(Updated June 20, 2018)
(Editor's Note: This post, one of our most popular, was originally published in 2017 but we've updated it with many new tools to help catapult you into 2018 and beyond.)
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 an online 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 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 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.
The following tools range from free public relations tools to those with a monthly subscription fee. 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 B2B agencies and could make a big difference in your PR.
Tools for public relations have become a necessity, not just a luxury CLICK TO TWEET
30 of the Best PR Tools and Marketing Tools -- The Ultimate List
Tools to Work with Journalists, Influencers & More
MuckRack is a wonderful, low-budget 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 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
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 the Standard Plan ($69), or Professional Plan ($149).
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.
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 website 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 (sometimes on a daily basis) 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 for the Basic plan and $19 for the Standard plan.
5. Hey Press
Finding the right journalists doesn't have to be difficult -- or expensive! Hey Press helps you find the perfect journalist for virtually any PR campaign. Simply enter a keyword and Hey Press will give you a list of relevant individuals from which you can choose.
This public relations tool also provides access to a database of helpful research articles to prepare you for your first contact with the journalist of your choice.
Pricing: Starts at $15 for the Basic plan and then goes up to $49 for the Pro plan. Other plan prices are available upon request only.
Email Marketing Tools
This tool takes the guess work out of finding and emailing even the highest level executive.
Let's say you would like 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: The Prepaid plan starts at .10 per lead. Other plans include the Valet plan for $39, Butler for $79, and Advisor for $199.
SellHack markets itself as a sales prospecting and lead generation tool. In a nutshell, this tool makes everything about cold and follow-up emails a piece of cake! Its technology integrates the whole process from beginning to end, so that you can concentrate on the more important aspects of your business.
This tool is made to help you literally from the beginning to end of your customer relationship. Use it to 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. From the very first introductory email to developing a customer relationship, SellHack can help. The emails are sent directly from your own email address so nothing looks out of place.
Pricing: Starts at $19 per month for the Basic plan, and goes up to $199 per month for the Rainmaker plan.
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: Plans start at $19 for up to 500 subscribers, with plans that cover over 25,000 subscribers.
Industry Trend-Watching Tools
Would you like a better handle on your PR metrics, with more detailed reports? This tool might just be the answer you're looking for.
Pick what metrics you would like to monitor, and Trendkite’s intuitive dashboard puts all of the information together at your fingertips. This information can show you in what areas you are excelling, and what areas need some TLC.
Trendkite will also alert you any time your company is mentioned across multiple outlets. It allows you to expertly 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.
Would you like 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 allows you to keep tabs on your competitors. Monitor what they publish, as well as the response their content gets. You can 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.
Also, get 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 theyl have over their audience.
Pricing: Starts at $79 per month for the Pro plan, and goes up to $4999 per month for the Enterprise plan.
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.
PR Monitoring Tools
AirPR is a tech company that specializes in PR monitoring, analytics, insights, and measurement solutions. This tool is a great way to measure the impact of your online PR efforts on your business objectives.
This enables you to keep a close eye on what your competitors do, and act accordingly. See what content is available in your industry, and learn about opportunities where you can fill in the gaps. Use its PR analytics to find out what ROI you are getting on your PR, and be able to provide proof of how effective your PR efforts are.
Given its price points, this is best for larger companies.
Pricing: Available only upon request.
Prezly markets itself as frictionless story management for brands. This tool is an effortless way to increase coverage, distribute your press releases, and manage your relationships with journalists and influencers.
Prezly publishes press releases online and on social media. It will send out alerts to bloggers, journalists, and others about the press release via multimedia emails. You will also receive PR analytics to gauge the performance of these press releases.
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.
As part of PRWeb’s service, you will have access to press release templates and resources that include benefits like search engine optimization and social media exposure. Its resource center includes how to articles, videos, webinars, and white papers, all of which help you to craft the best possible press 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.
