Our Public Relations Toolbox

SHIFT's Public Relations ToolboxAnother day, another tool or app is introduced in the name of productivity and making lives easier. Sometimes we find a gem and sometimes we grasp at a shiny new app only to find out the old one does it better. When it comes to public relations, what’s truly useful out there?

We asked SHIFTers what are some of the must-have tools they’d have a hard time living without at SHIFT:

Twitter
By now it should be a no-brainer that every public relations professional is overly familiar with the little blue bird. Twitter is great for a few reasons. The first, and perhaps the most obvious, is that it’s a great way to monitor what people are talking about. From big headlines to silly trending topics, you can quickly get a pulse for what others are paying attention to.

It’s also a great way to check out what reporters are working on; it’s not unusual for a journalist to tweet out an ask for a source on a particular story. Use it to build relationships with reporters. We’re not talking about hounding them with pitch ideas, but rather supporting and re-sharing their writing. Even networking from a personal standpoint can be enhanced by Twitter.

Don’t be shy.
Android | iOS.
(If Twitter’s original interface isn’t for you, try TweetDeck, HootSuite or apps like UberSocial.)

Feedly
We all cried a little inside (or maybe for some of us, publicly) when Google Reader faded out of our lives. How could something we grew so attached to just leave us like that? Okay, enough relationship talk.

When it came time to find a new RSS feed reader, everyone had an opinion and a few options. Feedly is our favorite. The interface is customizable with various options for how your stories are laid out. The mobile app is rather seamless and makes for easy reading on the go. While it might not be the Google Reader we grew to know and love, it’s pretty darn easy to get used to.

The bottom line is that it can be challenging to stay on top of everything that’s going on in the media, let alone the individual industries of our clients. But that’s no excuse; it’s crucial to our success as PR professionals. A reader that aggregates everything in one simple place is a godsend. Feedly is that reader.
Android | iOS

Chatter
This might be a surprising addition to the list because it’s company specific, but Chatter has become a mainstay tool here at SHIFT. Simply put, this Salesforce app is Facebook for the workplace (minus the college keg stand photos).

Chatter comes in handy on a daily basis. If you’re an agency with multiple offices around the world, Chatter enhances cross-team connectivity. All three of our offices in Boston, San Francisco and New York are using Chatter for brainstorming ideas, keeping each other up to date on media movements, sharing story opportunities and case studies, among other things.

It enhances the culture and more often than not, that question we have is already answered on Chatter, which saves us from more email.
Android | iOS
(Disclosure: Salesforce is a SHIFT client.)

Techmeme. Reddit. TechNews. HackerNews.
Okay, so we’re kind of cheating here because these are four apps not one. However, they each fall into the same bucket and they’re great for staying on top of news while enabling you to think like a journalist.

Not only can you use these sites to check out what stories are being covered but also those that haven’t been covered. Often times, reporters will visit sites like Reddit to get other ideas for new articles.

What’s stopping you from doing the same? Get creative – or at the very least, stay informed.

IT Database. Muck Rack.
We’re cheating again, but these two are in the same realm of usefulness. Knowing what reporters are working on and what resources they need is invaluable as a PR professional. These are two great resources for seeing what journalists are talking about.

PR is all about building mutually beneficial relationships with reporters versus blindly guessing what they might be interested in. In addition, IT Database points out upcoming conferences and award opportunities.

What are the must-haves in your PR toolbox?

Amanda Grinavich
Marketing Analyst

Photo Credit: veryuseful via Compfight cc

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Posted on January 24, 2014 in Public Relations, Social Media, Tools, Twitter

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About the Author

Amanda Grinavich is a Marketing Tech Account Manager at SHIFT Communications. Prior to joining the digital marketing team at SHIFT, Amanda worked on the PR side of the house where she served clients in the technology space. She graduated from Boston University with B.S. in Communications.
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