By: Cassie Boorn
Most PR girls know that using free tools like Twitter and LinkedIn can be a great way to take your career to the next level. The digital space has opened up endless opportunities for PR girls to pitch media, create social media content and build personal brands that can support them throughout their career. However, with all of the tools out there it can be easy to miss some of the free resources available that can support your career.
As a seasoned digital PR girl I have pulled together a few of my favorite free digital tools for PR girls.
Research: All good PR planning starts with research, which can be tedious and costly. Social Media has opened up the opportunity to quickly gather insights about your industry that can influence your program planning.
Back Tweets allows you to see a list of every tweet that has ever contained a link or reference to your client’s website. Simply enter a URL into the search bar and your research is done!
All Top: With millions of bloggers across the web it can be challenging and time consuming to identify all of the influencers in a category but All Top has done all of the work for you. Simply search for a topic relevant to your brand and see a list of bloggers in that niche and a snapshot of recent topics they have covered.
Headline Analyzer: Writing headlines can be a tedious task of figuring out what your consumer are searching for, what is going to make a compelling story and how is that story going to drive them to purchase. Headline Analyzer is a free tool that analyzes your headlines and gives you suggestions to make them more interesting.
Presentations: A good presentation can make or break your PR program. Whether you are presenting ideas to clients or sharing smart social media insights, presentations are a day-to-day part of a PR professional’s life.
If you are worried that your presentations have gotten a bit stale, SlideRocket is a tool that helps you create and present media-rich presentations that will blow your client away.
SlideShare If you ever spent hours poring over a deck on social media insights and wished there was a way to share your hard work with the world, SlideShare is here. They allow you to upload presentations and promote them via keywords, social media and the SlideShare community.
Any Meeting The challenge of getting a client to buy into a PR program without being able to connect with them face to face is a constant challenge. Not to mention the annoyance of reminding everyone what slide you are on and hoping they are following along. Any Meeting allows you to give face to face meetings and share presentations seamlessly via video and audio chat.
Pitching: Pitching media has always been the bread and butter of Public Relations. Finding media outlets that would be interested in your brand and figuring out the best way to pitch them is a big part of a PR professional’s career.
Pitch Engine is a community that allows you to distribute releases via social media and search engines with the click of a button.
Market Wire Market Wire is a free tool that allows you to maximize exposure by distributing your news to top-notch distribution channels. Market Wire offers an array of specialty niche channels allowing you to target your news to get in front of the right media.
Cision Cision offers a ton of free powerful tools for PR professionals including a community to promote content, a tool to search outlets that are covering your topic and a simple way to stay up to date with journalists’ tweets all in one place.
Social Media Monitoring Brands are more focused on the ROI of social media than ever before. The ability to monitor and track social media results to show the success of your programs is becoming more and more important.
Tweet Reach: Copy and paste your tweet into this free tool and get detailed analytics of how many consumers your tweet reached.
Pinterest is the hottest tool on marketing minds but tracking the effectiveness of your Pinterest strategy is hard. Pinerly allows you to track the reach of each of your pins, the number of repins and gives you detailed analytics of how far your pin was shared.
WildFire makes it simple to measure the performance of all of your social channels with daily insights on your followers, details on your brands visibility within trends and details on how your social media performance compares to your competitors.
Content Creation 90% of brands realize that content is one of the most important aspects of marketing in 2012 and very few of them are prepared with quality content. Luckily, there are a number of tools that allow you to create free quality content to share across client’s social channels.
PicMonkey is a free service that allows you to easily edit images with Photoshop, text and more. The tool is easy to navigate opening up the eight hours you had set aside to master Photoshop.
PiktoChart Infographics are a great way to make media releases more compelling and a great asset for driving traffic in social media but hiring a designer to develop an infographic every time you have a campaign is pricey.
PikToChart is an easy way to create simple well designed infographics. No design experience required.
PowToon If you have ever seen an infographic video you know the way these assets are able to take complex information and transform it into a compelling video. PowToon gives you the power to create professional inforgraphic videos in minutes.
Networking Networking is one of the most important aspects of a PR professional’s job. Whether you are scouting new business or building relationships with journalists, networking is the key to getting the business you need and the placements your clients love but juggling a huge network can be time consuming.
Amazon gift organizer allows you to add people you’d like to send birthday gifts to via Amazon. Spend an hour scheduling important events and picking out the perfect gift and your work is done.
While email is an easy way to keep up with your network, snail mail can feel more personal and unexpected. Red Stamp allows you to send thank you notes and postcards to your contacts directly from your phone. (and yes, they even mail them for you.)
Travel: Scheduling travel, dealing with flight delays and keeping track of expenses are all part of a PR professionals day to day life. Make your life easier with a few simple apps to streamline all of your travel troubles.
TripIt allows you to compare prices and book trips in minutes from the convenience of your phone.
If you have ever faced a major travel delay, you probably know the beauty of airport hotels. (or not) Hotel Tonight allows you to book a hotel room the night you need it at a super discounted rate. Book a room, hop in a cab and let the airlines keep their lousy vouchers.
ShoeBoxed Juggling receipts when you are traveling can result in many lost receipts.
ShoeBoxed allows you to painlessly manage expenses by scanning and emailing copies of receipts so they are waiting right in your inbox when you return.
There are so many free tools to help PR professionals manage their careers that I wasn’t able to include them all. Here are a few that are highly valuable but didn’t make the list: Remember the Milk (for managing to-do lists), Drop Box (for sharing documents), My Price (for deciding what to charge for freelance projects and HARO (for finding story opportunities.
You can also find a list of free tools for managing your personal brand over at AskaPRGirl.
What are your favorite PR tools? Leave them in the comments!