It’s the end of the month and once again it’s time to prepare a PR report for every single client. Although this is a task that needs to be done over and over again, it seems to creep up each and every month.
So how to simplify this recurring task?
There are plenty of dedicated PR reporting tools that may help. Although, picking the right software for crafting clean and beautiful reports may be tricky. You need to take into consideration budget expenses, layout preferences, coverage and outreach metrics, and supported formats.
Partaking in free trial products will give you an idea of your reporting options firsthand. But what to consider when testing and buying a PR tool for reporting?
With this guide, you will learn everything you need to know in order to choose the best PR reporting tool.
What to consider when choosing a PR reporting tool
- Ease of use and time savers
- Free trials
- Other features
- The best PR reporting tools list
Ease of use and time savers
One of the benefits of using PR reporting software is that you can save a lot of valuable time instead of manually creating reports all on your own.
For that reason, you want to find a tool that is intuitive to use and has a lot of time-saving features, so you can showcase the impact of your work in just a few clicks. A powerful tool should allow you to create a client-worthy presentation for delivery within minutes and most importantly — all in one place.
There should be no need to use any extra platforms; manually searching for clippings, using Excel to gather your links for coverage, taking screenshots, and using PowerPoint to design your reports are all time-wasters that can just drive you up the wall.
Ideally, you should be able to see all your screenshots, store your embeds of social media posts and even play videos all without leaving the report tool.
Collecting media coverage
Besides being able to add press clippings manually all yourself, a powerful PR reporting tool will allow you to be able to automatically find press hits with a built-in media monitoring feature.
By entering keywords and filters of your choice, you’ll be able to quickly discover relevant media coverage and generate press clippings in just a few clicks.
This feature isn’t only useful for creating an initial PR report – you can also use it to find and add any new coverage that appears later on.
Automated PR clippings
Instead of having to manually create screenshots or add other details of the coverage you’ve received, a PR reporting tool should automatically create client-worthy clippings from the press hits or URLs that you’ve pre-selected.
While deciding which PR reporting tool will be best for you, compare whether metrics are automatically generated from the media coverage that you’ve selected.
This means that you’ll automatically see the most important metrics at the clipping level, as well as summed up to see the bigger picture and overall results of the PR campaign.
These metrics can include:
- Publication category
- Article category
- Estimated views
- Domain authority
- And more
Tracking distinct metrics will allow you to see all the details and the bigger picture in one place, giving you the ability to adapt your strategy and showcase the impact of your work to your clients or your in-house team.
Apart from coverage metrics, some PR reporting software platforms include the ability to add the performance of your media outreach campaigns.
These numbers will help you measure the performance of your pitches, inform others about the size and success of your campaign and evaluate any opportunities for improvement in the future.
For example, in Prowly you can track the following metrics:
- number of emails sent
- recipients and unique recipients
- open rates
- click rates
- response rates
These metrics will be generated automatically, if your PR reporting tool is part of an all-in-one PR software. If you’re sending email pitches with a tool like Gmail, these metrics can be added manually.
Note that some programs may require upgrading to more expensive monthly subscriptions in order to access enhanced metrics.
While drag-and-drop reporting layouts are definitely what you need to quickly generate reports, it’s worth finding out if the tool also provides an easy option to tailor your reports to your client’s brand.
Every client has their own logo, unique visual identity, and brand guidelines. If you create reports for multiple brands, this can quickly add up to a lot of extra manual labor per month.
What’s more, some tools allow you to create branded templates that you can quickly reuse for every additional PR report that you create – all you have to do is add the clippings and everything else is done automatically by the software.
Sharing options and security
When deciding what tool is best for you and your team, it’s important to think of how you are going to share the results of your work with your team or clients.
As your clients can have different preferences (e.g. some would be happy with an excel file they can incorporate into their reporting tool and some may prefer a more visual report), being flexible with the format of your PR report will allow you to tailor the final result to your clients’ needs.
Functionalities worth considering:
- multiple formats (for example .pdf or .xls)
- direct link sharing
- password protection (the last thing you want is someone looking at your clients’ sensitive data)
- being able to embed your reports directly into emails
Most tools allow you to share your reports in different formats, with PDFs being the most common. But some provide more options and flexibility, such as allowing you to export to PDF, PPT or XLS format (Prowly), or even to embed your reports directly into an email (Releasd, Prowly).
Check if the tool you’re testing lets you share reports as a private link or has access to password-protected options. That way you can create your own custom password and share it only with a select group of people.
Even if you know what’s important to look out for when choosing a PR reporting tool, a free trial can help you quickly identify how each feature works in each tool and if the UI suits your needs.
