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Top PR Tools and Resources to Use in 2020

Top PR Tools and Resources to Use in 2020As an agency celebrating its 40th year in business, RSPR Marketing + Communications uses a variety of PR tools for its clients. The following are three that we believe play a significant role in allowing us to reach the audiences that are clients desire to impact.

News Releases and Media Relations

Writing, distributing, and following up on a news release on a topic that relates to our clients remains a key tool used by our agency. The development of the release is done so that it can be used as presented by print and online media outlets, while serving as a means to an interview for radio and television.

Utilizing research, conversations with clients and members of their target demographic, and accessing other tools, we develop the content that is incorporated into the release or media pitch. One tool we regularly use is Chase’s Calendar of Events, a book broken out by day that identifies tens of thousands of activities and milestones. We have created media events using the information outlined in Chase’s that have produced significant coverage for our clients.

When it comes to distributing the release, we use Cision. Over the years, we’ve learned that Cision is the best service due to the quality of the database. We create the media list in Cision, send the press release via email through Cision, and export the contact information for the members of the media to use for follow up. As part of determining who will receive the release and/or media pitch, we consider all media options, contacting outlets that relate to the subject, including occupation, hobbies, religious affiliation, fraternal groups, college attended, etc.

In addition, if the release is promoting an event, we posting it to various online event calendars, reaching those who would have an interest in attending. Also, the release is used for the client on its website, on social media, and oftentimes as an announcement sent directly to customers via direct mail or in an e-newsletter.

We then make follow up calls to reporters/editors, pitching the story based on the news release or the information included in an initial e-mail to the media source. There is a “stick-to-it-ive-ness” to our follow up, as when we believe in the story, we stay on it. This had led to our having stories placed in national magazines and morning news shows, in major daily newspapers, and on local radio and TV stations.

Digital Marketing

Perhaps it is obvious, but a website is a necessary tool. It gives the target audience and the media a place to go for more information. Its potential is vast and growing. You can’t take advantage of the power of search engines without a website.

Google Analytics is a necessary guide in a PR campaign. The data tells us if traffic is coming from a news media site. It tells us which topics are of the most interest on our website. It allows us to compare campaigns and track results.

Google Search Console and SpyFu are two tools we use to track our SEO and compare it to competitors’ and the industry in general. We use this data as a guide in creating new content—the right content—to post, distribute, and pitch.

Google’s Keyword Planner is the best way we’ve found for getting local, up-to-date data on what people search and how often they search it, as well as the level of advertising competition for different keyword phrases.

MailChimp and SurveyMonkey are our favorite tools for cost-effective and simple-to-use email marketing and customer surveys – and they work great together. This can include developing e-newsletters for clients, allowing them to reach their audience with further information on their products and services, delivering the information directly to their inbox and allowing their audience to review the information at their leisure.

Social Media

The various options available through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) is the easiest way to engage with the target audience and members of the media, especially when contact has already been made. For example, when television reporters and newspaper photographers cover our events, we tag them in our tweets and Facebook posts, which encourages them to post about us and tag us in turn.

To get more reach with the higher value PR coverage, we may allocate funds boosting links to online stories on our social media. This improves our relationship with media outlets and encourages additional PR coverage in the future.