How to Use PR Tools to Solve Any PR Challenge

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Get a group of PR professionals together in a room and it takes only minutes for a conversation to break out about the frustrating daily PR challenges they face and the latest digital PR tools they’ve been hearing about.

Like in any field of work, there’s a list of common challenges in PR that continually slow down an agency or in-house team and hamper peak PR performance.

Add to this list the need to research, price out, and test a growing number of PR tools for PR professionals, like PR monitoring tools and reporting tools, and it becomes undoubtedly overwhelming.

We know the thought of vetting, testing, and implementing each of these PR tools individually can sound as exhausting as doing the work by hand. So the key is to find one set of PR automation software that’ll bring your team the entire PR tool kit. If you focus your research on selecting just one PR platform to bring in all the latest PR tools, then you’re just one decision away from completely evolving your team’s processes and increasing your PR performance.

Don’t believe that it’s possible? Then allow us to run you through the 4 major challenges that PR pros face in their work daily, and we’ll show you how one automated PR software solution with all the best PR tools can solve every last one of them. 

You’ll find that once you’ve reduced the number of daily challenges your team has to manage, your team’s performance will quickly improve. A recipe for fewer headaches with greater success? Yes, please!

PR Challenge #1: Maintaining an Up-to-Date Media Database

You’ve sent out a newsworthy press release with personalized messaging and some fantastic story angles for a journalist to consider. So the pain runs deep when that beautifully-crafted pitch bounces back with a message that the journalist no longer works at that publication. Sigh.

We know your pain. In fact, many PR professionals claim that keeping their media database up-to-date is the single most time-consuming task for them and their team.

Identifying the right editors and influencers for your brand or client has never been more important. Along with the exciting growth of mediums for capturing PR (like print, web, TV, podcasts, and influencers), comes the lengthy and growing lists of contacts to collect, research, label, and update regularly.

That is why one of the first and best PR tools you should invest in is one that builds and maintains your media database for you. The savings in labor hours alone earn back your investment immediately.

In this article, we explain how to choose a media contact database for PR in detail and what to consider when choosing the right solution to meet your PR needs.

What the Solution Looks Like

With Media Database software like Prowly, you’ll automatically have access to over 1 million media contacts (yes, you read that right). Can you even imagine how long it would take you and your team to build a database of that size?

You and your team will then have the ability to search and sort media contacts by industry, location, and media type. You’ll find yourself making large custom contact lists for each of your clients in minutes.

Best of all, you’ll know you’re working with a dynamic, real-time database that is automatically kept up-to-date as media contact information is reported.

PR Challenge #2: Getting Personal and Building Media Relationships When Competition is Fierce

Always remember this one PR truism: the best way to befriend a journalist is to make their work life easier. This means delivering not only a newsworthy story pitch, but all the necessary details, spokesperson quotes, photos, and logos they will need to write and develop an article for quick review and publication.

Need more guidance in story pitching? Read the article “Following up on Your Media Pitch – How to Do It Right

Therefore, you need to integrate PR performance and workflow tools into your team’s pitching process. These types of PR tools transform traditional documents, spreadsheets, and media kits into beautiful and easy-to-use digital spaces where editors can get everything they need in one place.

What the Solution Looks Like

Instead of a text-only email with a press release pasted in (or, gasp, attached), we’re talking about a visually-attractive press release email announcement with beautiful images built in and a link to an online newsroom full of resources just a click away. 

The editor will have the ability to click over to the online newsroom and easily download all the things they need to create that client article, like approved spokesperson quotes, brand logos, and high-resolution product photos.

These are the new PR spaces where you want to invite your media contacts to join you. Show them how you can make their writing lives so much easier, and you’ll show them they can count on you to deliver excellent PR pitches with everything they need at their fingertips.

PR Challenge #3: Tracking PR Efforts and Outcomes to Land Top-Tier Media Coverage

If you’ve selected one of the best PR automation softwares, like Prowly, you now have an impressive media database and an engaging digital PR kit to share with your media contacts.

Let’s tackle the next classic PR challenge: tracking your PR efforts so you can plan your next steps for journalist follow-ups.

In the case of Prowly, you can see exactly which editors opened your initial email pitch, giving you the opportunity to reach out to them again with a follow up that builds on the first. In this second pitch you might include more story angles, offer a video interview, or check back to see if they have any questions.

And how about finding out exactly where your PR efforts result in media coverage? Excellent PR automation software will include PR media monitoring tools too.

What the Solution Looks Like

The best media monitoring tools include multiple filters, sentiment analysis, media outlet reach, and estimated media mention value – all in a custom dashboard that provides you with the specific details you need most. Add in the ability to set up real-time alerts for the latest coverage and your team will save hours on tracking media mentions.

Prowly users can not only track their brand mentions but set up media monitoring for their competitors too. This gives them timely insights and opportunities to pitch to the same journalists and influencers who found interest in their competition.

If you’re new to the key advantages of media monitoring tools and just beginning to learn how invaluable this automated PR product can be, check out our in-depth article about Media Monitoring Cost and learn How to do Media Monitoring with the best practices and tips.

PR Challenge #4: Delivering PR Reports with Clear ROI

PR pros feel a bittersweet rush at the end of each month. It’s one part excitement reflecting on all their great work, and one part dread at the need to gather it all into your monthly PR reports, either for internal supervisors or your numerous clients.

Most PR pros block off days to complete this task. The steps for each PR report include collecting digital clippings, organizing them into a cohesive report, and then calculating and reporting on their estimated media value. Here’s the Practical Guide to PR Clippings for your PR agency if you’d like to delve a bit deeper into the topic.

For decades, PR pros could only dream about PR analytics and PR measurement tools that could assess and calculate media mention values at the push of a button. That’s no longer the case, with PR reporting tools now here to save the day.

What the Solution Looks Like

Let’s talk about the dream scenario: a software program that automatically takes PR mentions from your media monitoring tool and creates beautiful, presentable PR reports with coverage images, media outlet details like estimated reach, and custom-selected KPIs like sentiment analysis and estimated media value. 

You’d get to choose how to best deliver this PR report to your client, with options like PDF, PowerPoint presentation, or a password-protected document. 

The PR report would wow your client with its interactive and responsive visual elements that showcase the undeniable value of your PR efforts.

Oh, wait! This is no longer a PR pro’s unrealized dream! It’s now a reality available to all PR professionals. And it’s probably way more affordable than you’d expect.


You’re fully aware that there are now many online PR tools available on the market, each offering ways to reduce the time and labor costs around all sorts of PR challenges. Addressing these challenges means not only reducing daily workloads for your team, but improving your team’s PR performance and output all round.

Now you could spend hours of your precious time researching all the options for each PR tool and buying them a la carte, or you can follow our advice and shop for PR automation software that includes all of these PR tools. This means just one product to research and test instead of four or five.

We’re sure that you’ll find along the way that Prowly delivers this one-stop PR solution at the best cost out there. Book a demo with our consultants and automate your PR operations right away. We hope you’ll give it a try!

Cover image by Patrick Tomasso