(Updated May 19, 2019)
(Editor's Note: This post, one of our most popular, has been updated with new tools to help fuel your PR strategy now and in the future.)
Tools of any kind -- even PR tools -- are designed to make our lives and jobs easier. Whether it’s a drill in the hand of a skilled carpenter, or a keyword research tool in the hands of a PR professional, a tool enhances the work we do. Whether you're a PR agency or a busy startup looking for ways to enhance your PR strategy, the right tools can go a long way.
Each year, public relations expands its boundaries and morphs into something more significant. In order to compete as the best B2B PR agency, or even a PR professional, you need to incorporate influencer marketing, content marketing, and PR analytics, among other tactics, into your PR strategy.
With all of these changes, tools for public relations have become a necessity, not just a luxury. This PR tools and tactics list is designed to help you to compete in today's hectic PR landscape. We've included some of the best PR software and online PR tools you will need. These tools are all easy to use. While there are good hybrid tools (combination of service and tools) such as JustReachOut and a zillion services (including any PR agency), we limited ourselves to just tools, many of which are highly affordable, if not free.
The following PR and communications tools range from free public relations tools to those with a monthly subscription that ranges in price. We’ve divided them into categories, including among others, B2B SEO tools, industry trend analysis, and content creation tools. These tools are used by some of the top PR agencies and marketers and could make a big difference in your PR.
Note: Each category is in alphabetical order, not order of importance or value.
35 of the Best PR Tools and Marketing Tools -- The Ultimate List
Tools to Work with Journalists, Influencers & More
Would you like to go beyond simple lists of journalists -- go deeper into what they talk about and how often? Well Anewstip is a product that helps you do just that. Use a keyword search not only to find journalists and influencers, but also their most recent Tweets and mentions to really keep your finger on the pulse of trending issues.
Additional features of this tool include an influencer score, alerts, media lists, and profiles. Filters are provided to allow you to narrow down the results to meet your specific needs.
Pricing: Free, with option to upgrade to Standard ($200/month), Professional ($400/month), or Partners (custom plan).
Want a tool that keeps you in touch with who and what is popular within your industry? BuzzSumo delivers that and more. Enter information about your industry, and get the blow-by-blow of what content is popular in that area, with detailed information about views, shares, and reach.
BuzzSumo also let you keep tabs on your competitors. Monitor what they publish, as well as the response their content gets. Then take that information and create better content that fills in the gaps. BuzzSumo will formulate insights to let you know what the right next step is.
You'll also key insights about influencers, such as their following and engagement rates. This information tells you more than just the number of followers -- it tells you how much influence they have over their audience.
Pricing: Pro Plan ($79/month), Plus Plan ($139/month), Large Plan ($239/month), and Enterprise Plan ($499+/month).
The down-size of many media outlets means that journalists are under more pressure than ever to find stories and meet deadlines. Many have started to turn to Help a Reporter Out (HARO), a tool that connects journalists and bloggers to a rich database of sources.
If you are on the lookout for media coverage opportunities without breaking the bank, HARO is the tool to use. Once you sign up and list your industry expertise, HARO will notify you with opportunities to secure valuable media coverage. Once you see an opportunity that fits your experience and expertise, send your pitch, and wait for a response.
Pricing: Free, with option to upgrade to Standard ($19/month), Advanced ($49/month), or Premium ($149/month).
4. Muck Rack
Muck Rack is an effective tool that fits in with any PR strategy. Its primary purpose is to put PR professionals in contact with journalists and vice versa.
With this tool, you can find the right journalists to contact, pitch story ideas, receive alerts about new PR opportunities and crises, and track the success of your campaigns. It is also rumored to be considerably faster than other programs in alerting you of industry news.
Pricing: Available only upon request
5. Press Kite
So you've found the journalists and influencers who you want to contact -- now what? Do you have a press kit already to send out? If not, this next tool will be right up your alley.
Press Kite is a tool designed to help you collect and organize your press kit. Simply upload all of your assets, and then Press Kite organizes it into an easily accessible and attractive press kit, through a custom domain.
Features include detailed analytics, customizable assets, and professional support.
Pricing: Free, with option to upgrade to Founder ($9/month), and Startup, which has pricing available upon request.
With the rising public distrust of advertising, influencers truly are the future of content marketing. But where do you begin? And where do you find the right influencers for your company? Traackr makes this super easy.
