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 changes 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.
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 update 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!”
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.
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 say his favorite PR tool is his smartphone. “I would say my smartphone—[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 pro’s 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 is a great way to keep up to date on your company, clients, and 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.