It shows you how to create the ideal press release, optimize it for search, and then helps you to distribute it to the right people.
As with any press release service, you should not expect that journalists will automatically write about your press release.
Pricing: Starts at $99 per press release for the Basic plan, and goes up to $389 per press release for the Premium plan.
Prowly provides features that cover you from the beginning to end of your public relations strategy.
Prowly allows you to maintain your media and content list, with segmentation and analytics features that keep you in the know. Their Pitch features give you access to A/B testing, email personalization, and scheduling to amp up your strategy as you pitch to media outlets.
This tool even allows you to set up what they call a Brand Journal. In essence, this brand journal is a website that you can set up and personalize to the needs of your brand. This could be a blog, press center, or magazine that represents your brand. You choose how you want to use this feature, and you're given the SEO and content tools to make it happen.
Pricing: Plans start at $99 a month for the Basic plan and up to $499 a month for the Premium plan.
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
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Website and B2B SEO Tools
You can write great content, but if it’s not optimized for search, not many are going to find it. SEMRush takes the guesswork out of the SEO process. This tool helps you do keyword research, improve your SEO ranking, and analyze your reach as compared to your competitors.
You can see how your site ranks for keywords, how competitive a keyword is, and what keywords your competitors are using, along with their ranking.
This online program will analyze all aspects of your SEO, and show you how to improve your strategy. This tool will help you to hone your website content until it is search engine gold.
Pricing: Starts at $99.95 for the Pro plan, and goes up to $399.95 for its Business plan.
Ahrefs is another 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 at $99 for the Lite plan, and goes up to $999 for the Agency plan.
Moz was created as a tool to help you measure, monitor, and improve your website’s on-site and off-site level of search engine optimization. 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: Starts at $99 for the Standard plan, and goes up to $999 for the Premium plan.
SimilarWeb is designed to give you a leg up on your competition by giving you specific insights into your website. Use it to build your marketing strategy and to find new audiences.
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, Unbounce 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.
As part of the Unbounce network, you will have access to quality templates (which are easy to manipulate for a unique design), highly controlled A/B testing, and analytics to keep you on track.
Pricing: Starts at $79 for the Essential plan, and at least $399 for the Enterprise plan.
Would you like to build your email list, 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, and landing pages. The goal? To grow your email list.
This is not the same as email marketing software. While it helps you grow your list, you will need additional software (such as MailChimp) to create and send regular emails to your list.
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 at $25 for the Standard plan, and goes up to $199 for the Advanced plan.
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.
Content Creation Tools
Say goodbye to grammatical mistakes, and say hello to flawless, professional writing. Best of all, it’s free! 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 it also offers synonym options, clarification suggestions, plagiarism prevention.
Pricing: Free, with the option to upgrade to the individual subscription for $29.95.
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.
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 to the Canva for Work plan.
Along the same lines as Canva, Piktochart is a tool that allows you to transform your ordinary data into an engaging visual graphic. From graphs and charts to infographics, Piktochart gives you the freedom of design.
With over 600 templates, drag-and-drop usability, and a whole library of icons, images, and visual graphics, Piktochart is tailor made to put you in the designer's chair.
Pricing: Starts at $12.50 for the Lite plan and goes up to $82.50 for the Pro Team plan.
Organization and Project Management Tools
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 Enterprise plan for $20.83.
Between blogs, campaigns, and social media, things can quickly get complicated, even for the best PR firms! 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.
Their 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 at $40 for the Essential plan (for solopreneurs), and goes up to $1,200 for its Enterprise plan (for larger, well-established marketing teams).
Monday is a great tool to keep your whole team connected and on the ball throughout 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 and 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: Based on a team of 5 users, Monday will cost you $25 for the Basic plan, and up to $118 for the Enterprise plan. Prices do go up based on your team size.
And be sure to check out our recent post How To Use Social to Improve Your PR Srategy 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, hopefully you have a better idea of what will help your company to reach its maximum PR potential.
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