A Comprehensive List of Every PR Tool We Use

Maybe you’re a mid-sized company thinking about bringing Marketing Public Relations (MPR) in-house. Maybe you’re the CEO of a bootstrapped startup looking for tips on getting your first big news hit. Or maybe you’re just new to the field.

Whatever the case, you should know that MPR is more than just outreach. It involves having your finger on the news pulse, knowing the latest trends and determining where your company fits into it all. It means building relationships with reporters who know your brand and trust you to deliver click-worthy headlines. It’s about monitoring the resulting buzz and generating even more shares among your audience.

To point you in the right direction, we compiled a list of all the tools we use daily to build and maintain a great MPR presence.

32 PR Tools & Strategies to Master Public Relations

Image: Death to the Stock Photo

Sourcing Press Mentions

The first step to going viral is learning what’s hot. The tools below give you the first glance at breaking news.

Master the Art of “News Jacking”

News Jacking |n(y)o͞oz jak-iNG|
Stealing the spotlight on buzz-worthy trends, so the news is focused on you.

1. Google Alerts

Cost: Free. Get it here.

Google Alerts are the best free thing to happen to your MPR strategy. Use them to keep track of the outlets that feature your company, as well as your competitors’ news and the latest industry trends.

Google Alerts

2. Feedly

Cost: Free with optional paid plans, starting at $3.75/mo. Get it here.

A daily influx of Google Alerts can overwhelm your inbox. Organize your emails (and your life) with Feedly.


Land an Interview

Often, reporters have specific topics in mind for their next article. These tools enable them to contact experts they haven’t yet met.

3. Help a Reporter Out

Cost: Free. Get it here.

With Google Alerts, you know what has been recently published. With Help a Reporter Out (HARO), you get an insider look at what reporters are vying to know. Sign up and gain access to three daily emails from journalists seeking interviewees.


4. YEC

Cost: Sliding membership from $850/yr. Get it here.

In a similar vein, YEC enables entrepreneurs to answer individual questions, or write and submit entire guests posts, to be featured in various publications.


5. Media Diplomat

Cost: Free with optional paid plans, starting at $29/mo. Get it here.

A third option, Media Diplomat supplies Q&A opportunities, with the biggest publications locked to members.

Media Diplomat

Creating Must-Read Content

There are a few different types of content you may try to push out: press releases, content distribution, the aforementioned news jacking and more. These tools make generating content a cinch.

Write Better Copy

6. SelfControl

Cost: Free. Get it here.

When you need hardcore self-control, it helps to have a timer. SelfControl gives you a set amount of time to work on one activity, and blocks designated websites so you can’t get distracted by social updates, chats with friends, etc.

While there are a zillion options for online timers, this one really takes the cake. SelfControl can’t be undone, by restarting your computer or even deleting the application. You have to wait for the timer to run out – and finish your work – before you can get back to surfing.

Self Control

7. Google Drive (Docs)

Cost: Free. Get it here.

I live and die by Google Drive. Each app (docs, spreadsheets, presentations, forms and drawings) automatically saves every three seconds, so you don’t have to worry about it crashing and losing all your work. Plus, every doc can easily be shared with your colleagues, allowing for real-time editing and suggestions that encourage team collaboration.

Google Drive

8. WordPress

Cost: Free, but you can customize with paid options. Get it here.

We run the Kiip blog using WordPress; it’s easy-to-use and has great plugins to help with everything from comments to SEO. Our favorite function within WordPress is the calendar feature, where you can plan out your content months in advance and allow for your team to weigh in with ideas. If you need to switch two posts, it’s a cinch: just drag and drop the titles onto new dates.

As a closing comment, Most PR agencies publish the finalized releases onto a site like PRNewsWire.com. We prefer to drive traffic to our company blog instead. Disagree with this tactic? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter!


Craft Effective Headlines

9. Google Trends

Cost: Free. Get it here.

Google Trends is imperative for optimizing SEO. Trends lets you compare multiple words or phrases to determine what Googlers are most likely to search. For instance, are people more commonly typing “mobile advertising” or “mobile marketing”? This helpful tool clears up the mystery.

Google Trends

10. Keyword Tool

Cost: Multiple paid plans, starting at $48/mo. Get it here.

Even though you know how to compare words in Google Trends, sometimes you need some search phrases to get the ball rolling. Keyword Tool highlights common word pairings. For example, if you search for “how to,” you might see “jump a car,” “tie a tie” or “make french toast” as the top few phrases. This will help you tailor your SEO strategy even more.

Keyword Tool

11. Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

Cost: Free. Get it here.

There’s a common stat that marketers love to throw around: eight out of 10 readers will look at your headline and nothing else. In order to capture attention for the duration of your post, it helps to have a strong title – something that appeals to both emotion and intellect.

Emotional Headline Analyzer is a helpful tool that removes some of the mystery of headline curation. To use, input your suggested title as well as your industry, and the tool returns what emotion the title evokes, along with a percentage detailing its effectiveness.

