Working in PR has long ceased to be associated only with writing press releases and doing follow-ups. Today, a PR professional is required to be versatile and able to work with a changing market and increasingly demanding clients. The scope of our responsibilities is growing dynamically and we are finding that a paper calendar and handwritten notes are no longer sufficient. Thanks to increasing digitalization, we are using solutions that help us in our daily duties. Which tools do we not part with in our work? You can find out in the following post.
Virtual press office
Understanding the specifics of journalists’ work and the reliability and speed of information provided to them, especially in an industry as dynamic as PR, is crucial. Editing the text, giving the information an attractive form, creating a contact database and sending out a press release – this is a big part of our media relations work. Communication management applications come to our aid – the following — Prowly, Newswire, Prezly or Muck Rack, known as virtual press offices. These tools allow PR professionals to send materials to editors easily and quickly. They also allow us to monitor how many people the e-mails went to, how many of them were opened and whether the materials were downloaded. These statistics allow us to optimize our activities and increase the reach of the materials we send out. By creating contact databases, we can manage the sending so that messages go only to editors and people interested in a given topic. Virtual press offices also provide quick access to the history of press materials, which can be used by both agencies and journalists.
Media monitoring and analysis
Using professional media monitoring and analysis services is a staple in communications and marketing activities today. Media monitoring allows you to track mentions of companies, their products and services. It also provides an opportunity to learn about public opinion on important industry topics, in virtually every medium, from television to social networks. Independent media monitoring is, of course, possible, but due to the labor-intensive and time-consuming nature of this activity, agencies are moving away from conducting monitoring on their own. Many of them, are opting for off-the-shelf solutions, such as PressService, Brand24, NewsPoint or SentiOne, which are real-time media monitoring tools. They allow you to add such keywords that allow you to keep track of events in a particular industry. This gives both the chance to see dynamically changing trends in the market, but in the case of negative changes, and the opportunity to react quickly and prevent the development of a situation that can lead to image losses for the client.
The goal of any PR professional is to create content that not only has high content value for the audience, but also matches the requirements and algorithms of search engines. Our tasks also include keeping an eye on the length of the material, its spelling and punctuation correctness. Creating content is time-consuming, and in addition, “creative block”, common in our profession, does not help. Anyone who has ever had to deal with copywriting will admit that this job has one major problem: no matter how hard we try, there will always be a typo that the tired human eye will not catch. Fortunately, there are a number of copywriting tools that provide adequate support for the work and increase both productivity and quality of written texts.
Ortograf.pl is a free tool for proofreading and editing texts. It is available both in Polish and in twenty-six other languages. Ortograf analyzes content not only in terms of spelling, but also punctuation, style, grammar or even typography. Thanks to the application of many rules of linguistic correctness, after such a check we are sure that the text we have created is error-free.
An equally popular online spell check tool is LanguageTool.org. Like Orthographer, it allows you to proofread texts for free, using spelling, style and punctuation rules. A useful feature is that it can be installed as a plug-in in the Chrome browser, further improving the correct writing of texts.
For international projects and English-language content creation, we often use Grammarly, which, with the help of a personal writing assistant and a special grammar checker module, guarantees the creation of top-quality materials.
Also useful in our work are tools such as Logios and Jasnopis, which allow you to measure the accessibility of the text. They indicate its more difficult passages and suggest corrections to facilitate the reception of the material.
When there is a void in the head, and we are struggling with the problem of excessive repetition, the cure for “creative block” can be an online dictionary of synonyms – Synonim.net. This tool is a great support for creating coherent and grammatically correct content, and by providing multiple synonyms, it allows you to make your content more attractive to the viewer.
Graphic designer on vacation? Social media banner to be done yesterday? Sounds like the worst nightmare of anyone who has ever worked in the creative industry. Fortunately, nowadays we can reap the fruits of technology without having to worry that a lack of advanced graphic design skills will prevent us from “fine-tuning” a project. There are many solutions on the market today that help streamline work in this area. One of them is Canva — a free online platform for creating all kinds of graphics, from those for social media, documents, corporate presentations to posters.
Effective project management
Constantly on short notice and with chasing deadlines – that’s the job of a PR professional in a nutshell. Working in an intense and dynamic environment, it is very easy to forget about the date of a proposal to be submitted or the impending deadline for a report. In our work, organization and proper time management are key. When a paper “to do list” is no longer enough, you need to reach for more advanced solutions. Some of the more popular programs for planning and project management, also used by us, are: ClickUp, Asana, Hive, Trello or Basecamp. Thanks to their user-friendly interface, they allow you to easily and simply plan your work and create new projects and assign them to individual colleagues. These applications also give you the ability to monitor the status of the project assigned for execution on an ongoing basis, which gives you comfort and control over the assigned tasks of the entire team.
Of course, the tools presented are only examples that we use on a daily basis in our agency. By automating some of the tasks and using the above-mentioned solutions, we save a lot of time, which we can devote to creative activities and support our clients.