You know that old line about having “the right tool for the job”, right?
Well, it doesn’t just apply to fixing a leaky faucet or DIY projects. PR pros also have their favorite go-to tools for helping with various aspects of their jobs. This “PR tech stack” helps them to optimize the way they work and get more out of the time they put into representing their clients.
Among other things, working with the right PR tools can:
- Help you better visualize workflows and identify process bottlenecks
- Coordinate teamwork
- Optimize your media outreach
- Improve the quality of the appearance and content of your messaging
- Stimulate your creativity
Here’s a list of some of the most commonly used and proven toolbox favorites among PR professionals to help anyone who’s looking for a better way to do things or a shortcut to exactly what they need to get the job done.
While it’s not a comprehensive list — the internet offers a dizzying array of choices here, just like for everything — the names here will open your eyes to the many different solutions for PR pros out there.
So, put your tool belt on, make sure there’s plenty of room for new stuff and let’s take a look at the many ways you can improve your PR tech stack.
- Follow client industry news (and a lot more) with BuzzSumo
- Writing and designing proposals for PR clients with Better Proposals
- Creating & managing media lists with Prowly
- Writing press releases with Wordtune
- Optimizing press releases for search engines with Semrush
- Crafting press release headlines with HeadlineAnalyzer
- Designing visuals with Canva
- Publishing press releases to an online newsroom with Prowly
- Distributing press releases with EIN Presswire
- Pitching the media with Prowly
- Managing PR campaigns with ClickUp
- Monitoring the media with Brand24
- Keeping your team updated on client status with Prowly
- Browsing journalists’ requests with HARO
- Creating PR reports with Coverage Book
- Increasing productivity with Freedom
- Boosting creativity with Noisli
Tools for your PR tech stack
1. Follow client industry news (and a lot more) with BuzzSumo
Instead of listing what BuzzSumo does, it’s easier to list what it doesn’t do — not much. From helping with competitor intelligence to content creation strategies to digital PR to connecting with influencers, BuzzSumo is a one-stop-shop boosting your online presence.
There’s a free plan for newbies, so it’s worth having a look at what you’re missing out on.
2. Writing and designing proposals for PR clients with Better Proposals
When the introductions, discussions and back-and-forth of ideas is done, it’s time to put together a concrete proposal. This is a crucial stage where every detail is important. That’s why Better Proposals is a good option if you want to make sure that you’re sticking with tried and true approaches for closing the deal.
With templates for every occasion, they’ll have you covered when you need to clearly and professionally put your offer on the table.
3. Creating & managing media lists with Prowly
A full-service platform for your PR needs from A to Z, Prowly makes running your own campaigns a snap. Of the many things we could focus on, though, let’s put the spotlight on the ability to not only access more than a million media contacts, but to also get smart recommendations for which journalists to reach out to when making your pitch.
Go from nothing to having a pro-level contact list by taking the express lane with Prowly.
4. Writing press releases with Wordtune
You know how Grammarly helps you catch those little typos and the occasional lack of agreement between your subject and verb? A simple plugin for Chrome, Wordtune does that but focuses on the appropriate register of the text, helping you find just the right voice to fit the purpose of the doc.
Not sure how to say something in a different manner that keeps the meaning the same but somehow sounds better? Let Wordtune help you. Or be of assistance. Or aid you. Or come to the rescue. Or…oh, you get the idea.
5. Optimizing press releases for search engines with Semrush
It’s a fact — we live in an SEO world. Semrush, especially its SEO Writing Assistant, helps you to be sure that your message will connect with the algorithms that make the world go around (and result in high search results).
Don’t forget — that killer press release text you’re so proud of won’t make a dent in the online world unless it can be found, so be sure to apply SEO tools before you publish.
6. Crafting press release headlines with HeadlineAnalyzer
When you have a tiny two or three-second window to make your best impression, the importance of pitch and press release headlines can’t be overstated.
HeadlineAnalyzer is a great tool to help you measure the impact, clarity, tone, and more of your headline (along with the all-important length) so you can be confident that you’re making the most of your chances when someone skims your headline.
7. Designing visuals with Canva
While you should probably leave hardcore graphic design to the specialists, tools like Canva have turned everyone into aspiring artists. With about two minutes of onboarding, you can learn what you need to know to design just about anything to spice up your communications. There’s no excuse for boring visuals with tools like Canva easily available.