For best practices, bounce around a few titles with your marketing team and see what resonates. Upworthy is famous for writing 25 headlines per article. If it generates them clicks, it will work for you too.

Headline Emotional Analyzer

Increase Views with Images

Did you know that posts with relevant images get 94 percent more views? Get cracking with these handy image creators and search tools.

12. Canva

Cost: Free. Get it here.

Canva is an easy-to-use image creator that gives your post some extra oomph. My favorite use of the tool: writing the post title on a bright background. It’s guaranteed to stand out.


13. Recite

Cost: Free. Get it here.

Gives your quotes some staying power by transforming them into images. This is especially handy for social channels, when you want to catch users’ eyes with a quote destined to be remembered.


14. Infogr.am

Cost: Free with optional paid plans starting at $15/mo. Get it here.

Infogr.am is my go-to app for creating clear and simple infographics. Give stats, graphs and more the attention they deserve.


15. Easel.ly

Cost: Free with optional paid plan for $3/mo. Get it here.

If you want to create more complex, long-form infographics, check out Ease.ly. You can choose from standard templates or make your own completely from scratch.


16. Buffer Pablo

Cost: Free. Get it here.

Buffer’s Pablo is relatively new, but it’s generated buzz for a reason. Much like Canva, Pablo enables you to create shareable images in minutes.


17. Death to the Stock Photo

Cost: Free monthly photo packs, or access the full library for $15/mo. Get it here.

If you’re looking for images you don’t have to create from scratch, get high-quality photos delivered straight to your inbox every month with Death to the Stock Photo. DTTSP’s deliveries are themed by city, activity, etc. – but unlike your typical stock photo search – never boring.

Death to the Stock Photo

18. Unsplash

Cost: Free. Get it here.

Unsplash is another great option for beautiful, high-resolution images. These tend to focus more on nature – not so great if you’re writing about tech – but never hurt to have on hand. For free, you get 10 new photos every 10 days.


19. CC Search

Cost: Free. Get it here.

CC Search allows you to search for creative commons photos across the web. Narrow your search by Pixabay, Google Images and more. Pro tip: If you opt for a Flickr search, try narrowing your results by “interesting” rather than the default “relevant”. This gives priority to images other users have deemed especially picturesque, increasing your chances of finding a good fit for your post.

CC Search

Getting Ahead with Your Outreach

Before we begin, if there’s one thing you take away from the outreach process, it should be: respect.

Always make sure you A) pitch journalists who cover your beat, B) be courteous – their time is precious! and C) provide them with straightforward, easy-to-read information. Your lede should be evident and hook them in right away.

At the end of the day, outreach is about relationship building, not the “spray and pray” method where you pitch 100 journalists and hope one bites. So make sure you only contact reporters who can benefit from publishing your story. When they do reply, be available to assist with any follow-up requests, like quotes, visuals or questions in a timely and knowledgeable manner.

Build Reporter Relationships

External outreach involves contacting outside publications, from journalists to marketers who handle content syndication.

20. Cision

Cost: Multiple paid plans, starting at $3,000/yr. Get it here.

Cision makes it a snap to track down reporters who write about your selected beat. Be careful though: even after you compile your list with this software, the results still take some manual parsing. Until you get familiar with each journalist covering your field, it can take some time.

That being said, this is especially useful when searching for reporters outside your usual domain and who may be completely unfamiliar. One example: If you’re pitching a partnership announcement with someone in the financial sphere, whereas you’re in tech.


21. Buzzsumo

Cost: Free with optional paid plans, starting at $99/mo. Get it here.

Buzzsumo allows you to compare how many shares your links – and your competitor’s’ links – garner across social. See how you stack up and where you should focus your next social efforts. Does LinkedIn produce more shares than Twitter? Find out here.


22. Connectifier

Cost: Variable depending on use. Get it here.

The next few tools are fantastic for sourcing email addresses. To start with Connectifier, visit any one of a potential source’s social media handles. Connectifier then scours their profiles to find a recent address.


23. Sell Hack

Cost: Multiple paid plans starting at $9/mo. Get it here.

Sell Hack is another favorite. Type in the full name and the company of your contact, then wait a couple glorious seconds. Sell Hack almost always returns with a valid address.

Sell Hack

24. Thrust.io

Cost: Free for limited searches. Get it here.

The good news: Thrust.io is free! The bad news: I wouldn’t be surprised if this well-kept secret becomes a paid tool soon. Thrust.io has the same concept as Sell Hack; you only need two pieces of information to find an address. It currently yields less results than Sell Hack, but it improves by the day.


25. Rapportive

Cost: Free. Get it here.

If none of the above work, head to Rapportive. Rapportive works inside your email as a guesstimation tactic. Type the address you think the recepient can be found at, then hover over the text with your mouse. If it’s the correct address, Rapportive will show a profile. If Rapportive is blank, take another shot.


Compose Your Outbound Message

Use these tools to connect with your audience in-house. You can still spread your news, but do so by controlling your brand message and accessing who has viewed and shared the content.

26. MailChimp

Cost: Free with optional paid plans starting at $10/mo. Get it here.

