Being a PR guy or gal can be quite a nerve-racking job. So much that in many rankings of world’s most stressful professions, PR professional always occupies a well-deserved special place. On Forbes’s list it comes eighth, and in the list compiled by CareerCast—sixth. And if you additionally deal with event organization—as it frequently happens—you can count on getting some extra points in this race. But this isn’t the point, right? Luckily, technology along with PR are moving forward, and you may choose from a whole range of different tools to help you make your work more efficient—so, after hours, you can move on to doing whatever relaxes you.
Basically, it’s all about not having to deal with these situations in your work life:
Of course, the tools I’m presenting you with below are not going to replace your creativity, but they will definitely take to the next level of task management and open you up for further experimentation.
Media Relations – Your Bread-and-Butter
Let’s start with your bread-and-butter operations, that is, planning media relations activities, creating and updating media contacts and client databases, drafting and distributing press materials, building and maintaining long-lasting relations with journalists, local authorities, research institutes, etc. How much time does it take you to draft one press release? And later to follow up (the result of which you meticulously save in an Excel file) with each journalist to learn whether they are going to publish your news. Or perhaps you need some more images, materials, statements? How often does it turn out that your media contacts database is simply outdated?
How about a user-friendly and intuitive CRM to manage all that chaos? A single place where you’ll be able to store your contacts sorted by means of proper tags, filters, and thematic groups? A system which, after each mailing sent, would tell you which contacts actually opened your message, which email addresses are no longer active, and which are so engaged in reading your news that they click on them regularly? Software that will let you create press releases to which you’ll be able to easily add (by dragging & dropping) posts straight from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, YouTube videos, so popular nowadays GIFs, or other content available online which would contribute to giving your materials a modern and authentic character? Would you want to test it?
So, go to this link and get Prowly—not only it will help you create, send and analyze your press releases (A/B tests, statistics, easy integration with Google Analytics) but it also will be ideal for your online press center. Check out how brands like Vimeo or Pixers handled this. And believe me, they don’t have problems such as the one Tom Fishburne drawn in the final panel:
If you’re looking to expand your media contacts database, you can additionally get Journo Requests. It will also help you whenever you are writing a lengthier expert piece, and you’ll need some comments from experts outside your company. It brings together two groups: PR pros and journalists. It’s a real deal, confirmed by such giants as Edelman or Lewis PR.
Influencer Marketing: Get the Most Influential People to Talk About You
“A brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is, it is what consumers tell each other it is,” wrote Scott Cook. And they have a lot to say. Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter only. Today, you must try hard to get people’s attention. Consumers not only expect to have a say, but they also want to engage in authentic relations with people on the other side. Also, virtually all their purchasing decisions are preceded by an in-depth online analysis to find all the information they need on the brand. Working with those who have a real impact on them helps you gain further marketing channels and makes you credible.
First, select the right person.
Common sense and tools like NinjaOutrich will help you with that. You can also use the combination Buzzsumo + Contentmarketer.io if you’d like an influencer who is interested in a particular subject you wrote something interesting about get to know your material and share it with the world.
Just make sure you don’t do this:
Then, stick to these 6 simple rules that will help you strengthen your relations with the influencer of your choice.
Monitor & Respond
Drafting a press release, getting published and maintaining good relations with journalists are one thing. Today, you must keep your eyes and ears wide open, as opinion leaders are no longer just media and influencers. Everyone with access to the internet and social media may either publicly boost your ego or wreck your brand. It would be better if you were aware of both these things. And able to respond on time.
A media monitoring tool like Brand24 will lend you a helping hand here. You will quickly realize that it’s not only about identifying potential crisis situations and putting out the fires. Such tool is essential virtually at every stage of your dealings—from preparing to take a bid to checking the results of your campaigns:
- At the stage of bid preparation, you will obtain a lot of useful information on the agency’s future client and set the right direction for your actions;
- When you are already handling your client’s affairs, you’ll be able to understand what his or her consumers think and feel, what questions they might have—this, in turn, will allow you to interact, engage with them on a deeper level and reach them with a personalized offer;
- At each stage, you will be able to quickly identify influencers and potential brand ambassadors;
- You will finally be able to verify the effectiveness of your ongoing campaigns by analyzing the number of online mentions and how they resonate.
Most importantly, however, you will get the knowledge that time after time can protect you from human incompetence:
So, who would recommend this tool? Well, I would—with all my heart—and so could brands like H&M, Picture Motion, GSK, together with a large group of e-commerce clients—both large companies and SMEs.
Events—Save Your Nerves
Those of you who are organizing events supposedly have it worse—unfortunately, it’s been confirmed. But wouldn’t it be a little easier if you could have all event subscriptions and notifications for invitees automated, printed guest lists replaced with electronic ones, and QR code, ticket or bracelet readers in place of having to manually tick off the guests who arrived at the event? Here, Eventbrite will come in very handy. “What about the organization?”—You’d ask. Well, some solutions can tremendously improve the process.
Trello and Asana—project management apps designed for task sharing. You can create shared boards and divide all your tasks between your team members. All clear, easy-to-use and free of charge for basic users. By using Trello or Asana, you can keep your teammates up-to-date and know specifically what still requires your attention. Make sure to test them while having your team work on a campaign. It’s so much better than keeping a traditional calendar.
Super Planner it’s an app that is designed to help you get in control of your costs. It’s well worth the expense. With this app, you will be able to calculate the capacity of your space and the number of employees you need. It also has a food and beverage calculator to help you include all the different costs.
All these tools make up a great starter kit. The more you have to think about, the longer will be the list of instruments and solutions you might need. Of course, you can also stick to your notebook, pencil and calculator in hand, and an enormous folder filled with Excel files in which you’ve been getting lost for quite a while now. It’s for you to decide. But doesn’t it feel like a waste of your time?