I'm not technical.
Like many people working in public relations, science and technology weren't my strong point as a kid.
I didn't like chemistry sets. Learning how to wire a plug passed me by.
Now, my idea of hell on Christmas Day is the grandparents buying my wee ones some technical lego.
But when it comes to my day job - digital public relations - I embrace PR tools and technology like a parched Foreign Legionnaire happening upon a desert oasis.
And the more I drink, the more thirsty I become. In fact, so extensive is my PR stack, I'm in danger of gorging myself on PR tool-water.
I reveal the 101 PR tools I use to make my life easier.
Without these techniques, I could barely do my job.
And implementing public relations strategies fast and well would be impossible.
A: The lowdown on each PR tool.
B: How I use it.
C: A handy link.
If you're a full-stack PR kinda girl/guy you'll want to read it all.
But perhaps you just focus on one aspect of the discipline.
For example, if media relations is your only bag, you can go straight to the media relations section, and cut out the boring bit about SEO.
I started life as a PR consultant in 1997 when we posted press releases. Technology can be transformative for your public relations practice. It's transformed mine.
You've read this far. You may as well stick around for the juicy bit! Here goes.
to rule them all (and a few bonus tools in the pro tips)
Without being able to measure your digital PR activities, you may as well go home now. For more types of analytics tools, see the section on SEO (e.g. backlink and ranking trackers).
I do a lot of this, for my business, and my clients.
I started off with one system and progressed to another. For the full sp, read this post from last month. For the short version, read on.
This covers a wide range of content. All types. A video. A SlideShare. An infographic.
But a lot of the time it's blogging. Proper blogging.
Done right, this takes time, systems, processes. Free tools can help take the pain out of all the fiddly little aspects of ghostwriting blogs for clients. And let you concentrate on the interesting, creative stuff: the writing.
Sounds a bit old school. Surely this antiquated technology is not a suitable content delivery mechanism in 2016? Wrong.
If there's one piece of advice I could give to clients, it would be this. Set up and spend time nurturing your list.
Then give your customers/people you are trying to reach value-laden content. The best in your field.
Keep at it, and it WILL pay dividends.
Most public relations professionals’ bread and butter, since time immemorial. But even in this most traditional of PR fields, online tools make life easier. New methods of reaching people to get your message across. Here are a few: some old; some new.
Whether you’re working as a consultant or in-house; private or public sector, life as a PR pro is busy. These useful-across-the-board online Chrome extensions make practising public relations a little bit easier.
An area most PR companies realise is important, but don’t prioritise learning. Leading to an often myopic approach to their craft. Here are my top search engine optimisation tools.
No surprises here. A basic social media toolbox for any PR.
For most organisations, websites are their marketing hub. So – as an industry inextricably entwined with marketing, PR, and its practitioners – needs more than a working knowledge of websites.
Here are some of the proven, tried and tested, tools that I use.
There is a school of thought that you should get to know a few online PR and digital marketing tools well.
Learn how to use them. Then ditch the rest.
But I say no. Quite the opposite.
Sample as many tools as you can. A wide range.
Work out what they can do for you. Then dip in and out of them.
Granted, you'll have your favourites. And when you establish what they are, take out a subscription.
But keep all those other ones in your back pocket. The free ones.
All have their strengths and weaknesses and it's only through using them you'll work out what they can do for your clients.
Tools are no substitute for knowledge BUT they can help you complete tasks quicker and better.
You don't have to gorge yourself on them like I do.
But if you don't know what they can do or how to use them, you're in deep water as a modern day PR.
Most tools mentioned in this post have free versions and paid.
They also have desktop versions, apps, and Chrome extensions. They can email you information daily/weekly.
How you use each tool is up to you. For my most popular tools, I use the Chrome extensions (SimilarWeb, Email Hunter, MozBar), many I ask to email me (Nuzzel, Medium, Riffle), some are built into my Gmail (Rapportive, Crystal), some magically appear on Twitter (Klout), some are built into any form I fill in online (Lazarus, Grammarly), some sit as programs on my desktop (Screaming Frog).
And so it continues.
My point is: you need to set up your own stack and get it working for you. Your workflow.
Here are the top five up-to-date (20 July 2016) posts I’ve read on digital PR tools. Should you need any further inspiration. They cover the whole gamut of digital PR from SEO to list-building:
If you're considering embarking on the rocky road to full stack PR-dom, do this:
Buy the best laptop you can afford/persuade your boss to invest in one.
And work somewhere with high-speed broadband.
A stack this unfeasibly large needs to be well-oiled.
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