The top 24 digital and online tools for a PR pro

September 6, 2013

This post was written by Mike Lizun, Senior Vice President

There’s an arsenal of digital tools and services PR pros use to stay on top of the news, identify trends, research the right media for targeted story ideas, and manage accounts. But for me, there’s a dividing line between the sites and services I use often, and the ones I depend on to get my job done every day.
Within that list are some lesser-known but very valuable tools that I depend on every day. The following list helps me share clients’ stories with the right audiences that you might not know about yet:

  1. Spike:Spike is a service that helps you spot trending stories in real-time. It’s paid, but I recommend giving the free trial a try.
  2. MuckRack: MuckRack should already be on your devices by definition — Where journalists and sources connect.”
  3. Quora: On Quora, you can post questions and get answers from people with real experience. I use it as inspiration for story ideas and angles.
  4. Tumblr: Tumblr is the best social network out today for finding, telling, or sharing your visual stories.
  5. Flipboard: Flipboard is the best mobile news aggregator and reader, period.
  6. Techmeme: Techmeme is a tech news curation site that will keep you up-to-date on breaking tech stories.

And of course, you’re probably already using a lot of these key sites, apps, and tools:

  1. Digg: Digg is my go-to RSS reader and social bookmarking tool.
  2. Facebook: I often find that my Facebook news feed is where I see conversations evolve into story ideas.
  3. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the best and most up-to-date network to see where people are coming from and going to. It’s also a great news source for strong thought leadership posts.
  4. TweetDeck: TweetDeck is the Twitter dashboard that I keep running all day. (I personally recommend using the Chrome plugin).
  5. Google+: This is an important network to be a part of because it’s Google — conversations happen here.
  6. Google news search: Google not only gives you a broad view of the news, but it also gives you a way to identify the mos recent stories from media and reporters.
  7. Google Drive: Google drive offers real-time collaboration and account management.
  8. Google search: I add this to my list because while I’ve certainly tried other engines, Google is still the best source of what’s indexed on the web.
  9. Reddit: This online community is a rising source of news. It’s unique because users vote on content.
  10. BuzzFeed: Buzzfeed is where I go for breaking social news, see what’s trending around the web. I also refer to it for entertainment and now, business news.
  11. Popurls: Popurls is a dashboard for the latest web buzz.
  12. ITDatabase: I use ITDatabase to find out which themes, companies, and products the media are writing about.
  13. Topsy: Topsy provides Twitter and other social searches as well as analytics.
  14. Compete: Compete gives you a quick, comprehensive read on a blog or website’s traffic.
  15. This site lets you find out how many times a URL was shared, as well as the journalists and bloggers who shared it.
  16. SimpleNote: I use this app for note taking on all my mobile devices, because it syncs across them.
  17. Chromecast: I use this when streaming and projecting (almost) anything from my laptop to the TV screen in my office.

Yes, it takes this many digital tools to stay on top of the news, uncover trends, find conversations, manage accounts, and identify the right stories and the story tellers. Because in the end, this business is about people and relationships, the technology helps to create new ones and strengthen existing ones.

What about you?  Which sites and tools are you using for PR, media relations and social media? Tell us below in a comment.

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