5 media relations tools for PR pros

These resources can help brand managers find and build relationships with reporters and bloggers. 


No matter what clients or brands they represent, PR pros still list media relations among their top responsibilities.

As brands build more campaigns on social media, there are even more opportunities for creating and fostering relationships with journalists and bloggers.

Getting that great third-party endorsement—instead of a paid advertisement—is no easy task, however. Lasting relationships require research, good pitching techniques and high-quality interactions.

These five tools can help PR pros find and connect with reporters and bloggers:

1. HARO. Help a Reporter Out boasts that almost 30,000 reporters—including those from The New York Times, The Huffington Post and ABC News—have used sources from the site.

PR pros can sign up to become sources and gain opportunities to work with journalists on deadline. HARO also offers alerts based on keywords, but you’ll have to pay for the convenience: One keyword alert is $19 per month, and three keyword alerts will run you $49 monthly.

More expensive memberships get early alerts for media opportunities, and all paid accounts include the option of receiving text alerts to ensure PR pros never miss a chance to work with a journalist.

2. BlogDash. BlogDash offers PR pros access to more than 200,000 bloggers and has tools (and specialists) to help build campaigns.

Users can search for bloggers by category, social media reach, SEO ranking, location or demographic information. The service enables PR pros to comment on blog posts, tweet at individuals or send emails; it also gives users analytics for each campaign.

3. Muck Rack. Muck Rack has a database of more than 30,000 journalists, bloggers and freelance writers globally for PR pros to search and use for pitching stories.

It enables users to create customized media contact lists that can be edited through each account or downloaded to an Excel or PDF document to share with your team or clients.

Pitching through the platform is unlimited, and Muck Rack helps to customize each interaction so you don’t spam a reporter or blogger, but rather begin a lasting relationship. Users can also get alerts when reporters mention keywords or when they share a link.

4. GroupHigh. GroupHigh indexes content from more than 15 million active blogs around the world each day, with analytics for each blog as well.

Brand managers can submit a list of blog sites they’d like to track, and GroupHigh’s software will sort measurement data for each in an easy-to-search list, including blogs’ social media profiles, follower and reader numbers. Users have access to more than a half-million verified blogger contacts as well.

GroupHigh also offers real-time alerts anytime a blogger mentions your brand—or a competing brand. The tool also tracks media earned through a blogger campaign and offers users the option to build a report on the number of shares, “likes” and referral traffic from each campaign.

5. Buzzsumo. BuzzSumo gathers content across the Internet, including social media, and helps PR pros discover what trends are getting shared—along with what kinds of content (videos, infographics, photos, text-based articles) are most popular and what social media platforms people are using to converse.

Once users research which trends and keywords are popular, they can also search for journalists and bloggers who have written about the topic or who serve a certain locale. You can see each reporter or blogger’s reach on social media as well as the topics they cover. You can also build outreach lists on Buzzsumo.

Users can also get keyword and brand alerts, along with general content analytics to help decide which websites, headlines, days of the week and content types can get them the most bang for their media-relations buck.

These tools can help you get started in your media relations efforts; learn more about how to build relationships with journalists and bloggers in our #RaganSocial Twitter chat Tuesday, March 24 at 2 p.m. Central. Katie Creaser, vice president of Affect, will be our guest host.

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