Top 5 Handy (AND FREE) PR Tools
During this day and age where new brands are popping up left and right, it’s more important than ever before to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Utilizing public relations in your business plan will help to ensure your brand will gain attention and generate buzz in this media landscape. Luckily, you don’t need to be a PR pro to incorporate some simple public relations tactics into your business. By utilizing some quality PR tools in your day-to-day work, you can help ensure your brand gets noticed. Here are our 5 best free PR tools.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a super handy PR tool made by the creators of Cision. This service connects journalists and bloggers with expert sources to help them meet their deadlines. Although there is a paid version that you can subscribe to, the free version still gets the job done. By signing up for this free PR tool, you will receive three emails a day during the week which include requests from journalists from all over the world. The email includes summaries of the topics the reporters are working on and the kind of sources they are looking for. The summaries also include an anonymous email you can contact to reach the reporter to send them a quick PR pitch.
The key to success with HARO is to monitor the emails daily. Only submit responses to relevant pitches for topics that you and your brand can provide useful insights or expertise. You will increase your chances of securing coverage in local, trade, and national media outlets by staying on topic.
Facebook Media Groups
Networking in public relations is key if you want to be successful. A great way to connect with other PR pros and journalists is to find and join a local Facebook media group. These private Facebook pages offer the perfect opportunity to build strong connections in the industry. Reporters will often post about stories they are working on and the sources they are seeking. If you and your brand are a good fit, then you can send the journalist a quick PR pitch in the comments, via DM, or email. On top of this, other PR pros in the industry will post questions or offer helpful insight and tips of the trade. Overall, these Facebook pages are ideal if you are looking to work on networking in public relations.
It’s crucial to keep up with the news to excel in public relations. By monitoring the news daily, you will be able to find and secure more newsjacking opportunities for your business. However, trying to stay on top of all of the major headlines of the day can be a daunting task. To make it easier for yourself, consider signing up for theSkimm’s free email newsletter. These daily newsletters break down the major headlines into bite-sized, consumable portions that are easy to read and simple to understand. By doing this, you will be able to stay up-to-date on the latest and hottest news, as well as be prepared should a major headline provide a newsjacking opportunity for your brand.
In order to send PR pitches to relevant journalists, editors, and producers, you have to be able to find the right email to reach them at first. This can sometimes be difficult to do without a paid PR software such as Muckrack or Cision. Although you can often find a reporter’s contact information organically, this can still be a time-consuming task. With the Chrome extension Hunter, you can find email addresses with just the touch of a button. When on a website, this extension will pull email addresses with the relevant domain, as well as provide a source as to where that email was found. This extension can also provide other useful information if it is available online, such as the person’s full name, position, phone number, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Although there is a paid version of this extension, the free version of this PR tool gives you 50 searches per month.
If you want to keep up with stories relevant to your industry, consider setting up Google Alerts for specific keywords that relate to your brand. For example, if you work in the healthcare industry, set up alerts for words such as “healthcare”, “telehealth”, “healthcare system”, etc. By setting up these keywords, you will receive alerts whenever a story runs online that contains these target words. This will not only help you with newsjacking opportunities but also recognize relevant journalists to submit your PR pitches.
Incorporating these free PR tools will help you with your PR pitches, newsjacking for your brand, networking in public relations with professionals and journalists, and help you secure media placements — ultimately elevating your brand and boosting awareness in your business.
Need a hand with your PR game? Our experienced PR team can help you gain media coverage and attention for your brand. Give us a call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about what we can do for you!