Public Relations and Communications professionals require several essential tools to best deliver for their clients. These help in everyday tasks – Public Relations activities can be anything from keeping track of media releases, creating an updated contact database, monitoring the media and manage client’s social media accounts.
Our Communications Director Clare Christensen says in Public Relations and communications, you need a range of tools to make sure you’re across all areas of the media for both yourselves and your clients.
“It’s important to keep across the media in general, so first things first – get a newspaper subscription and keep an eye on TV news,” she said.
“It’s vital to stay across what stories you might be able to issue a release or commentary on for reactive media, the public perception surrounding your clients and also the media coverage you gain for your clients.”
Below, Clare discusses some of her favourite tools which help with all types of public relations activities.
I use media monitoring to know when my clients are mentioned in the media. This is important not only to track results, but crisis manage a company’s or individual’s reputation. If you’re unaware of potentially damaging content, it will dramatically harm your brand. Using alert software like Google Alerts, can also help you find out what is being said about your client in the media.
Some programs which offer Media Monitoring will also provide an ASR figure, which is the advertising figure your story would be worth. This can be handy to help show your clients their ROI on any PR spend.
As journalists, we’re proud of the contacts we’ve collated over the years but the media landscape is always shifting – and there are many niche publications which can be very useful for getting your clients in the spotlight. We use an external contact database to boost our own network, to keep up to date with journalists’ movements and find the best journalists to pitch tailored stories to.
To keep track of what you and your team is doing for each client and how much time is being spent on each task, PR pros often turn to a project management platform. In PR, we’re often doing a million things at once, so having a central task list, which has an attached calendar, can help to control what work is being done, how long it’s taking and who is allocated each task.
In many cases, PR professionals are hired to create and manage social media content so that it is consistent with the messaging and language being used across mainstream media. Having a software program that can schedule posts on multiple platforms and track social media mentions is essential if you want to be across all online elements of your digital brand.