Even if you get featured in a huge pub, your clients/partners/audience still may not be aware. Inform them with a regular company newsletter that details your latest announcements. Having utilized MailChimp at multiple companies now, I can advocate its user-friendly properties.


27. Buffer

Cost: Free with optional paid plans starting at $10/mo. Get it here.

Buffer helps you schedule posts on all your social media handles, then tracks valuable analytics like views, clicks and favorites. They also have a one of the best blogs in the industry, replete with a daily newsletter full of best practices. Check it out.


Tracking Your Successes

The tools below are essential to my everyday tasks. Without them, I’d be lost.

28. Sidekick

Cost: Free with optional paid plans starting at $10/mo. Get it here.

Signals informs you if and when someone has seen your message. Use that data for good, rather than evil, by sending a polite follow-up if you think your original email fell through the cracks.


29. Boomerang

Cost: Free with optional paid plans starting at $4.99/mo. Get it here.

There are optimal times to send emails – times of the day when someone’s inbox is most likely empty or even when it’s flooded – but you can still manage to snag a spot at the top.

In this regard, Boomerang does two handy things: 1. returns your email if no one has responded and 2. schedules your email for a specific time, which is highly useful when contacting those in another time zone.


Analyizing Your Efforts

You pitched wisely, you followed all the rules. Now you need to determine the results of all that hard work.

30. Zapier

Cost: Free with optional paid plans starting at $20/mo. Get it here.

With Zapier, discover which users share mention you online, when and how often. It’s great for reaching out to thank social users, and establishing new relationships so they keep acting as brand evangelists.


31. Google Drive (Spreadsheets)

Cost: Free. Get it here.

Organize all your outreach efforts in one easy place. Google Spreadsheets lets you create spreadsheets so you can log your ever-growing pitch list, figure out who has opened or responded to your emails or track your published press.

Google Drive

32. Compete

Cost: Free with optional paid plans starting at $249/mo. Get it here.

There’s not always time to field every interview or craft each requested guest post. When trying to determine to what blogs you should donate your time (for syndication or otherwise), Compete shows you which one will land you more readers by highlighting their unique monthly visitors.


And there you have it: our PR process from start to finish.

But we’re always on the lookout for new tools – or brag-worthy competitors. Let us know your favorites in the comments below.

Kiip redefines how brands connect with consumers through moment-based rewards in everyday apps. Follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date with all of our marketing news!

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  • balendran

    Great list guys. Google alert has not been working for a long time and google is not keen on fixing it.

    • Agreed. Would be great to see some alternatives listed here.

    • What about Mention.com ?

    • Eric Voyer

      Great question – Google Alerts is increasingly frustrating to use, so I definitely agree with the need for alternatives. Try a service like Gnowit.com – the Basic service is free, and when you sign up you are granted complimentary access to their Professional tier.

      With either tier, you are able to manage and sort Google Alerts results from one dashboard, as well as access their own database of online published news. Gnowit is a great tool for PR agencies to track the presence of their clients, and also to generate new leads by allowing a user to quickly and easily evaluate an org’s needs before approaching them.

      • Thanks Eric. Just signed up for a trial account.

  • Great article. Added most of these tips to my list of marketing tools!

  • tonixx

    http://ShareBar.net should be on this list. It’s the easiest way to add social sharing to your website

  • Doru Șupeală

    Some of the recommendations are GREAT. Thank you very much!

  • Pete Wild

    Terrific resource list – about http://www.yovid.co free tool to make video just for social media ?

  • great list. i think you may have forgotten one though 😉


  • Great list. Would be awesome to include Brand24 also (http://brand24.net) – it provides high-end monitoring and analytics for super-affordable price. I would love to show it to you sometime :simple_smile:

  • Great stuff! Thanks for aharing. Will definitely try and add some of these into our process.

  • Eti Nachum Finkelstein

    Thanks for such a thorough and informative article Brittany! For the next one I invite you to check out our platform – http://www.blogsrelease.com – where brands can connect with influencers by posting review campaigns for products, events, and news.

  • Frederik Vincx

    Excellent list Brittany. I appreciate that you took the time to neatly categorise everything and to create screenshots. I know it’s a lot of work :)

    If you’d like to find alternatives for the tools you are using – or just extra solutions – do check this massive guide that I just released: http://www.prezly.dev/hounddog.php/guide-to-public-relations-tools-for-the-pr-pro

    It has a categorised list of 140 tools, complete with screenshots and videos.
    To complete the guide I also investigated how to introduce new tools in communication teams. It should be a good complementary guide to your list.

    Hope you like it.

  • Kevin Lorch

    Some great tools and I totally agree with your tips for outreach. Hopefully my new tool http://www.woopitch.com can make the list some time in the future.

  • Hi guys. I’ve just written a guest post on the 101 PR digital tools I use to ace my clients’ digital marketing campaigns. Just thought it might be useful for anyone looking for additional ways to do their digital PR quicker and better. Cheers, Dave https://www.prezly.com/101-essential-public-relations-tools-in-2016