Inside the Profession

Friday Five: Updating Our PR Toolkit

What tools do you have at your disposal as a public relations professional? Even if you’ve only been working in the field for the past five to 10 years, your toolkit has most likely changed drastically. From stylebooks to your trusty thesaurus, some tools will always be relevant. However, there are a few new technological advancements that may also help you along the way.

Friday Five LogoIn this week’s Friday Five – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary –we’ll look at new tools at the disposal of PR professionals. We’ll examine a comprehensive list of tools every PR professional needs to know about, Gmail’s new email assistant, new uses for Tumblr and the power of keyword research. We also discuss a major merger among popular public relations vendors.


20 Tools Every PR Professional Needs to Know (PRNewser)

Shawn Paul Wood of PR Newser breaks down the new tools that PR professionals need to know about (beyond industry vendors and blogs) into four distinct categories: contact discovery, writing tools, social listening and “didn’t know you needed these.”

One item under “contact discovery” was a tool called “Media Diplomat.” Wood explains its power, “This is part HARO, part MuckRack, all cool. It monitors their queries andyour outreach. A matchmaker between journos and PR-os, of sorts. And to think this one started as a LinkedIn group and became so popular for networking that a website was born. Get in while it’s still ‘growing.’”

View the full list, including some very fun tools you didn’t know you needed, via PRNewser.

Gmail’s New App ‘Inbox’ Is Your Personal Email Assistant (Wired)

While retail marketers continue to fill up your email with junk, Google is once again on the forefront of improving email technology. This week, Google unveiled a brand new app (that is right now invitation only) called “Inbox” to serve as your email “personal assistant” by sorting your email into “bundles.”

Author Mat Honan explains why the new app is potentially groundbreaking: “What’s very new is the concept of Highlights. Let’s say you get an email with a flight confirmation. Often, the information you need to know the most will be buried below a bunch of introductory text. Inbox will dive into your messages and pull out the important information so it can put your flight times at the top of the message. And even better, it updates that information based on things like gate changes and flight delays. It does the same kind of thing with purchases, showing shipping information, for example. If you’ve used Google Now, it’s similar to that. It also pulls things like documents, pictures, and other sorts of vital information from the middle of emails, up to the top of the app.”

Will consumers be OK with Google scanning email for important info? Will this make your job as PR professionals easier or harder? Read more via the full article.

Tumblr Extends TV’s Reach Beyond the Tube (PR News)

Tumblr is a virtual one-stop-shop for visual communication (mostly photos and videos) and recently, communicators have discovered new ways to harness its power and reach. If you are a fan of certain television shows such as “MasterChef” and “The Voice” you may have noticed this new integration.

PR News author Brian Greene discusses a few things to discover before jumping on the Tumblr bandwagon: “Putting time and money into a social media platform with an active user base of just 17 million (compare that with 40 million for Pinterest, 270 million for Twitter and nearly a billion for Facebook) may not be the best decision for everyone. Still, for marketers who work with TV—especially those pining over Tumblr’s millennial-dominated audience—a Tumblr collaboration can deliver a different, lasting way of extending a show beyond it’s standard runtime.”

Are you using Tumblr to showcase your brands? Read more about Tumblr’s TV integration on PR News.

How to do keyword research for content and news releases (Muck Rack)

Muck Rack contributor Alicia Lawrence asks a very important question, “What’s the point of a news release or blog post if it can’t be found?” In this article she gives five tips to help you amplify your content, including:

  • Scope out the competition
  • Use your keywords
  • Look at search volume

View the full list on Muck Rack.

After Vocus merger, Cision buys London rival Gorkana (Washington Post)

Last week at the PRSA 2014 International Conference, Cision and Vocus held a kickoff party to launch their new merged company, aptly named Cision. These two widely-used vendors help with many public relations functions, including press release distribution and building relationships with journalists.

This week, the newly formed Cision merged with Gorkana Group. Gorkana is a London-based rival to the company. Cision chief executive Peter Granat explained that the merge would effectively give Cision access to global markets and help companies measure the impact of their campaigns.

How do you feel about the mergers? Will this create a more efficient product for PR pros? Read the full article via the Washington Post then sound off in the comments section below.


Rosanne Mottola is public relations manager for the Public Relations Society of America. 

About the author

Rosanne Mottola, APR

Rosanne Mottola, APR, is public relations manager for the Public Relations Society of America. She is an adjunct professor of public relations at St. John’s University, Staten Island. Mottola obtained a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications from New York University in 2010. You can connect with her on Twitter @RoeMoPR or on LinkedIn.

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