Enter the keywords that define your industry, and let Traackr do the rest. You will receive reports on who is writing on those topics, their reach, how well their content resonates with their audience, and their relevance to your desired keywords. It allows you to find the obvious -- and, more importantly, not so obvious -- influencers who can make a real impact on your marketing approach.
Given its price points, this is a tool more suitable for larger companies.
Pricing: Available only upon request.
Email Marketing Tools
AWeber has been a trusted solution in the email marketing game for a while now -- and it continues to deliver top-notch service. From lead capture forms to beautifully laid-out emails, AWeber takes care of the entire process.
AWeber provides a host of features, including automation, segmentation, and analytics to help you take care of every aspect of your email list. You will also have access to over 700 templates and over 6,000 stock photos to enhance the quality of every email.
Instead of dividing up its plans according to features (pay more money, get more features), AWeber provides access to its complete host of features on every plan, You pay according to how many subscribers you have on your email list.
Pricing: Pricing is tiered by the number of your subscribers with tiers at $19, $29, $49, $69 and $149 which tops at 25,000 subscribers. Over 25,000, ask for a quote.
SellHack markets itself as a sales prospecting and lead generation tool. In a nutshell, this tool makes everything about cold and follow-up emails easier. Its technology integrates the whole process from beginning to end, so you can concentrate on your business.
This tool is made to help you find email addresses of prospects, build a list of leads, and even verify the email addresses you already have.
You can also schedule SellHack to automatically send emails on a fixed schedule, no matter where a prospect is in your pipeline. Emails are sent directly from your own email address so nothing looks out of place.
Pricing: Plans start at Lite ($3/month), and then go up to Basic ($15/month), Starter ($30/month), and Pro ($60/month).
This tool takes the guess work out of finding and emailing even the highest level executive.
Say you want to pitch a contributor to a national outlet (PR databases often don't include contributors), collaborate with influencers, or reach out to an executive at a top business. Normally it would take painstaking research to get contact information. Voila Norbert knows all about that struggle, and puts email addresses at your fingertips.
This company offers very wallet-friendly services for companies of all shapes and sizes. They even offer a simplified service to verify an existing list of email addresses on the cheap!
Pricing: Plans start at Valet ($49/month), then go up to Butler ($99/month), Advisor ($249/month), and Counselor ($399/month).
Industry Trend-Watching Tools
Frase is a multi-layered tool that helps you research, create and optimize content -- using the benefits of AI.
You can use Frase to research content across the web, boost your speed in writing SEO-friendly content, curate and create a newsletter and score your articles and identify content gaps. It summarizes articles on the spot letting you quickly see if you want to read the entire article.
Pricing: Free, with option to upgrade to the Basic Plan ($25/month), the Team Plan ($100/month), and the Enterprise Plan, which is customizable.
11. Google Alerts
If you're looking for free public relations tools, look no further than Google. This free resource allows you to keep your ear to the ground of media -- find out anytime your company is mentioned across the web.
Simply choose what keywords you want to be alerted about -- whether it’s your company, or industry terms -- and then get alerted whenever those keywords are mentioned.
Set up as many alert keywords as you need, and then just wait to get the alert right in your inbox.
This is a sophisticated tool that allows you to monitor virtually anything, including your brand, target keywords, and PR campaigns. Find out what your industry is talking about and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
Use it to monitor your brand and potential influencers, as well as keep a close eye on your competitors and see who has the most active voice in your industry.
Pricing: Get the Solo Plan ($25/month), or upgrade to the Starter Plan ($83/month), or the Enterprise Plan ($600+/month; call for a quote)
Data Intelligence, Monitoring and Distribution Tools
Brandwatch is an enterprise-level social media listening tool that helps you to understand the social chatter about your brand. It is useful when monitoring PR campaigns, keep an eye on competitors, or during crisis situations to help manage your brand's reputation. It can also keep you up to date on current events where your brand might be useful to reporters.
Its powerful social media monitoring and analytics platform makes it easy for you to analyze insights on your social media data.
It also lets you engage with target audience and easily respond to social media mentions. And its advance suite of features lets you slice and dice your data in multiple ways to get insights into social interactions..
Pricing: Available only upon request.
Cision, as it snaps up other companies, has evolved from a media database only (you can still just buy that) to offer an integrated tool that spans almost all aspects of PR and marketing fueled by a database of over 1.6 million journalists and influencers.
