There are no shortcuts in public relations, but there is help.
Developing a successful PR campaign is an effective way to raise awareness for your business, build credibility with your audience, send out a positive message to your customers, and manage your brand’s reputation. Done correctly, public relations can improve the overall image of your company within its community.
Nevertheless, PR is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Luckily, like every other form of marketing, PR has evolved, and various tools have sprung up to help practitioners make the most out of PR challenges and run their campaigns more effectively.
Here is a range of tools that will assist you in your PR efforts:
To find journalists and influencers:
Muck Rack. This provides marketers and PR professionals with an easy way to find and contact journalists. The tool connects those who have new stories to share with those who want to keep up with the latest news. It helps journalists to build their portfolio and find career opportunities and enables PR specialists to pitch their story ideas to the right writers. Muck Rack is trusted by a number of global PR agencies, journalists, entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies.
Anewstip. This is a sort of a search engine for finding tweets, news articles, journalists and influencers that have recently mentioned a certain topic on Twitter. You can easily filter your search results by topics, journalists’ profiles and languages, and by how many times a person you’re looking for has mentioned your keyword. The tool features an influence score, alerts and media lists.
Hey Press. This searchable media database helps you find journalists. Just enter a keyword, and you’ll see the most relevant writers for the topic, as well as articles they have written.
[RELATED: Attend the PR and Media Relations Summit in NYC and find what it takes to produce better brand journalism.]
To send out a better PR pitch:
Prowly. Its Audience Pitch tool enables you to send out data-driven pitches. The service offers a more personal way to submit your story. With Prowly, you can easily create, organize and consolidate your media lists. After you create your pitch, you can launch an email campaign and integrate videos and images into your pitch to make it more visually appealing.
Prezi. This easy-to-use presentation tool helps you make your message more appealing and convincing. You can choose a template for your presentation, add your content and then share your story and inspire the recipient to react. It’s always worth it to enrich your pitch with a stunning presentation.
To spy on competitors’ media mentions:
BuzzSumo. This is an incredibly useful tool for tracking the most shared content for any search term, analyzing content, finding influencers and more. Also, its Content Alerts feature enables you to monitor brand mentions, keywords, competitors, new backlinks and authors.
Brandwatch. This enterprise-level social media monitoring tool enables you to track mentions of your and your competitors’ brands across over 80 million online sources. You can highlight significant mentions and track shares and social voice compared with your rivals. What’s more, these data can be expressed visually on charts and graphs.
SEMrush Brand Monitoring Tool. This enables you to track online mentions of your own and your competitors’ brand names, as well as follow the sentiment with which people mention your brand and react to it. With this tool, you can easily find the most active communities where potential customers are talking about your company and start a dialogue with them. You can also check whether you or your rivals are getting more backlinks to your site.
To discover new media opportunities:
Help a Reporter Out. This tool, commonly known as HARO, is a favorite tool in every PR pro’s toolkit. It provides a database for journalists and public relations pros; the latter can connect with journalists to secure coverage for their clients. Journalists who are looking for expert sources list their requirements via the website, and experts are notified three times a day of ongoing media opportunities.
JournoRequests. This service provides a free daily email alert of all mentions of a need for an expert source from journalists in the United Kingdom. These mentions are organized in several categories by topics. Once you’ve picked your topic, you can set up custom alerts.
Radio Guest List. Radio Guest List is a sort of HARO for the audio world. Journalists, producers and podcast hosts who are looking for experts on specific topics provide media opportunities, and you can sign up for email notifications.
To find contact details:
Gorkana. This offers a detailed, up-to-date database of contact details of journalists in the United Kingdom. You can pitch your story to the right people by finding contacts of media professionals who will cover your topic and industry.
Connectifier . This subsidiary of LinkedIn Corp. has a search index using an architecture similar to that of other search engines. Using machine learning to scan more than a million public web pages, it provides instant access to profile information, including email addresses.
To monitor your website traffic:
SEMrush Traffic Analytics. Using this tool, you can see traffic data on a specific domain and the type of traffic sources, such as direct, search, social or referral. It provides insights into where your visitors come from, how long they stay on your site and where they go after leaving it.
SimilarWeb. To build data-driven marketing strategies and find audiences that might be interested in your business, you can use SimilarWeb, which provides insights into any website. It’s also useful for uncovering your competitors’ online strategies. The tool helps you find out where your rivals’ traffic is coming from and what their referral sources are.
These tools won’t do all the work for you, but they will help you in making your PR activities more effective and reaching out to the right journalists and influencers.
It’s not about how many tools you use. It’s about selecting the right tools for your business and making the most of them.
Anna Lebedeva is the global PR manager at SEMrush. A version of this article was originally published on Prowly Magazine.