The Internet is home to an endless amount of websites that claim to “provide the cutting edge” or “supercharge” your PR capabilities. But when digging a bit deeper into what these tools are offering, you may find they come at the cost of an arm and a leg! Well not exactly, but some can be expensive. Here are seven of our favourite tools we *actually* use, and best of all, they come at no cost.
Google Trends (with the Glimpse add-on)
It will come as no surprise to any PRs that Google Trends has pride of place on this coveted free-tool list. Using industry terminology, you can gain immediate access to a wide-variety of data. This can be used for news-jacking, spokesperson quotes, and even campaign research. Installing the Glimpse add-on will help you dig deeper into the trends. You can also view what’s trending, which is very handy for consumer and business insights.
HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
Again, another one of PR’s worst kept secrets! HARO is one of the best ways of getting your client in front of journalists. You’ll receive up to three round-up emails a day showcasing a series of requests from reporters. These round-up emails cover all sectors so they are worth taking a look at.
For all its negatives (believe me there are plenty), Twitter can be a great PR tool. You can find contacts, answer journalist questions, or do research into key topics and ongoing conversations.
YouGov is an international research data and analytics group and a must know for PRs. Every day they publish survey stats from their latest research for free! The mini surveys they release are perfect for adding context to expert opinions, campaigns, and staying on top of current trends.
A newcomer to the world of PR tools; the TikTok keyword insight tool. This tool feels like the natural next step from “The Most Instagrammed” angles we are all used to. It can be challenging to find strong insights but if you go through it with a fine toothed comb you may find some useful stats.
When tapping into a niche sector, finding relevant news websites can be a challenge if you don’t know where to look! Similar Sites helps you find sites that might be interested in your story. Once an account has been created and you have installed the plug-in, you can go on appropriate sites and click the Similar Sites logo for a list of sites in the same sector.
Thanks to Similar Sites you’ve found a journalist in your desired niche (success!), but their details aren’t on your preferred media platform and they have the social footprint of an ant. What now? You can’t let the opportunity pass you by and this is where Hunter comes in. When on a website of interest, it will give you suggestions on what the contact’s email could be.
These tools will help to provide the “cutting edge” that the costly tools claim to give, without the cost! So go out there and “level up” your reactive PR, campaigns, or outreach!
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~ Charlie Biggs-Thomas, PR Account Manager