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5 Tools to Fuel Your Company's PR Machine

5 Tools to Fuel Your Company's PR Machine
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News reporting is increasingly moving online, forcing entrepreneurs and larger businesses to refocus their public relations efforts on digital journalism or risk falling behind more connected, tech-savvy competitors.

Fortunately for business owners and PR practitioners, a number of mobile and web-based innovators have arrived with new tools that make managing public relations in the digital age a better, faster and easier endeavor.

In my role as a media relations professor and PR agency founder, I am constantly experimenting with any new publicity tool I can get my hands on. Most do not make the cut past the first day, even fewer make it a full month.

Here’s my latest roundup of tools that passed my test and can help move the needle on your PR campaign:

Related: 4 Requirements for Self-Serve Media Relations

1. HARO.

Help A Reporter Out, or HARO for short, is a fantastic email subscription service that connects reporters in need of sources to individuals who are actively looking for press coverage and who have relevant stories or expertise to share. 

HARO, which has been around for a few years now, has reached a tipping point with more than 30,000 participating journalists, and many report for top-tier outlets. 

A free subscription delivers reporters’ queries three times a day. A paid subscription grants access to premium services like getting a head start over those who opt for the free service. 

2. Talkwalker Alerts.

Social-media analytics company Talk Walker offers a free alternative to Google Alerts for monitoring news on companies and industries. The free alert service could provide you near real-time email updates on your company's latest relevant mentions across the web.

I recommend using both Google Alerts and Talkwalker Alerts for redundancy as neither services catches 100 percent of mentions. Both can sometimes be delayed and they are both free, so why not sign up for free Talkwalker Alerts? 

Related: 14 Amazingly Free Stock Photo Websites

3. Foap.

When running a PR campaign, stock photography expenses can pile up fast and your image library can grow stale even faster. Enter Foap, which offers a next-generation inexpensive stock-photography resource that taps into hundreds of thousands of photographers through their smartphones and delivers relevant, high-resolution photos on demand for just $10 each.

Buyers receive the rights to each photo purchased, Foap gets $5 and the photographer retains $5. Consider searching the Foap photo database, buying photos and downloading the Foap app. 

4. Muck Rack.

Most journalists are active on social media. After all, it's where their stories get shared. While social-media platforms are terrific for news sharing, that doesn't mean it's easy to use them to identify appropriate reporters to engage with and pitch.

Muck Rack helps PR practitioners navigate through the clutter of social media to discover and connect with journalists who are actively discussing topics relevant to an industry, product or service. Muck Rack also sends out a free daily email called Muck Rack Daily that gives its readers clear insights into news trends and journalists with traction. Sign up for the free Muck Rack Daily. There are also premium service plans that provide the ability create and save media lists, as well as set media alerts based on keywords.

5. Analytiks.

Google Analytics can be incredibly helpful for understanding the impact that PR activities have on a website by monitoring the traffic driven by press coverage. Analytiks is an easy-to-use app that makes Google Analytics even better by serving up key data points on mobile devices.

Analytiks’ clean user interface relays real-time page views, referral information, demographics and bounce-rate data immediately upon launching the app. Analytiks is free for monitoring as many as eight separate domains but available for iOS devices only.

Related: 3 Things Entrepreneurs Must Learn About Digital Marketing and PR