The PR Tools That Should Be In Your Toolbox

15 Oct The PR Tools That Should Be In Your Toolbox

As a savvy public relations professional, you likely already have many PR tools in your toolbox and tricks up your sleeve to get the job done. Every project may require something different, so having a diverse set of skills and the right tools to do the job will only benefit you and your client. While there are countless tools available, not all of them are right for you – some are free, others are a one-time cost or subscription-based, some are complicated to use. Below, I’ve broken the tools down into categories – Newswires, Media Monitoring, Reporter Search, Tools, and Social.


Business Wire – Cost: Many options for membership, press release starts at $275. Get it here.

Send press releases to major media outlets in defined geographical areas and track results. Also, has reporting options.

MarketWired – Cost: Press releases start at $460, options for membership as well. Get it here.

Upload press release to a worldwide network of media contacts, social media channels etc. With membership, you can have access to performance reporting for the releases.

PR Newswire – Cost: Many options starting at $680 for press releases or annual membership fees. Get it here.

You upload press releases to PRnewswire’s network of more than 200,000 media contacts and 8,000 websites.

PR Web – Cost: Press release start at $99 per release. Get it here.

Distributions are forwarded to journalists and bloggers who subscribe.


Media Monitoring:

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

While Google Alerts is a great tool, too many alerts can overwhelm your inbox. Feedly helps organize your emails (and your life).

Google Alerts – Cost: Free. Get it here.

The best free tool for monitoring clients, topics, or specific news – use them to keep track of the outlets that feature your clients, as well as their competitors’ news and the latest industry trends.

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – Cost: Free. Get it here.

HARO gives an insider advantage of what reporters are writing stories on and need sources for. Sign up and gain access to three daily emails from journalists seeking interviewees.

Prezly – Cost: Ranging from $65 – $250 per month. Get it here.

This is a CRM tool, multimedia newsroom and online distribution of press releases. Share stories via email & social media press rooms. Analytics & insights included.

ProfNet – Cost: membership fees based the on size of business. Free for reporters. Get it here.

PRNewswire offers this tool for journalists and bloggers to send thousands of story leads every month to ProfNet users. Like HARO, you can review daily emails of those looking for sources on particular topics.

TrendKite – Cost: For an agency, it varies on the number of client dashboard. Get it here.

Helps brands and agencies measure the effectiveness of their PR efforts with features including custom dashboards (tracking things like the most popular articles about your company, mentions by top influencers, and general sentiment and share of voice compared with the competition), email news alerts, and shareable PDF reports.


Reporter Search:

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

This tool makes it a snap to track down reporters at publications that do not offer contact information or reporters/publications who write about any specific topic.


IT Database – Cost: $3,000 a year for unlimited access. Get it here.

A specialist PR search engine that is an advanced directory allowing you to easily search for up-to-date contact details, web articles by authors, bloggers, journalists for trustworthy publications.

MuckRack – Cost: Starts at $199 per month. Get it here.

This tool uses it’s own contact database, to help find the right reporter to pitch by searching keywords, company names, competitors, beats, outlets, media types and more. You can set up email notifications when journalists tweet or link to articles matching your search terms.


Vocus – Cost: Monthly fees vary starting at $300. Get it here.

Like Cision, this tool helps you identify key influencers on social media and use their pre­-made media database of 1.4M journalists, bloggers, and influencers.



Creative Commons – Cost: Free. Get it here.

This site is a non-profit organization that allows you to search for content that you are able to use, share, and edit legally. When searching for images this site will help you find images and how to cite them.

Evernote – Cost: Free with upgraded options. Get it here.

This is the catchall tool for taking notes on the go, recording interviews, keeping client to-do lists organized, and set reminders. There is a desktop and mobile app so you always have access to your notes. 

Google Drive – Cost: Free. Get it here.

A great tool for collaboration within your team and with your clients as well, allowing for real-time editing and suggestions. Each app (docs, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings) automatically saves every three seconds, so you never have to worry about programs crashing and losing work.

Grammarly – Cost: Free, but also premium services. Get it here.

This is a great browser extension that serves as an automated proofreader. It checks for more than
250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and suggests citations.



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

You can schedule posts on all your social media handles, then tracks valuable analytics like views, clicks, and favorites.

Sprout Social – Cost: Ranging from $59 per month for Deluxe to $500 per month for Team.Get it here.

This is more than a brand-monitoring tool. It offers a dashboard that allows users to monitor all their social media connections in one place, complete with history, notes, and more.

Twilert – Cost: Starting at $9 per month. Get it here.

Monitors what’s being said about your client’s brand on Twitter. It helps you keep an eye on mentions, hashtags and manage online reputation.

These are only a sliver of the tools available, but some of the best out there. Do you have tried and true tools not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credit: Pixaby

Jessica Lindberg
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