PR is something which – unless you are a start-up in that area – remains something of a black box for many. Start-ups in particular can be forgiven for believing the dark arts of oppress and publicity are best left to very expensively paid people who know their way around the world of corporate communications.
But this isn’t necessarily the case anymore. As an interesting blog entry on the Business2Community website pointed out that you don’t have to splash out thousands on PR when you are a hard-pressed start-up with a budget which may only run into the hundred.
In fact, there are now many online tools available for those hoping to get the word out about their business that won’t cost you much more than the price of a cup of coffee and could help with the vital task of getting the word out. Here are the suggestions for sites to try out.
This is an RSS feed reader that enables you to track blogs and websites for story ideas. The Feedly Pro offering gives you the opportunity to search for authors, topics and keywords for around $5 a month. The tool can help you keep in touch with your sector and other areas of interest and so keep you up with the game.
emailhunter.co | Free, starter plan priced at $49/month
Finding contact information for journalists can be harder than you think (accept with us of course – if you want to speak to me the just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Simple). Email Hunter does the guessing for you – simply type in the website domain belonging to the journalist, and the tool will show all of the email address associated with the website, along with a recommend email pattern and export option.
rapportive.com | Free
Rapportive is a plugin that lives in the sidebar of your Gmail conversations, providing valuable information about the contact you’re currently talking to. The app shows job description, location, links to social networking profiles and mutual LinkedIn connections. It’s free and the last aspect of it is particularly good when it comes to helping spreading the message via social media.
mention.com | Solo plan starting at $29/month
It’s one thing getting press – it can be quite another making sure that you can track it. Mention is a tool for tracking PR coverage on websites, social networks, blogs, and other online sources. With Mention, you can choose to receive email coverage alerts in real time (like Google Alerts) or even on a weekly basis. The tool also features reports, including valuable information such as reach, location demographics and sentiment, and can be exported intro PDFs or raw data (Excel).
coveragebook.com | Basic plan starting at $56/month
Need a fancy PR coverage report with a breakdown of each hit and clippings for your next team or board meeting? In the past, you had to painstakingly take screenshots of each hit, look up the publication’s reach and calculate its AVE (Advertising Value Equivalency).
A fairly new tool called CoverageBook does all the hard work of putting together screenshots of your clippings and working out exactly how many hits viewed the article and what social media shares it got. This can take much of the leg work out of PR.
If you find any more tools on the web that can help with PR, just get in touch with GamCrowd and we will feature it in a future article.