It includes everything from distribution, to monitoring to analytical features. Its complete package helps you stay on top of brand mentions and analyze the progress and impact of your PR campaigns.
Pricing: Available only upon request.
Formerly AirPR, Onclusive is a data intelligence company that specializes in providing a performance boost and insight into your earned and owned media.
Using AI technology, Onclusive makes it easier to do effective PR, providing the ability to target the right journalists, research topics and authors, and understand the performance of your owned and earned media and its impact on your overall brand authority via a proprietary measure, "power of voice (TM). It also lets you amplify your content so you're delivering more of it at scale
You gain insight into competitive strategies, discover what content is available in your industry, an how you can fill the gaps.
Given its price points, this is best for larger companies.
Pricing: Available only upon request.
Prezly markets itself as "the PR tools you need on one easy platform." The tool integrates content management, newsrooms and press distribution.
It lets you manage, organize and update PR contacts keeping track of all interactions and the quality of the engagement.
It makes it easy to send and track news releases and publish the releases to branded newsrooms you create using the platform that match your look and feel.You get insight into who has opened emails, downloaded assets and visited the pressroom.
You can send attractive emails that direct to online press releases and automatically share to social media. Email scheduling ensures your emails get sent at the right time.
Create attractive online newsrooms where you can share your stories. Create email campaigns, tailor pitches to individual contacts, and analyze your results, all from within the Prezly platform.
Pricing: Available only upon request.
Prowly provides features that cover you from the beginning to end of your public relations strategy.
Marketing itself as a PR CRM, it lets you create visual press releases, interactive newsrooms, easily distribute your releases to the media and measure results.
You can organize, maintain and update your PR contact list so you can easily to pitch to media outlets. And you can quickly see how effective your pitching is, segment based on email open rates, clicks, bounce rates and other metrics.
Pricing: Starts at the Basic Plan ($99/month), and goes up to Pro Plan ($225/month), and Premium Plan ($499/month).
PR Web is another tool in the ever growing Cision stable, which Cision bought a few years ago.
An online PR distribution service, PRWeb makes it easy to create an attractive, SEO-optimized release and distribute it to the search engines, websites and journalists. You'll get analytics seeing how many people viewed and clicked on your release.
Once you’ve completed your press release, PR web will feature it on its site, organized by industry. This helps the right people find your release.
As with any press release service, you should not expect that journalists will automatically write about your press release.
Pricing: Starts at the Basic Plan ($99/month), and goes up to the Standard Plan ($189/month), Advanced Plan ($289/month), and Premium Plan ($389/month).
TrendKite was recently bought by Cision and over time is to be integrated with Cision. But for now, its digital PR platform can be used separately. Using AI technology, TrendKite gives you a better handle on your PR metrics, showing what areas you're excelling in and what areas need someTLC.
It includes everything from identifying the right media, to pitching to news monitoring to analytics and PR attribution, the latter to help you determine your PR's effectiveness.
Trendkite will also alert you any time your company is mentioned across multiple outlets. It allows you to track all aspects of your public relations, so you can respond quickly.
Given its price points, this is best for larger companies, those with a lot of press to keep tabs on, or competitors to monitor.
Pricing: Available only upon request.
Website and B2B SEO Tools
Ahrefs is an excellent tool that takes your SEO to the next level. Perform competitor analysis, keyword research, and backlink research, all from its easy-to-use platform.
It offers all of the information you need to succeed in your search engine marketing strategy. The intuitive program will show you what gaps exist in your content, and how you can best fill them.
Pricing: Starts with the Lite Plan ($99/month), and goes up to the Standard Plan ($179/month), Advanced Plan ($399/month), and Agency Plan ($999/month).
Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) helps you transform your website from the search engine wallflower to the center of attention.
Use this tool to check your website's index status, optimize your website to increase visibility, and get a clear look at what factors Google is using to rank your site. Want to know what keywords people are using to reach your site and how many impressions each keyword is getting? It's all right here.
Google Search Console is one of the best free tools for PR, because it puts a lot of information about your site at your finger tips. You can use as much of the information as you want to or focus on specific data points that are relevant to your immediate task.
Would you like to your leads, but don't know where to start? LeadPages is an online tool to help you do just that. Within the tool you have access to hundreds of expertly designed templates to help you create lead magnets, webinars, popups, social ads and landing pages. The goal? To grow your leads.
