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15th August 2019
Signal Editors

9 different PR tools for 2019

PR is no longer simply press clippings, discover nine digital PR tools for all your different PR functionalities.

Cast your minds back to early 2018. Feels like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

Remember the halcyon days when people were eating laundry tablets for an online challenge? No? Well, we aren’t joking. We truly wish we were. The Tide Pod Challenge saw hundreds of YouTube videos and social media posts uploaded, in which teenagers chewed on the detergent tabs – which are quite literally poison – to earn kudos and, we guess, go viral.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPC) received 86 reports of teenagers consuming the laundry detergent during the craze. With eight deaths attributed to the challenge – six of these directly linked to Procter & Gamble products – this was a PR crisis unlike anything P&G had seen before. They needed to act, and fast.

But, being savvy, they knew that simply telling teens not to eat the Pods (we reiterate: this really did happen) wasn’t the way to do it. After their brand monitoring teams flagged it, the brand cleverly took to social and posted an irreverent video that appealed to the millennial masses, and soon after, YouTube and Twitter banned the Tide Pod Challenge videos.

By jumping in and adding their voice to the unfolding crisis, P&G recovered. Kids stopped eating Tide Pods. Equilibrium was restored.

In a 24-hour news cycle in an always-on world, any brand is only ever an ‘upload post’ away from a potential crisis.

But if you do find yourself in some unexpected hot water, you need to be able to act quickly. Protecting your brand, it’s reputation, and having a comprehensive crisis management strategy in place by utilising media monitoring software means you’re always a step ahead.

If you’re thinking of trying out or investing in PR software and don’t know where to start, you’ll be pleased to know we’ve done the legwork for you.

Google Alerts

An screenshot of Google Alerts, a free PR media monitoring tool

Google Alerts are a seemingly simple – but often deceptively complicated due to long-tail Boolean searches – way of being alerted to something untoward.

They’re free and easy to set up, and you can track any keyword (related to your brand, or even your competitors). If the keyword gets more activity than the baseline, you’ll be emailed. It might not be a sophisticated PR tool, but it can help in a pinch.

Hootsuite

An image of the Hootsuite dashboard, the social monitoring tool

We love Hootsuite – this free social monitoring tool allows you to manage all of your social accounts. From Twitter and LinkedIn, to Facebook and Instagram, you can schedule all your social posts from on handy dashboard.

You’ll never miss a mention on social, and you can schedule, manage and report all from one free-to-use account. A social media stalwart.

Talkwalker

A screenshot of Talkwalker dashboard to display the platform

Talkwalker deems itself ‘your extra pair of eyes and ears’. And you’re in safe hands (and eyes and ears) if you invest in this social listening veteran.

Talkwalker offer both standard and social media subscriptions. The PR tool allows you to mitigate risks with early-warning alerts and reputation benchmarking. You can even keep an eye on issues within your industry with the AI-driven sentiment tool.

Brand24

A screenshot of the Brand24 dashboard to display the platform

When it comes to tracking social mentions and sentiment, Brand24’s clean, simple and easy to use interface is hard to beat. Brand24 offer an out and out online reputation management tool based on the principal of searching keywords.

Brand24 functions on a 12 social media platform limit, but you can pay extra to double your social tracking. A sneaky tip for those looking to test out PR tools before deciding on a long-term solution, Brand24 offer a free two-week trial.

Business Wire

Home page of BusinessWire

If you need to distribute press releases to a wide audience, you can’t get better than Business Wire. This is one of many PR tools that facilitate press release pushes, to get in front of the right audience.

As well as pushing your messaging out to those you need to see it, Business Wire offers reporting on a number of key metrics, such as views, traffic sources, and engagement. One to certainly consider adding to your arsenal of PR tools.

Signal AI

Signal AI platform

A discerning PR software user? Go beyond media mentions and discover AI-powered media intelligence with Signal AI. With the largest media database available, the Signal AI platform aggregates and analyses over three million sources a day.

Add to that insightful media analysis that cuts through the noise, real-time alerts, AI-powered translation of over 80 languages, and instant reporting, we’re not afraid to say we’re world-leading.

Brandwatch

A screenshot of the Brandwatch dashboard to display the PR media monitoring tool

If you’ve got long-running PR campaigns, you’ll need to monitor them and report on their performance. There are plenty of PR tools that offer this, but Brandwatch’s PR tracking software is extremely flexible.

Alerts mean that you’ll never miss an update about your PR campaign, and will find it simple to pull together reports your stakeholders will endlessly thank you for. Win, win.

Prowly

A graphic depicting the Prowly media monitoring tool

Prowly is a PR manager’s dream piece of kit. Whether you manage a Press Office at a large enterprise or manage PR in a cross-functionality team of public relations, comms and marketing, Prowly will help you stand out from the crowd.

It has an online newsroom, press release creator, and media discovery tool (including no less than one million media contacts). This makes Prowly one of the best for uncovering those all important earned media opportunities.

Muck Rack

A screenshot of the Muck Rack dashboard to display the platform

Finding the right journalists to pitch can be difficult. Researching their specialisms, making initial contact, and building the relationship is a time consuming and tiresome job. Not to mention expensive (there’s only so many networking coffee dates with journalists you can expense).

Muck Rack makes it easy, with its all-in-one relationship building platform for PRs. Say goodbye to maintaining your media lists, as Muck Rack will do this for you – as well as allowing you to discover what journalists are writing and reading.

PR tools for you

It’s impossible to cover all the PR tools available in such a saturated industry. But these are the standouts and all provide a unique service, with varying levels of insights and accuracy.

But don’t just take our word for it. Researching your options before investing in PR tools is paramount. And it is always important to find the best solution for your business. Get started here.

So, whether you want to pitch stories, report to your CEO, or simply ensure teenagers aren’t ingesting your products in ways they aren’t intended, these PR tools will have your back. You’re very welcome.