Public relations isn’t what it once was; now that nearly anyone can uncover and share information online, it’s much harder to control the narrative around your brand. And that’s on top of all the other developments you have to keep up with in the digital age, such as SEO best practices, trust-building in a world of fake news, social media management, and more.
Along with the added complexities and responsibilities technology has created, it’s also brought about some helpful tools to help any entrepreneur manage their business reputations in the online sphere. Here are five of those top public relations tools you can add to your kit.
Help a Reporter Out—or HARO—is a free quote-mention service. Monday through Friday at 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. ET, the site emails source requests relevant to your brand’s industry. After reviewing the requests, you can email a quote or pitch to the requesting journalists, and they then choose which sources and ideas to pursue.
The basic service costs nothing, and the results have the potential to get your company’s name and expertise in front of millions of people. The media outlets using HARO for content contributions include Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Reuters, among others. Having an article about your company, its products or services on a national platform could increase your growth dramatically.
You won’t win every source request you make a pitch for, but if you consistently throw your hat in the ring, you will likely have a breakthrough—so pitch your ideas and quotes as often as your busy schedule permits. Alternatively, submit queries through HARO and quickly connect with dozens of experts who can comment on your report and boost your credibility.
For a monthly fee, JustReachOut connects you with journalists and bloggers who are writing about the topics you select.
“This is an effective way to approach public relations,” Harrison Brady, communications specialist for Go Frontier, said. “Instead of wasting time spamming people who aren’t interested, you can find people writing about your interests, creating a mutually beneficial relationship in the process.”
By using JustReachOut, you can target specific journalists and make deliberate pitches instead of blasting your ideas to a huge group and hoping some stick. This tool also provides helpful templates and pitch advice if you’re not sure how to approach a certain writer.
Google Analytics is one of the best free options out there for helping you understand your website’s audience and plan resource allocation for the future. The tool shows you how many people are visiting your site and at what time they’re visiting. You can also see things like where users click, when they close the window, and even mobile use data through insightful charts.
The information that Google Analytics provides is critical in knowing how to adjust your strategy. By seeing which of your pages receive the most traffic or how people find your site, you can adjust your goals to boost underperforming pages or foster better relationships with top referring domains.
Yesware is an email tracking tool that tells you in real time what recipients are doing with the emails you’ve sent them. You can see who has read your messages, clicked on your links, or opened your attachments and plan your next steps accordingly.
Once you’ve seen who treats your emails favorably, adjust your strategy and focus your efforts on those most likely to respond. As you track the status of your emails, you’ll learn the best time of day to send certain messages and the best places to send them. You’ll also save a lot of wasted time by not reaching out to those who never engage with your correspondence.
Yesware does require a monthly fee, but the efficiency it provides is worth the cost. Try the free 14-day trial to see if it’s a good fit before committing.
If you want to share data either about or on behalf of your brand, the user-friendly graphs and charts that Zoho Reports produces are the perfect solution. Rather than asking readers to sort through lists of numbers, you can create shareable visuals for media outreach and press kits.
“A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when you have to interpret complex data sets,” Joshua Adamson-Pickett of Business.org said. “So if you’re regularly producing data-heavy studies or content pieces, having the right data visualization tool will go a long way.”
Zoho is ideal for data heavy tasks because you can input data from a variety of sources, and you can easily pull and combine data downloaded from multiple programs to show interesting and impressive insights. As an entrepreneur, you can use it to help stakeholders in the company see and weigh in on your projects.
Entrepreneurs need to wear a lot of different hats—you are the accountant, product designer, customer service manager, technology specialist and public relations professional all in one. Use these tips to streamline your efforts and make the most of your time.