It has 40+ integrations from marketing automation to CRM to email marketing to digital advertising to digital advertising, making it easy to send your lead data to your marketing and sales applications.
With LeadPages, you can create seamless opt-in boxes and forms for your landing page and blog, create content upgrades, build sales pages, and host webinars.
Pricing: Starts with Standard Plan ($25/month), and goes up to Pro Plan ($48/month), and Advanced Plan ($199/month).
Moz is the granddaddy of SEO, which has worked to simplify SEO through its products, education and community. Its Beginners Guide to SEO is ground zero for SEO and its search ranking factors has helped deconstruct SEO.
An all-in-one SEO tool, it provides the resources and knowledge you need to attract traffic to your website. This includes everything from identifying keywords to to link building, site audits, site ranking and metrics.
It also offers a separate tool called Moz Local that helps businesses with local listings and online reputation management.
The site offers a variety of paid and free SEO tools for businesses who would like to rank better, both locally and nationally.
Moz also offers workshops and training programs to put you in the driver’s seat of your search engine ranking. It won't just tell you what to do, but explain the reasons behind it.
Pricing: Moz Pro: Standard $99/month, Medium $179/month, Large $249/month, Premium,$999. Moz Local: Essential, $99, Professional, $179, Premium, $249
SEMRush takes the guesswork out of the search process. It is an all-in-one SEO tool for keyword research, competitive analysis, backlinking, site audits and site positioning. It is a powerful tool that will help you improve your marketing.
It gives you an eye-opening view into your competitors including their backlink strategy so you can use the information to design your own backlink strategy. It even shows which backlinks are follow and nofollow.
The tool will help you hone your content into search engine gold.
Pricing: Starts with the Pro Plan ($99/month), and then goes up to the Guru Plan ($199/month), Business Plan ($399/month), and Enterprise Plan (price available upon request).
The tool will give you a leg up on your competition by providing specific insights into your website and competitor sites, including ranking and user engagement. Use it to build your marketing strategy and to find new audiences
The tool provides information on website traffic volumes; referral sources, including keyword analysis; and website "stickiness" (e.g., time on site, page views, bounce rate), among other features.
You can also use this tool to learn from your competitors. Stealthily find similar websites to your own, observe their strategies, and see where their traffic comes from.
Pricing: Free with the option to upgrade. Premium plans and prices are also available upon request.
Do you have trouble getting people to take action on a landing page? Unbounce can help. Whether it's a sign-up form, a purchase, or a download, this tool helps you to find the right balance so that your page not only gets seen, but elicits action, and is Google-friendly.
Unbounce enables you to easily create, launch, and test your landing pages for the optimal conversion rate. What sets this tool apart is that it specializes in landing pages and will help you get the results you want. You can also easily add popups and sticky CTA bars to your pages.
As part of the Unbounce network, you will have access to quality templates (which are easy to change for a customized design), highly controlled A/B testing, and analytics to keep you on track.
Pricing: Startswith the Essential Plan ($79/month), and goes up to Premium Plan ($159/month), and Enterprise ($399+/month).
Content Creation Tools
27. Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a visual search engine tool that's a boon for content marketers, bloggers and PR professionals. Enter a topic and in seconds you will get a flurry of questions people are asking about the topic. Based on the auto suggest results of Google and Bing, it gives you immediate access to content ideas.
You'll understand what questions are keeping your audience up at night and how to optimize for long-tail keywords. It does not provide any metrics on keywords. To do that you will need to run keywords in a separate keywords metric tool. But for content ideas, it's a treasure trove.
Pricing: Free with a $99/month Pro Plan.
As we’ve said many times before, visual content is essential to your content marketing strategy. And it has never been easier with Canva. This platform allows you to create a variety of visual formats -- including social media posts, infographics, and other marketing materials.
Choose from moderately-priced stock photos, or upload your own. Then add your own text, shapes, and logo to make it truly your own. A little lost when it comes to graphic design? That’s OK. Canva’s got you covered with specially-made templates -- just replace the text, and you’re ready to go.
Pricing: Free, with the option to upgrade for $12.95 per month to the Canva for Work plan.
Say goodbye to grammatical mistakes, and say hello to flawless, professional writing with this AI-powered tool. It works with the majority of websites -- whether you're writing a blog, responding to an email, or crafting a social media post.
