Ultimate List of Online Public Relations Tools

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UPDATED JULY 31, 2014 Online public relations is becoming a go-to strategy for Internet marketing as a whole. The power of the press builds a brand, enhances a company’s reputation, drives traffic and accrues high-quality links. But to do it right, you need the right tools.

PR Heavyweights

These companies provide great overall service for press release submission, editorial calendars and brand monitoring. If you have the money, they’re worth it:

But there are a number of other services and tools out there that cost significantly less than the heavyweights and provide a great value. Here are 30 more tools that will make your online PR skills cooler than everyone else’s:

Press Release Submission and Placement

For the best exposure, I would go with one of the bigger submission services, such as PRWeb and PRNewswire. But if you have a tight budget and want to submit press releases as part of an integrated marketing campaign, choose one of these. Some charge less than $50.

Editorial Contacts and Calendars

Editorial calendars offer the easiest way to get stories in mainstream media. When you know what an editor is planning to write about, you know what to pitch. Editorial contact services provide a way to find out what journalists are looking for when they’re looking for it and discover the right media members to build a relationship with.

  • HARO. Most online marketers probably know about HARO. Peter Shankman has provided a great resource for both reporters and PR pros. Sign up for HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and you’ll get daily e-mail queries from reporters who need experts for specific stories. It’s a free service, but be warned: you will get a lot of e-mails.
  • Seek or Shout. Cision’s HARO-esque content collaboration community for journalists, bloggers and PR pros. Seek content, sources, research and support for stories or shout to tell the community about your story.
  • NewsCertified Exchange. Founded by veteran journalists, NewsCertified provides the media with a searchable database of credible, interview-ready experts and story ideas.
  • Muck Rack. Muck Rack lists thousands of journalists on social media in geographic- and subject area-specific lists vetted by a team of editors. Muck Rack Pro is a sort of CRM specifically for media contacts: add journalists to live media lists and add private notes to track how you’ve interacted with them.
  • MyMediainfo. If Vocus is like a BMW, MyMediainfo is like the Honda Accord. Both get you to the same destination; one is a lot less expensive.

PR Monitoring Tools

One negative comment, status or review can spread quickly and tarnish a brand. Monitoring negative and positive things said about a brand online is crucial to public relations today. Aside from Google Alerts, there are many other services that can keep you in the loop about your brand’s image online. For a giant list, visit this comprehensive wiki of social media monitoring solutions. Here are five to check out:

Writing Tools

As any PR person knows, writing is a big part of it. Sometimes after smashing our fingers on the keyboard and stretching each brain cell all day, we need inspiration and guidance. There are a lot of places to get that muse again, but here are a few that’ll spark that brain again:

  • Headline Analyzer helps you write better headlines by analyzing your current headline for emotion, influence and other factors.
  • Blog Post Idea Generator and Linkbait Generator will give you catchy, and sometimes crazy, blog post ideas. For instance, for this blog post it gave me titles like “7 reasons PR tools get better with alcohol” and “8 reasons PR Tools are like Satan.” You may never use one of these titles, but it will get you thinking.
  • 100 PR Buzzwords. This blog post from MyntPR is a comprehensive list of buzzwords that each PR person needs to strike from their memory. If your press release has any of these words, please edit it. If you don’t, you’ll be giving all of us a bad name.
  • Bullshit Generator is great for those rare times when you actually want to write like your CEO. Play with it a few times and you’ll be addicted.
  • Grooveshark. Music is the ultimate inspiration. Grooveshark is great for creating a playlist around exactly the type of music you need for the occasion. Its selection of music seems endless. And, yes, this is a critical tool for any PR pro who’s writing.

Blogger Outreach Tools

Bloggers are rapidly becoming a new arm of press, so it makes sense that new tools are being created to help sift through the many blogs out there to find the one you’re looking for. Start with Google Blog Search and then move on to these three services.

  • Blogdash. Media database that allows bloggers choose to opportunities they’re open to being pitched about and brands to find the right bloggers for their projects or campaigns.
  • Guestr. Service that helps website owners find writers and quality content and writers find guest post opportunities.
  • Blogger Linkup. Join this service to be added to an email list filled with bloggers looking for expert sources, requests for guest posts, guest posts on offer, and PR reps and others seeking reviews of products.
  • BlogSynergy. Social network for the blogging community – follow, connect and share guest blogging opportunities.
  • GroupHigh. Software that helps public relations, SEO and social media professionals reach out to bloggers.
  • PostJoint. Connects advertisers and bloggers to make content marketing more productive and targeted.
  • Copy for Bylines. Bridging the gap between writers and online publishers, this site works with both to produce better content online.

There are a lot of PR tools out there. Any I missed? Please comment to add to the list.

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