(This article was written in 2013, and therefore some of the digital tools may be out of date.] Mike Lizun of Gregory FCA wrote a good article in PR Daily about some great digital tools that are available to PR practitioners. He showed there are many digital tools and services PR pros use to stay on top of the news, identify trends, research the right media for targeted story ideas, and manage accounts.
Mike says there is a difference between the sites and services he uses often and those he depends on every day to get his job done.
The following list helps him share clients’ stories with the right audiences that you might not know about yet:
1. Spike: Spike is a service that helps you spot trending stories in real time. It’s paid, but Mike suggests giving the free trial a try.
2. MuckRack: MuckRack should already be on your devices by definition: Where journalists and sources connect.
3. Quora: On Quora, you can post questions and get answers from people with real experience. It is an inspiration for story ideas and angles.
4. Tumblr: Tumblr is the best social network for finding, telling, or sharing visual stories.
5. Flipboard: Flipboard is the best mobile news aggregator and reader, period.
6. Techmeme: Techmeme is a tech news curation site that will keep you up to date on breaking tech stories.
Of course, you’re probably already using a lot of the following key sites, apps, and tools:
1. Digg: Digg is Mike’s go-to RSS reader and social bookmarking tool.
2. Facebook: He often finds that his Facebook news feed is where he sees conversations evolve into story ideas.
3. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the best and most up-to-date network to see where people are coming from and going to. It’s also a great news source for strong thought leadership posts.
4. TweetDeck: TweetDeck is the Twitter dashboard you can keep running all day (with the Chrome plug-in suggested.)
5. Google news search: Google not only gives you a broad view of the news, but it also gives you a way to identify the most recent stories from media and reporters.
6. Google Drive: Google drive offers real-time collaboration and account management.
7. Google search: Google is still the best source of what’s indexed on the Web.
8. Reddit: This online community is a rising source of news. It’s unique because users vote on content.
9. BuzzFeed: BuzzFeed is where to go for breaking social news, see what’s trending around the Web. Also good for entertainment and business news.
10. Popurls: Popurls is a dashboard for the latest Web buzz.
11. ITDatabase: You can use ITDatabase to find out which themes, companies, and products the media are writing about.
12. Topsy: Topsy provides Twitter and other social searches as well as analytics.
13. Compete: Compete gives you a quick, comprehensive read on a blog’s or website’s traffic.
14. WhoSharedMyLink.com: This site lets you find out how many times a URL was shared, as well as the journalists and bloggers who shared it.
15. SimpleNote: This app is useful for note-taking on mobile devices, because it syncs across them.
16. Chromecast: Useful when streaming and projecting (almost) anything from laptop to TV screen.
Mike says it takes this many digital tools for him to stay on top of the news, uncover trends, find conversations, manage accounts, and identify the right stories and the storytellers. Because this business is ultimately about relationships, the technology helps to create new ones and strengthen existing ones.
What about you? Which sites and tools are you using for PR, media relations and social media?
A big part of promoting content is understanding reach, so tools like Moz Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO, which are link tracking tools, are really useful.
Linkdex is a supercharged tool for scoring content popularity and finding authoritative people who tend to link and share in your category.
buzzsumo does a great job of surfacing topical content and subject matter experts but also shows how well your content is shared on top social networks.
SEMRush is handy for understanding what keywords drive traffic to publications you want to be involved with.
StyleWriter – copy-editing software. Anyone working in public relations and journalism should use this to ensure everything is in a clear, readable and concise style.