Our Ultimate List of the Best PR Tools for 2017

Tools of any kind– even PR tools — are designed to make our lives and jobs easier. Whether it’s a drill in the hand of a skilled carpenter, or a keyword research tool in the hands of a PR professional, that tool enhances the work we do.

Public relations has expanded its definition significantly in the past decade. Now more than ever it is important for PR professionals to incorporate influencer marketing, content marketing, and analytics into their PR strategy.

With all of these changes, tools have become a necessity, not just a luxury. The fact is that you need to take advantage of PR tools if you want to compete in today’s PR landscape.

The following tools range from free to a monthly subscription fee. We’ve divided them into categories, including tools for SEO, keeping on top of industry trends, and creating awesome content. But all of these tools are used by some of the top B2B agencies around, and could make a difference in your PR.

 

You need to take advantage of PR tools if you want to compete in today’s PR landscape. Tweet: You need to take advantage of PR tools if you want to compete in today's PR landscape @wendymarx http://bit.ly/2pLKRrH

 

15 PR Tools to Make Your Job Easier

Tools to Find and Interact with Journalists and Influencers

1. MuckRack

Muck Rack is a wonderful, low-budget tool that fits in with any PR strategy. Its primary purpose is to put PR professionals in contact with journalists and vice versa.

With this tool, you can pitch story ideas, receive alerts about new PR opportunities and crises, and track the success of your campaigns. It is also rumored to be considerably faster than other programs in alerting you of industry news.

Pricing: Subscriptions start at $99 per month.

2. Traackr

With the rising public distrust of advertising, influencers truly are the future of content marketing. But where do you begin? And where do you find the right influencers for your company? Traackr makes this super easy.

Enter the keywords that define your industry, and let Traackr do the rest. You will receive reports on who is writing on those topics, their reach, how well their content resonates with their audience, and their relevance to your desired keywords. It allows you to find the obvious — and, more importantly, not so obvious — influencers that can make a real impact on your marketing approach.

Given its price points, this is a tool more suitable for larger companies.

Pricing: Available only upon request. 

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3. Help a Reporter Out

The down-size of many media outlets means that journalists are under more pressure than ever to find stories and meet deadlines. Many have started to turn to Help a Reporter Out (HARO), a website that connects journalists and bloggers to a rich database of sources.

If you are on the lookout for media coverage opportunities without breaking the bank, HARO is the tool to use. Once you sign up and list your industry expertise, HARO will notify you (sometimes on a daily basis) with opportunities to secure valuable media coverage. Once you see an opportunity that fits your experience and expertise, send your pitch, and wati for a response.

Pricing: Free for their Basic plan, and goes up to $149 per month for their Premium plan.

Tools to Keep on Top of Industry Trends

4. Trendkite

Would you like a better handle on your PR metrics, with more detailed reports? This tool might just be the answer you’re looking for. 

Pick what metrics you would like to monitor, and Trendkite’s intuitive dashboard puts all of the information together at your fingertips. This information can show you in what areas you are excelling, and what areas need some TLC.

Trendkite will also alert you any time your company is mentioned across multiple outlets. It allows you to expertly track all aspects of your public relations, so you can respond quickly.

Given its price points, this is best for larger companies, those with a lot of press to keep tabs on, or competitors to monitor.

Pricing: Available only upon request.

5. BuzzSumo

Would you like a tool that keeps you in touch with who and what is popular within your industry? BuzzSumo delivers that and more. Enter information about your industry, and get the blow-by-blow of what content is popular in that area, with detailed information about views, shares, and reach. 

BuzzSumo also allows you to keep tabs on your competitors. Monitor what they publish, as well as the response their content gets. You can then take that information, and create better content that fills in the gaps. BuzzSumo will formulate insights to let you know what the right next step is.

Also, get key insights about influencers, such as their following and engagement rates. This information tells you more than just the  number of followers — it tells you how much influence theyl have over their audience.

Pricing: Starts at $79 per month for their Pro plan, and goes up to $559 per month for their Enterprise plan.

6. Google Alerts

This free resource allows you to keep your ear to the ground of media — find out anytime your company is mentioned across the web. Choose what keywords you want to be alerted about — whether it’s your company, or industry terms — and then get alerted whenever those keywords are mentioned.

Set up as many alert keywords as you need, and then just wait to get the alert.

Pricing: Free.

Tools for Measurement

7. AirPR

AirPR is a tech company that specializes in analytics, insights, and measurement solutions. This tool is a great way to measure the impact of your PR efforts on your business objectives.

it enables you to keep a close eye on what your competitors do, and act accordingly. See what content is available in your industry, and learn about opportunities where you can fill in the gaps. Use their analytics to find out what ROI you are getting on your PR, and be able to provide proof of how effective your PR efforts are.

Given its price points, this is best for larger companies.

Pricing: Available only upon request.

8. Prezly

Prezly markets itself as frictionless story management for brands. This tool is an effortless way to increase coverage, distribute your press releases, and manage your relationships with journalists and influencers. 

Prezly publishes press releases online and on social media. It will send out alerts to bloggers, journalists, and others about the press release via multimedia emails. You will also receive analytics to gauge the performance of these press releases.

Create sttractive online newsrooms where you can share your stories. Create email campaigns, tailor pitches to individual contacts, and analyze your results, all from within the Prezly platform.

