7 Practical Apps for PR Professionals
There’s no denying that public relations is a busy profession. On a typical day, a PR pro will be handling multiple clients, chatting to journalists, writing emails and media releases, coming up with at least 50 brilliant ideas and running around to meetings.
“Isn’t there an app for that?”
You bet. There’s actually countless ‘on-the-go’ apps aimed at PR practitioners; some cost an arm and a leg, others may be free but are really restricting. Here’s a rundown of the top 7 apps that are both free AND useful for conquering the busy day of a PR pro:
Upitch is usually at the top of any PR app list – and for a good reason. It’s a convenient way for journalists to swipe through media releases, which can be filtered by geographic location and industry filters. You can easily create a media release using the Upitch template and upload it to journalists’ swipe feeds. If a journalist swipes right, you are then connected through the app’s messenger to chat more about your story.
As a PR professional, you should definitely be posting regularly to your social media platforms and building a social network. Social media managers are a useful way to organise your social content for the week and schedule posts for the times when your followers are most active. Hootsuite offers both a free and subscription version of their app, and the free one offers a fair bit! It allows you to post to three social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for example) and you can schedule 30 posts in advance. It also lets you track your followers, keep abreast of growth and content data by providing basic analytics. By organising your social media weekly, it’s easier to plan a wide variety of content which saves on always posting the same kind of thing and boring all your followers. It also takes away the stress of having to remember what to post and when.
Keeping on top of the latest trends is a key aspect of public relations. Trend scanning is a great way to come up with a new angle for your client or find a relevant conversation that could be tapped into to increase coverage. GoTrends, owned by Google, is the app version of Google Trends. It shows you what’s trending right now, or you can tailor a search to a specific topic and find out what people are looking for around that topic.
Okay, so this isn’t an app, but good old Google Alerts still seems to be the best free news monitoring service on the market. Create alerts for when key words pop up in the media (e.g. your client’s name) to keep on top of when and where clients are mentioned. This is also really handy for tracking trends using buzzwords relevant for your client. Of course you can go one step further and pay for a great news monitoring app like Mention, but really, Google Alerts is a perfectly adequate alternative!
If you’re a visual-minded person, then this one is for you. Coggle lets you create collaborative mind maps with your colleagues for on-the-go brainstorming sessions. Using your Google account to log in, you can create colour coordinated maps in real time to share information and get the creativity flowing. Coggle’s free version offers a great deal, including unlimited public diagrams and the ability to download to PDF.
In a world of multi-tasking, organisation is the key to successful PR. Evernote is a central hub that can be used across your devices to write notes, lists and store information as either text, sketches, photos, video, audio and PDF. It automatically syncs with all your devices and you can also share and discuss content with your colleagues.
Lastly, and most importantly, PR pros need to able to switch off after a day of juggling various tasks and clients, having many conversations and using all these wonderful apps. We all know that a lack of sleep can severely impact productivity and, let’s face it, no one wants to sit next to the cranky, sleep-deprived person at the office! If your head is constantly abuzz when you’re trying to get to sleep, this will be invaluable in helping you to let go of everything that happened in your day and relax into a great night’s sleep. The best news? It’s just a podcast – no additional app required!
What’s your go-to app for work?
By Bonny Wythes