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7 Tech Solutions to Rev Up Your PR Efforts Ditch your old tactics, and bring on these innovative tools.

By Rebekah Iliff

entrepreneur daily

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Whether you're an entrepreneur getting ready to launch a new product or a PR professional working with clients to tell their stories to the world, it's important to take a moment to acknowledge that public relations of today is a far cry from what it was even five years ago.

For starters, nothing has changed the PR industry more than technological innovation. This evolution, known as "PRTech," has ushered in an exciting new era where PR pros and those leading the marketing charge must commit to researching new platforms and learning new skills. Empowered with data and new technologies, we can now communicate with both the media and our customers in more compelling ways.

It can be a bit daunting to know where to start when it comes to exploring new tools, so to take the guesswork out of the equation, I've outlined seven solutions that are guaranteed to make your life easier, and much more fun!

Related: The Golden Age: How the PR Industry Is Coming Into its Own

Each of these solutions maps to an important PR objective and implementing these solutions will move us all closer to a programmatic approach to public relations.

1. Increase visual storytelling with Canva.

Canva does an incredible job empowering everyone to be creative. Touted as the world's easiest design program, Canva democratizes one of the more elusive (and often expensive) aspects of PR.

Everyone agrees that visual content is a major media trend that will continue to have prominence. Aim to tell compelling narratives through infographics, ensure visual branding is consistent across all marketing collateral, and integrate more imagery into everything you push out.

2. Uncover strategic media opportunities with Muck Rack.

Muck Rack helps savvy PR pros identify and connect with journalists, bloggers and freelancers while providing priceless information on beats and topics of interest. It is also a powerful research tools in learning what journalists want to write about and what they are sharing on social media.

Use the insights provided by Muck Rack to offer stimulating editorial ideas to position your company as an entity that sees the bigger picture. Bring interesting, unique data to the table (bonus points for data visualization!) and watch as small contributions give way to larger features.

3. Think outside the press release box with PitchEngine.

PitchEngine allows PR pros to craft and push out beautiful, multimedia rich stories built specifically for communities. After selecting the perfect design layout, users can easily publish and push out news to key stakeholders. A key feature is responsive design across digital devices for all content.

This is the perfect place to begin integrating those gorgeous visuals you created with Canva. Couple images with stories to say something compelling, introduce a new idea or promote healthy, intelligible debate. Remember, don't add to the noise -- contribute something meaningful.

4. Establish influence and authority with Influence & Co.

Looking to position key individuals as industry thought leaders? Look no further. Influence & Co. helps brands convey credibility, influence and authority by providing top publications with high quality expert content.

Contributed content is shaking out to be every bit as impactful as earned media. In fact, expert content should be thought of as a long-term asset. Turn these bylines into activation or engagement tools that can be leveraged by marketing, sales, etc. across your entire company's initiatives.

Related: How You Can Take Advantage of the Online Video Trend

5. Serve relevant content to the right audience(s) with Outbrain.

You've done a great job of creating incredibly valuable, beautiful content (thanks, Influence & Co.!), but now you need to ensure the right people find and consume your content. Enter Outbrain. Its team prides themselves on helping individuals discover interesting and relevant content.

Adopting a data-driven content-targeting strategy should see you establishing real consumer relationships that are a result of the relevancy, quality and utility of your content you are pushing out. You should also see the shelf life of your content extended as more and more people are empowered to continually fall down your "content rabbit hole."

6. Extend the network affect of all PR efforts with PRESSfeed.

An oft-overlooked piece of the brand puzzle, PRESSfeed helps companies transform their press pages into central content hubs that hosts all of the important brand information in a single place. From expert databases to company design assets, PRESSfeed can help turn your newsroom into a major brand asset capable of paying out media (and customer) dividends.

A modern newsroom provides validation of your wide ranging reach while and extending the network affect of all your hard work. At the end of the day, your newsroom should pique interests and encourage outreach because of the inherent value you are providing. When properly "stocked" with all the essentials, this piece of your site becomes a media opportunity generator, a lead generation tool and a discovery path for potential customers.

7. Get analytics and metrics for reporting with Google Analytics.

If you don't have Google Analytics up and rolling, do yourself a favor and make it happen right now. You can improve your analytics skills and deepen your understanding of the platform with its free online courses.

It's time to let go of vanity metrics that don't map to business objectives and tarnish PR's reputation. Instead of looking to Impressions or number of placements, map spikes in traffic with the publishing of articles. Be sure to observe how visitors engage with media placements and whether it drives them to take any specific interactions on your digital properties (social shares, blog sign ups, whitepaper downloads, demo requests). Setting up specific goals with Google can do this.

While it's not easy to parse through the ever-expanding PR Tech ecosystem of solutions, platforms and partners, this list is a good place to start!

Do you have any PRTech suggestions? Add them in the comments section below.

Related: How Social Media Can Help With PR

Rebekah Iliff

Chief Strategy Officer for AirPR

Rebekah Iliff is the chief strategy officer for AirPR, a technology platform to increase public-relations performance that serves Fortune 500 and fast growing technology companies. Previously, she was the CEO of talkTECH Communications, where she created an industry-first methodology for emerging technology companies which positioned talkTECH as one of the fastest growing, launch-only PR firms in the U.S. Iliff holds a B.A. in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, and an M.A. in organizational management and applied community psychology from Antioch University at Los Angeles (AULA).

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