The role of a PR professional has come a long way since the days of faxing press releases to national news desks in hopes of securing coverage. While media relations is still a major part of our day-to-day jobs, these days PR folks can find themselves doing everything from monitoring social and traditional media trends, managing our clients’ social media handles or handling reporting, analytics and measurement.
What we have found is that there are many tools out there that can 1) Make your lives easier and 2) demonstrate ROI for brands. But finding the right tool the job can be a task in itself. In 2013, PAN launched PANoptic – our holistic approach to measuring success, analyzing conversations and packing data up for our clients – in an effort to identify valuable measurement tools that provide actionable insights.
Here are six tools that we at PAN find indispensable. The best part? They are free and you can begin using each one immediately.
Looking for an alternative to Google Alerts? This could be your best bet. Talkwalker Alerts are a web monitoring tool that will crawl the web for content based on user-specified keywords and send you an email or RSS feed update whenever those keywords are mentioned. While Google Alerts have long reigned supreme as the only service available, many users are finding that Talkwalker Alerts find more links, more content and update users more frequently. These alerts can be a critical asset to the PR professional when monitoring for a client’s coverage or keeping track of a crisis communications scenario.
Want to take those alerts a little further that web results? Mention will track all mentions of any keyword or name across social media platforms (as well as the web). This is a great tool for monitoring mentions of a client when someone tweets about the client, but does not include the @username. Users can keep track of mentions via the daily digest emails or by logging in to view and analyze mentions.
This tool is great for putting numbers behind some of the work PR folks are often tasked with doing on social media. Enter a keyword, @username or hashtag and TweetReach will provide insights into how many users it reached through tweets and retweets, top contributors and users who were retweeted the most. Perfect for proving that the Tweet chat you suggested wasn’t completely useless.
A no-brainer if you’re managing your client’s social media platforms – if you aren’t using Hootsuite, get your act together and connect your accounts this instant. Hootsuite is a social media management platform where you can manage and monitor Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ activity for several different accounts. On top of being able to schedule content, users can generate a number of different reports which highlight social growth and engagement. The dashboard makes it easy to view what is going on across multiple social channels – meaning you’ll never miss out on the conversations and news that are important to you or your client.
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) – is a PR tool that helps connect journalists with industry experts, to obtain advice and quotations for their stories. Sign up for this free tool and you’ll get daily e-mail queries from reporters who need experts for specific stories. While you’ll likely end up with a ton of emails – it’s a fast and easy way to land your client in the news and build a relationship with a reporter in-need.
Your go-to free service to gather detailed statistics about visitors to your website – Google Analytics is one of the simplest and most robust web analytics offerings available. Users can leverage this tool to find out where your visitors are coming from, what they’re doing while on your site and how often they come back, among many other things. As you get more involved in the site’s analytics, there are a ton of more detailed reports, tools and data to be found, but it’s the initial ease of use that makes this tool one of the most popular services for web stats. PAN’s team can offer tips to make you an expert!
Are there other tools that you use to make your job easier? Let me know @Tylerkizner and stay tuned as we continue to try out new tools.