Pricing: Subscriptions start at $150 per month.

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9. PRWeb

As part of PRWeb’s service, you will have access to press release templates and resources that include benefits like search engine optimization and social media exposure. Their resource center includes how to articles, videos, webinars, and white papers, all of which help you to craft the best possible press release. 

Once you’ve completed your press release, PR web will feature it on their site, organized by industry. This helps the right people find your release.

It shows you how to create the ideal press release, optimize it for search, and then helps you to distribute it to the right people.

As with any press release service, you should not expect that journalists will automatically write about your press release.

Pricing: Starts at $99 per press release for its Basic plan, and goes up to $369 per press release for its premium plan.

Tools for SEO and Website Design

10. SEMRush

You can write great content, but if it’s not optimized for search, not many are going to find it. SEMRush takes the guesswork out of the SEO process. This tool helps you do keyword research, improve your SEO ranking, and analyze your reach as compared to your competitors.

You can see how your site ranks for keywords, how competitive a keyword is, and what keywords your competitors are using, along with their ranking.

This online program will analyze all aspects of your SEO, and show you how to improve your strategy. This tool will help you to hone your website and content until it is search engine gold.

Pricing: Starts at $99 for the Pro plan, and goes up to $399 for its Business plan.

11. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another excellent tool that takes your SEO to the next level. Perform competitor analysis, keyword research, and backlink research, all from its easy-to-use platform.

It offers all of the information you need to succeed in your search engine marketing strategy. The intuitive program will show you what gaps exist in your content, and how you can best fill them.

Pricing: Starts at $99 for its Lite plan, and goes up to $999 for its Agency plan.

12. Moz

Moz was created as a tool to help you measure, monitor, and improve your website’s on-site and off-site level of search engine optimization. The site offers a variety of paid and free SEO tools for businesses who would like to rank better, both locally and nationally.

Moz also offers workshops and training programs to put you in the driver’s seat of your search engine ranking.  It won’t just tell you what to do, but explain the reasons behind it.

Pricing: Starts at $99 per month for its Standard plan, and goes up to $599 per month for its Premium plan.

13. Unbounce

Do you have trouble getting people to take action on a landing page? Unbounce can help. Whether it’s a sign-up form, a purchase, or a download, Unbounce helps you to find the right balance so that your page not only gets seen, but elicits action, and is Google-friendly.

Unbounce enables you to easily create, launch, and test your landing pages for the optimal conversion rate. What sets this tool apart is that it specialize in landing pages and will help you get the results you want. 

As part of the Unbounce network, you will have access to quality templates (which are easy to manipulate for a unique design), highly controlled A/B testing, and analytics to keep you on track.

Pricing: Starts at $79 per month for its Essential plan, and at least $399 per month for its Enterprise plan.

14. LeadPages

Would you like to build your email list, but don’t know where to start? LeadPages is an online tool to help you do just that. Within the tool you have access to hundreds of expertly designed templates to help you create lead magnets, webinars, and landing pages. The goal? To grow your email list.

This is not the same as email marketing software. While it helps you grow your list, you will need additional software (such as MailChimp) to create and send regular emails to your list.

With LeadPages, you can create seamless opt-in boxes and forms for your landing page and blog, create content upgrades, build sales pages, and host webinars.

Pricing: Starts at $25 per month for its Standard plan, and goes up to $199 per month for its Advanced plan.

Tools for Content Creation

15. Grammarly

Say goodbye to grammatical mistakes, and say hello to flawless, professional writing. Best of all, it’s free! It works with the majority of websites — whether you’re writing a blog, responding to an email, or crafting a social media post.

The reason this tool is so effective is its intuitive design. Not only does it detect many mistakes that other spell checkers miss, but also offers synonym options, clarification suggestions, plagiarism prevention.

Pricing: Free, with the option for a paid premium subscription.

16. Hemingway

There are very few of us born with a passion for grammar and sentence structure. But that’s okay, because we have the Hemingway Editor. This handy app color codes common mistakes and weaknesses in your sentence structure, and shows you how to fix them. For example, yellow means your sentence is too lengthy, purple will give you word alternatives, and green shows you phrases in the passive voice.

These little color-coded hints help you to spruce up your writing to a professional quality. The sidebar gives you a recap of the positive and negative aspects of your work, as well as a readability level by grade.

Pricing: Free.

17. Canva

As we’ve said many times before, visual content is essential to your content marketing strategy. And it has never been easier with Canva. This platform allows you to create a variety of visual formats — including social media posts, infographics, and other marketing materials.

Choose from moderately-priced stock photos, or upload your own. Then add your own text, shapes, and logo to make it truly your own. A little lost when it comes to graphic design? That’s OK, Canva’s got you covered with specially-made templates — just replace the text, and you’re ready to go.

Pricing: Free, with the option for a paid premium plan. 

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Key Points to Remember…

  • Use AirPR, Prezly, PRWeb, MuckRack to improve your press releases and overall public relations
  • Use Grammarly, Hemingway, and Canva to improve the quality of your content.
  • Use Traackr, BuzzSumo, and Trendkite to monitor influencer and get insights about content in your industry.
  • Use SEMRush, Ahrefs to improve your SEO tactics, and choose the right keywords for your industry.

There you have it — the 12 most influential PR tools on the market today. Incorporate any of these tools into your PR strategy, and you will see an immediate difference.

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