The reason this tool is so effective is its intuitive design. Not only does it detect many mistakes that other spell checkers miss, but its premium version offers synonym options, clarification suggestions and plagiarism prevention.
Pricing: Free, Premium plans with many more features, $29.95/billed monthly; $59.95/billed quarterly, $139.95/billed yearly.
There are very few of us born with a passion for grammar and sentence structure. But that’s OK, because we have the Hemingway Editor. This handy app color codes common mistakes and weaknesses in your sentence structure, and shows you how to fix them. For example, yellow means your sentence is too lengthy, purple will give you word alternatives, and green shows you phrases in the passive voice.
These little color-coded hints help you to spruce up your writing to a professional quality. The sidebar gives you a recap of the positive and negative aspects of your work, as well as a readability level by grade.
Pricing: Free online version, paid downloadable app, $19.99
Lumen5 is a video creation tool that takes written content you've already created and turns it into attractive, social-ready videos.
Simply enter the URL of the blog that you want to transform, as well as the platform you'll use it on, and Lumen5 will do all the heavy lifting. Choose the text you want for each slide, as well as any of a variety of stock videos to pair with that text.
Its intuitive design and plenty of features allow you to make a video in minutes, with no previous video-making experience.
Pricing: Start with the Community Plan for free, or upgrade to the Pro Plan ($49/month), the Business Plan ($149/month), or the Team Plan, which is custom-priced.
Piktochart is a tool that allows you to transform your ordinary data into engaging visuals. It makes it especially easy to create professional-looking infographics where you can embed interactive maps, charts, videos and hyperlinks. You can also create presentations, reports, flyers and posters.
It provides a library of icons, images, fonts, and templates and drag-and-drop usability. In fact, anything you need for your creations is provided. It's tailor-made to put non-design mavens in the designer's chair.
Pricing: Free, Pro $24.17/month, Pro Team Plan $82.50/month. It also offers special non-profit and educator and student pricing
Organization and Project Management Tools
Between blogs, campaigns, and social media, things can quickly get complicated for any PR person. Coschedule is a tool that takes the stress out of planning, and brings some order to your marketing chaos.
Coschedule has the ability to integrate most of your tools -- including Wordpress, Google Analytics, Evernote, and Google Docs -- into one place, so you're not constantly flipping between windows.
Its seamless workflows allow your whole team to collaborate on a project. Assign tasks, comment, and post deadlines all from the ease of your Coschedule account. Then, at the end of the day, use Coschedule's analytics program to view the progress of your campaigns and make needed adjustments.
Coschedule also offers a headline analyzer as a free PR tool that you can use to craft eye-catching and memorable headlines for your content.
Pricing: Starts with the Growth Plan ($80/month), with an option to upgrade to the Professional Plan ($400/month), or the Enterprise Plan, which has pricing upon request.
Monday is a great tool to keep your whole team connected and on target with whatever project or task comes your way.
Set tasks and projects, assign members of your team, and monitor their progress. You can even assign a priority level to each task so that your team members know exactly what is on the top of their to-do list. Communicate with members of your team right within the Monday interface -- leave comments, thumbs-up, or send files so your always in touch.
Monday's easy-to-understand dashboard gives you a visual of your entire team -- who's busy and who's not and how close you are to meeting your deadline. You can even invite clients to view your Monday board as guests so that they feel part of the process and can monitor your progress.
Pricing: Pricing depends on how many "seats" in your plan. For 3 seats, the plan starts with Basic at $24 per month, then Standard at $29 per month, and then Pro at $48 per month.
Trello helps to keep you organized and keep your entire team on the same page. With neatly organized boards, lists, and cards, you will be able to see at a glance how your projects are progressing.
Create cards for each work project, assign specific members of your team to certain tasks, set due dates, and attach all kinds of media during the course of each project.
Pricing: Free, with the option to upgrade to the Business Plan ($9.99/month), or the Enterprise Plan ($17.50/month).
And be sure to check out our recent post How To Use Social to Improve Your PR Strategy for additional tools to improve your social media prowess.
There you have it -- the best PR tools on the market today. Now that you've had a glimpse into the incredible tools of PR, you have a better idea of what tools to use to help you reach your maximum PR potential. Have I missed any of your favorite tools? Please add in the comments.
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