Public relations has expanded its scope significantly in recent years.
Not only are social and media relations evolving rapidly, but the needs of clients are shifting as well.
Now more than ever, PR pros must accept any help they can get to get ahead of the competition and make a mark.
Currently, there’s an arsenal of tech tools and services that PR pros are using to stay on top of the industry and make the right moves.
Here are some that are making themselves indispensable.
1. HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
HARO may have started as a service for reporters to get sources for their stories, but it’s now an essential tool for PR pros. Signing up will get you daily emails containing queries from journalists that detail the stories they’re working on, the sources they need and their contact information. If you have a client that matches the query, therefore, you can get them coverage on the most popular news outlets on the internet.
Because of HARO’s popularity, inquiring journalists receive floods of responses from PR professionals. To make your client stand out, respond quickly, be concise, and make sure you have exactly what the reporter needs.
In PR, timing is everything. Something as small as failing to respond to an email can bring your career tumbling down. Boomerang will help you manage your Gmail inbox, by overseeing when you send and receive emails. You can schedule an email, so it hits a journalist’s inbox first thing in the morning or at lunchtime, when the odds of your message getting read are highest.
Boomerang will also remind you to check back at an email thread to make sure you’ve followed up after sending a message. And, if your inbox is getting crowded, you can choose to hide certain emails for a time, and they’ll pop back up when you need them.
Qualtrics is the one-stop solution for all the current, accurate data you’ll ever need when building pitches, infographics, reports, and speeches. You can gather information on whichever topic you need, from holiday shopping trends to what keeps the world’s billionaires awake at night in just a few hours, and create more compelling and timely stories for your readers.
In a dynamic profession like PR, continuous learning is necessary to keep the pace. PRWeb’s service has a wealth of useful material, including press release templates, articles, videos, white papers, and webinars, all of which will help you sharpen your skills.
The service also offers resources for search engine optimization and social media exposure, which you will find useful when creating the ideal publications, optimizing them for global search, and distributing them to the right people.
If your day job largely involves chatting on social media, then you may get away with a few occasional typos. But when you’re drafting a pitch or writing a press-release, grammatical errors are a sign of incompetence and unprofessionalism.
With Grammarly, you can worry less about not getting the English wrong. In addition to detecting unclear statements and mistakes, it also offers synonym options and clarification suggestions in case you need to convey the message differently. And, if you’ve borrowed another PR practitioner’s idea and are afraid you may have used the same words, the web-based utility can also check if there’s any plagiarism in the text.
Grammarly is the English grade teacher you wrongfully thought you were too old to need.
The bottom line
The public relations sector owes many of its numerous transformations, presently and in the past, to technology. Smart tools free up your time and energy for higher-level strategies, which in turn build your image as a capable PR professional. Equipped with the right business laptop, adding the tools above into the mix can completely transform your operation by making aspects like research and organization easier.