All the companies on our list offer either free trial periods with no credit card required or let you book a demo to better understand the product.
This allows you to look around the tool and see if it’s a match for your needs.
Unless you’re solely looking for PR reporting software, it’s worth looking into what other features the tools might offer.
There are multiple benefits to choosing an all-in-one PR tool, such as:
- Saving costs (an all-in-one tool is cheaper than buying two or more separate tools)
- Having all of your work in one place, instead of having to switch between platforms
- Features are often integrated, allowing you to streamline your entire workflow
When picking the right tool for you and your team, it’s worth considering what the final costs will be and how they will fit into your budget. Some PR reporting tools are only available through annual subscriptions, like Cision, MuckRack, or Meltwater which start at $4000 a year.
While comparing pricing for different providers, check if the vendor offers various plans, especially if you’re a part of a PR firm or an integrated PR team. You don’t want to end up paying more than you need.
The best PR reporting tools
Now that you know what you’re looking for, let’s take a closer look at some of the top PR reporting tools available.
Pricing: From $189/mo
All-in-one PR tool: Yes
Prowly is an all-in-one PR tool with a reporting module designed to help you create visually appealing PR reports both quickly and easily.
From the ability to add interactive and responsive design elements to comprehensive security at every step, from automatic metric tracking to integrating automatic press clippings, all without leaving the platform.
As Prowly is an all-in-one tool, you’ll not only get your full array of reporting tools, but a toolset to boost all your PR operations from the ground up.
Although it is in progress, Prowly’s media monitoring add-on doesn’t track social media mentions yet, which can be a dealbreaker for some. They can still be added manually to PR reports by directly inserting the URL.
Pricing: From $95/mo
All-in-one PR tool: No
Releasd is known for its easy-to-use, drag-and-drop reporting layouts that pull coverage from both websites and social media. You can then showcase all reporting on one digestible page. The software includes automated metrics, and they claim their winning feature is their proprietary metric of coverage impressions. You can build out your PR report even further by adding additional PR activity information like press releases.
You can receive a free 15-minute demo, but no free trial is currently offered. Their enhanced presentation features and metrics require upgrading to a more expensive monthly subscription.
Pricing: From $99/mo
All-in-one PR tool: No
CoverageBook provides you with significant time savings versus manually creating coverage reports each month. Creating a PR report is as easy as inserting your feature links into the tool and letting it do all the work. This includes pulling in the readership numbers of the media outlet and estimating the article’s total reach.
On the other hand, some users report that while the reports are robust, clients may need some hand-holding to make sense of them. CoverageBook currently doesn’t offer results-focused data like website traffic from mentions or customer sentiment analysis. The software includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest data, but does not support TikTok data yet.
Pricing: From $140/mo
All-in-one PR tool: No
Prezly is a full PR CRM that includes a PR reporting tool. So outside of reports, you get online newsrooms, a media database, and PR pitching software.
Prezly allows you to link each news mention with performance data in just a few clicks.
Because it works as a full PR CRM, you’ll be able to store and track your coverage against data for your email pitches and press releases. Media contacts and outlets are automatically linked to coverage so you have a full picture of where you are in your PR campaign progress. You can either upload coverage manually or import it through a URL. This is true for online articles, videos, and social media mentions.
With Prezly, the PR reporting functionality isn’t sold separately and requires you to purchase the entire tool. While having an all-in-one tool is useful, Prezly doesn’t offer a media database or media monitoring yet.
Pricing: From $39/mo
All-in-one PR tool: No
Brand24 is a media monitoring tool at its core, but it does include PR reporting assistance that can be considered by your team.
Through your pre-set keywords, the software calculates social media reach, share of voice, and hashtag performance. The results are formatted nicely into a PDF report. You have access to several measurements for building results-driven reports.
Metrics are provided around:
- Influencer Score
- Sentiment Analysis
- Discussion Volume
While limited in coverage reporting, this is a good option for budget-conscious teams willing to build fuller reports from media monitoring data.
Although it can provide data and easy reporting around brand mentions, Brand24 is not a dedicated PR reporting software. As with any media monitoring tool, you’ll still need to collect digital clippings and build a custom coverage report that includes them.
Summing up – how to choose a PR reporting tool
The hunt for comprehensive and easy-to-use PR reporting tools can be an exhausting process. Apart from the specific features that you need, the best software choice for you will come down to your team’s budget, reporting layout preference, and estimated time savings.
We recommend you take the free trial products for a spin to experience the reporting options firsthand. Then, choose your favorite and start creating great-looking, easy-to-produce PR reports moving forward.
And if you want to try out Prowly, we offer a free 7-day trial.