#CreativePR: Tools That Give You An Edge
This is post 2 of our 5-part #CreativePR blog series. Stay tuned for posts 3 – 5, which will look further into some of the tools, tactics, and strategies that innovative PR professionals are using today.
To grab the attention of your target audience (which could be B2B or B2C, and in any industry) you need to make your message super compelling in order to stand out from the noise and clutter. Never before has there been such an array of DIY tools to do that. We asked AirPR’s Leta Soza to share why it’s important for PR pros to learn about, and take advantage of, the tools available today:
“Staying informed of the chest of tools available to PR is vital because, at the end of the day, tools should help PR pros make better decisions about future efforts,” she says. “Whether you’re planning, executing or measuring, there is a growing list of tools that can help with automation, optimization, productivity, granularity and more. But you have to know what you need before you can select the proper tool.”
Which are the proper tools for you? Here are 5 Leta recommends.
Relationship cultivation and management is at the heart of any great PR, but it can be tricky to keep up with a network constantly in motion. Iris PR Software presents a solution to this challenge. Their beautifully designed platform tracks all your important PR activities, streamlines communications and helps you intelligently manage your most important asset: your media relationships. If you want to be smart about how you “do” PR, Iris is the tool for you.
Exceptional writing skills are a fundamental PR must — but let’s face it, it’s easy to get a little long-winded and heavy-handed at the keyboard. Enter Hemingway App: a simple way to ensure your writing is always crisp, clear and compelling. Hemingway quickly flags complex sentences you might want to rework, provides a readability score as you write, and even serves helpful hints using fun color coding. It’s the digital editor you never knew you wanted or needed! Try it out. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
Canva does an incredible job empowering everyone to be creative. Touted as the world’s easiest design program, Canva democratizes one of the more elusive (and often expensive) aspects of PR. Everyone agrees that visual content is a major media trend that will continue to have prominence. Aim to tell compelling narratives through infographics, ensure visual branding is consistent across all marketing collateral, and integrate more imagery into everything you push out.
TechCalendar takes the tens of thousands of consumer- and enterprise-focused events, awards and speaking opportunities and places them into one easy-to-search database. What TechCalendar lacks in UI, it makes up for in comprehensiveness. This exhaustive, searchable directory should help you identify speaking and promotional opportunities (keynotes, panels, etc.) that might have otherwise gone unnoticed while tracking all events in a single place.
If you don’t have GA up and rolling, please please please do yourself a favor and make it happen right now. Also, you can improve your analytics skills and deepen your understanding of the platform with their free online courses. It’s time to let go of vanity metrics that don’t map to business objectives and tarnish PR’s reputation. Instead of looking to Impressions or Number of Placements, map spikes in traffic with the publishing of articles. Also be sure to observe how visitors engage with media placements and whether or not it drives them to take any specific interactions on your digital properties (e.g. social shares, blog sign ups, whitepaper downloads, demo requests). Setting up specific Goals in GA can do this.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that any tech or tool should empower you to focus on what matters most: critical thinking, relationship-building and storytelling. If it doesn’t do that or it simply adds noise, it’s not worth the investment.
Leta Soza is the Director of PR Engineering & Ops at AirPR where she specializes in PR strategy, content marketing, community cultivation, and analytics. She works with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups in order to cultivate the PR leaders of tomorrow and fundamentally change the way PR is valued through deep analytics, robust insights, and quantitative measurement. She currently contributes content to a number of industry-leading publications and is the co-editor of the AirPR Blog. Leta holds a B.A. in Marketing and a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago.