Although public relations remains a relationship-based profession, automated tools can help PR pros do their jobs more efficiently.
The tools improve mainstream digital tools, reduce menial tasks, enhance productivity and make work easier for PR pros. Even if certain automated tools were not designed with PR in mind, practitioners can still apply them to their common tasks.
Most pros are familiar with online tools such as media databases, press release distribution services and media measurement services. Here are 10 helpful, but perhaps lesser-known, digital PR tools:
- Boomerang. Boomerang is a Gmail plug-in that helps PR and communications pros manage their email inboxes. Users can schedule emails so they reach journalists’ inboxes at the ideal time—be it first thing in the morning or just after deadline.
- GoVideo. Sometimes it’s easier to show a reporter how something works than to explain it with text. In those cases, use Vidyard’s GoVideo to create videos explaining the topic through a series of actions on your computer screen. You can then share the videos via email or social media. The tool notifies you when someone watches the video, enabling you to follow up with timely pitches. The tool also helps you connect with team members and others through video. “This tool is super easy to use, and our sales team at AirPR recently began using it for more personalized outreach and interactive demos,” Rebekah Iliff writes in Inc. “Because, you know, who wants the same boring email?”
- GoToMeeting. For live online demos, GoToMeeting is easy to use, reliable and relatively inexpensive. Its many valuable features include the ability to record the audio. A new feature enables attendees to join virtual meetings without access codes or audio PINs.
- Trint. If you need a transcript of a video or audio file, try Trint speech-to-text software. It’s inexpensive for $15 an hour (25 cents a minute) under the pay-as-you-go plan, and it’s surprisingly accurate. Online transcripts of audio and video programs are essential for gaining SEO benefits, but make sure you have a high-quality audio file and that you carefully proofread the resulting transcripts.
- Bananatag. Bananatag tracks email opens, read times and other email metrics. It integrates with email clients such as Gmail and Outlook, and it’s ideal for PR and internal communications. You can measure how many employees read your new PTO policy or see whether a reporter opened your pitch. It’s similar to Yesware, which offers a free trial.
- Tubechop. Tubechop makes it easy to edit YouTube videos. It’s ideal for selecting humorous or interesting sections of videos to share on social media. PR and other communications pros can select short sections of long videos to illustrate a case history or enhance a presentation. Add the link to the YouTube video, and use a sliding bar to “chop” the piece you want.
- Evernote. Evernote is a useful tool for writing and organizing. You can use it to keep a running list of ideas, take notes, store inspiring articles or e-books, or plan your editorial and social media publishing calendars. Its mobile, desktop and web apps sync automatically with an internet connection. “From to-do lists and research notes to writing entire chunks of articles, it’s proven helpful at every step of the writing and editing process,” says HubSpot marketer Lindsay Kolowich, an ardent user.
- Atlas. Atlas, powered by Quartz, is loaded with graphs, charts and data visualizations. A search function enables you to you find data on almost any topic. “This is a great tool to get background information on a topic you’re researching, or to find fresh data to use in a project you’re working on,” Kolowich says.
- Pocket. Pocket is an online reading list that enables you to save and share articles. Tagging and archiving tools make it easy to organize the online reading list. Because you can read articles directly in Pocket, you can do so even if they’ve been deleted from the internet. You could also use it to curate content for blog posts.
- Hemingway App. Besides finding misspellings and grammar mistakes, the Hemingway App spots overly long sentences, unnecessary adverbs and other writing missteps. Users can easily copy and paste documents into the free online tool. Color-coded highlights of sections needing attention make it easy to review content. The tool advocates an extremely terse writing style, similar to the prose of its namesake, and PR writers may wish to reject some recommendations. Still, it’s a useful tool during reviews of drafts.
A version of this post first appeared on the Glean.info blog.