space on your computer drive. This resource is an excellent way to distribute your story due to its reliability and versatility. 

All-Around Helpful 

Cision

Cision is a PR specialist’s best friend. It can be helpful in finding your story, telling it, knowing your audience and distributing your work. By providing a global media database with over one million contacts and editorial calendars, Cision allows you to plan and map your story with all the coverage you need. It also provides and highlights audience insights to better help you curate a leading story. Cision provides analytics that tracks the impact of monitored broadcast, print, social media and online press coverage.

Cision also powers a service called “HARO” or “help a reporter out.” This service enables reporters to share stories that they want to write and allows PR personnel to tailor pitches to the reporter’s needs which increases the chance of the story getting published. If journalists like your pitch, they will reach out to you apart from HARO. 

Lastly, Cision offers a PR Newswire distribution service that has been running for the last 66 years. While this service is subscriber-based, it offers a wide range of benefits including multicultural, domestic and global distribution. Not only this, but it offers a one-to-one email distribution tool that saves users extra steps by directly sending pitches to their media contacts. Overall, this tool is useful when putting together your story, staying up to date, and helping get the word out for your company. 

YouTube

It may seem like a simple answer, but YouTube offers a wide range of benefits to a PR student or recent graduate. Youtube offers a wide range of helpful videos that can better your understanding of your audience as well as your visual storytelling. People are often inclined to watch videos, making YouTube a great asset to not only understand your audience but also show them your competitive advantage through effective visuals and better content. 

YouTube can also be used to create engaging content to tell your story in a creative and appealing way. While most people do not enjoy lengthy presentations, they will happily watch a two-minute YouTube video to learn about their given subject. This tool is relatively inexpensive and can engage with the consumer in a way that far outweighs the time commitment of creating content. 

Prowly

When it comes to connecting with journalists or sharing your story with them, Prowly is a great all-around tool. Prowly not only organizes your contacts to help you follow up, but it also has over one million media contacts to utilize. Once you have found your contact, this tool helps you distribute press releases easily by limiting attachments and using sharable links with the journalists that take them to your newsroom. Lastly, Prowly allows you to schedule your campaigns, taking manual distribution out of the picture to help your releases be shared with ease. 

Prezly

Similar to Prowly, Prezly also helps you organize your media contacts. Taking this organization one step further, Prezly shows you the level of interest, reach and impact your pitches will have with journalists and allows you to find those who open your emails and view your content. This better enables you to pitch to the right person. They also help you with your distribution to help maintain consistency with journalists. These emails are equipped with a tracking system to help you stay up to date on who is reading your pitches and when. 

Agility PR Solutions

Agility PR is helpful not only for any kind of researching, but also distributing your story. This site enables you to send pitches, build media lists and track engagement on your project and website. Not only that, but Agility offers a live social stream showcasing influencer activity. This can be filtered with keywords and helps encourage new influencers to get on the radar of consumers. 

Lastly, Agility enables you to set a schedule to get your story out there. All the wires or stories you send out hav a flat rate cost, enabling you to add an unlimited amount of words, links, and pictures to your releases.  

About Lara Tanner: Lara is an Intern for Swyft, which is a tech PR firm in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing and PR agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft also has a small satellite office where it offers tech PR in San Francisco. Swyft has been listed as one of the top tech PR agencies in Texas for two years running by the B2B services review site, Clutch.co.

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