Canva alternatives: Crello, Stencil, DesignWizard, Snappa, Visme
8. Publishing press releases to an online newsroom with Prowly
You’re not seriously attaching press releases in PDFs to your email pitches, are you? Ok, we’ll keep your secret but starting tomorrow, you need to use Prowly’s Online Newsroom feature.
With it, you can just send a link to anyone to take them to a live, fully updated newsroom that you can visually customize to fit your branding. Visitors will find all of your press releases there, along with any other info you want to share, like archived info, company info, etc. One source of definitive online information for everyone in just one click.
9. Distributing press releases with EIN Presswire
Media outreach—although more time-consuming—is the way to go if you want better results when distributing your press releases. Nonetheless, wire services like EIN Presswire have their purpose and remain a long-standing and popular choice for press release distribution.
Hitting “Send” after you compose your best media pitch isn’t the end of your work. With Prowly, you’ll get analytic insights that tell you where to go next — who opened your message & who didn’t, who clicked on the link to your online newsroom, etc. Don’t send a one-size-fits-all follow-up to your first mail — know where everyone is in the conversation by using Prowly to pitch your media contacts.
10. Pitching the media with Prowly
Hitting “Send” after you compose your best media pitch isn’t the end of your work. With Prowly, you’ll get analytic insights that tell you where to go next — who opened your message & who didn’t, who clicked on the link to your online newsroom, etc.
Don’t send a one-size-fits-all follow-up to your first mail — know where everyone is in the conversation by using Prowly to pitch your media contacts.
11. Managing PR campaigns with ClickUp
Project management isn’t just for the IT department. Even with a fairly small team, PR campaigns can have lots of moving parts and keeping them synchronized is a priority. ClickUp works for teams of every size and provides the transparency everyone needs to track progress, organize teams, assign tasks and get things done.
12. Monitoring the media with Brand24
If people are talking about you or your client, that’s good, right? Well, usually but not always. Monitoring social media and various online touchpoints is a must in the 24/7 world of the internet. Brand mentions, media coverage, emerging potential crises, and more — you need to know about them ASAP and Brand24 can be your radar for all of it.
13. Keeping your team updated on client status with Prowly
When more than one person is working on a client account, easily sharing access to info is a must. Prowly allows multiple users to access a client’s account in one place.
With just a glance, teammates can share media lists, review who was contacted last and with what news, and see how pitches have performed in the past. Avoid bottlenecks and duplicate tasks by keeping everyone on the same page.
14. Browsing journalists’ requests with HARO
It’s called “Help A Reporter Out” because “Help Both Yourself and A Reporter Out” is too long. But that’s exactly what you’re doing when you engage with HARO — helping both sides.
HARO is where reporters post requests for just about every kind of information you can think of. The idea is for them to connect with specialists in the field to provide expert background and quotes for their articles. Volunteering means getting quoted or referenced, always a great score for you or your client.
HARO alternatives: SourceBottle, JournoRequest, Qwoted, Response Source, Press Plugs, Press Hunt
15. Creating PR reports with Coverage Book
Need an easy way to present detailed, impressive-looking reports about the coverage a PR campaign has earned? Coverage Book has you covered. Just supply the URLs of your mentions and Coverage Book goes to work, collecting analytic insights including views, engagements and those delicious social media likes and follows.
The reports are easy to read and keep stakeholders informed of the progress you’re making and where your budget is best spent.
16. Increasing productivity with Freedom
It’s ok to admit you’re a slave to impulses when it comes to online distractions. We all are, and that’s why so few of us get nearly as much done as we could. Freedom is here to fix this by imposing some tough love on you by blocking those distractions and letting you concentrate on what’s important.
Use Freedom, get focused. Schedule your “Freedom time”, set up recurring time windows or just start whenever. Don’t worry, you can catch up on cat videos when your work is done.
17. Boosting creativity with Noisli
If you’re one of those people who is happy with total silence at your workstation, good for you. For the rest of us, a little background noise can be relaxing or stimulating or just something we need.
Noisli gives you great options for finding the soundtrack to your day, whether you need something to get the creative juices flowing, put a little spring in your step or just chill. Find what works for you and soon enough you’ll forget that it’s there – until you turn it off and realize what you’re missing. Start now with a free plan.
So how heavy is your tool belt now? We’re betting that you’ve got some accounts to set up and some free trials to start so have fun discovering just how much you can up your PR game with the right tools. And remember — cat videos after work!
Cover photo by Karolina Grabowska