What are PR Software Tools?
PR tools are used to manage the entire public relations process. This can include planning, managing, and tracking PR campaigns, conducting PR outreach, and publishing press releases. These tools usually include a PR contact database, a news monitoring service, automated press release distribution, and campaign results measurement.
Public relations tools with robust analytics capabilities can be especially useful for PR or marketing agencies that need to justify ROI to their clients. Agile marketing and PR professionals who are testing different approaches to brand awareness and reputation management can benefit from robust analytics as well.
Different Types of PR Software
Although some products include the full range of PR capabilities, certain public relations software tools are strongest in one of the following areas:
content creation, editing, and optimization
campaign tracking and analytics, PR performance dashboards
media monitoring, including competitive intelligence
identifying and leveraging influencers, journalists, and other media contacts
PR Analytics Software
Public relations analytics software helps marketers measure the performance of their PR campaigns. Important metrics to track include the number of clicks, the number of backlinks gained, increase in traffic, level of engagement across social media platforms, etc. This type of software usually includes a campaign analytics dashboard and the ability to generate and export reports.
PR Monitoring Software
PR monitoring software monitors a brand’s presence and mentions across a set of media and social channels. Companies can track and target keywords, topics, or mentions of their company name/brand. These tools often provide updates or notifications for new mentions.
Public relations monitoring tools also help companies track overall trends in their industry and collect competitive intelligence about the PR performance of their competitors. Certain products will include analytics for media mentions such as the number and frequency of mentions, or the number of a brand’s mentions compared with mentions of competing brands.
Public relations database software
Public relations database software helps marketers connect with news outlets, journalists, bloggers, influencers, and other media figures to help promote their PR content. Typically, these tools provide a database of relevant media contacts for the company’s industry. However, certain PR solutions instead provide tools companies can use to discover and identify authoritative media contacts within their industry.
The main goal of this software is to help connect PR professionals with media personnel and market experts who would be interested in sharing the brand’s PR content, which would, in turn, increase brand awareness for the company.
PR Project Management Software
Along with media monitoring, influencer outreach, and PR analytics—project management is a critical component of executing a successful PR strategy. There are a wide range of professional services automation (PSA) and project management software tools that can help marketers keep track of all their PR deliverables. Some examples include Trello, Gryffin, and Workfront.
The following PSA and project management features can be especially helpful for PR professionals:
calendar /schedule view of tasks
Document storage and management
Resource allocation management
PR Tools Features
Larger PR and communications suite software will typically include all of the features listed below. However, public relations software that focuses on a core PR function (e.g. media monitoring, influencer outreach, or analytics) may only include a subset of these features.
Database of journalists, influencers, and other media contacts
Media monitoring for brand mentions, clicks, and backlinks
Media coverage reporting and monitoring
Tools for discovering and identifying media contacts
Press release distribution
Press release tracking and monitoring
Support for coverage in multiple languages
PR campaign measurement and analytics dashboards
PR Software Comparison
Reach of the tool: If you’re purchasing a tool that includes a database of media contacts, how large is the list? How regularly is it refreshed and updated? Does it include only regional media contacts, or national, or global? Make sure the contact database meets your requirements before deciding to purchase a new PR tool.
Type of tool: Are you looking for a platform that can do it all, or one that’s focused on a specific PR functionality? For example, if you only need a PR press release distribution tool, a large PR suite may be overkill and too expensive.
Cost: Be aware of the pricing structure, contract terms, and renewal policies associated with the public relatoins platforms you’re considering. Some reviewers on TrustRadius have called out that certain PR software vendors are not very transparent about contract renewal terms. Make sure to read through customer reviews of your top choices before investing in a new PR tool.
Ease of use: How easy to use is the platform? Will the rest of your PR team be able to learn how to use it quickly? If not, this can slow down the adoption of the tool across your team and potentially increase the amount of time it takes to accomplish certain tasks.
PR software includes many products that focus on a specific PR capability, for example, press release distribution, or press release monitoring. However, enterprise software packages that span the entire set of PR capabilities are usually priced per seat. The cost of a single seat can range from $5k per year to over $10k. Additional seats are typically significantly cheaper.