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6 Free Tools To Extend Your Reach In Tech PR

Posted by Octopus Group - June 24, 2015

Many hats are worn by today’s PR professional.

When the PR one’s not worn, there’s a marketing hat, an events one, a social media hat, another for blogging, plus many more to don depending on the business need. The trend was explored in our Futureproofing The PR Department report, and, while it’s a compliment to public relations, it means that those in the industry need to work harder than ever to get their brand’s message across.

Below are six tools to help you extend your reach – all of them are free to use (although some have paid functions) and each one can be refined to meet the targeted requirements of B2B tech PR.

1. #PRStack: a tool to find the right tool

#PRStack is one tool to rule them all. We’ve blogged about this one before and it’s worth mentioning again now. It’s that good.

#PRStack is a crowdsourced tool that collates over 250 online tools. The tool has dropdown menus that let you pick an area of PR work and a specific goal, and it then lists all the tools that are suitable for that task.

prstack screenshot

2. Coschedule’s blog post headline analyser: write better headlines

Copywriting and content marketing are two areas PR is becoming more and more involved with, according to the CIPR’s State of The Profession Survey.

Getting an audience to read what you’ve written – whether in search, social media, or email – starts with getting them to click the headline.

Coschedule’s headline analyser gives your headline a score out of 100 based on factors such as its length, and its balance of common, uncommon, emotional, and power words.

A great headline captures the essence of what you’ve written, entices your reader to read the rest, and encourages them to share it with others.

See some clips of the tool in action below:

GIF of coschedule headline analyser

While the tool’s analysis shouldn’t be seen as the final judgment of whether your headline is good or bad, it does a slick job of telling you which individual elements of it need improving.

Coshedule headline analyser common uncommon emotional power words

3. Commenting on posts

Not so much a tool here, more good practice, especially if you’re trying to build up your reputation in the tech sector.

Many in PR already scan the headlines and read the articles relevant to them on a daily basis, and a worthwhile extra habit to get into is to add a comment to it afterwards.

Sharing and commenting on social media is common in the profession, and, while that’s vital for establishing your name, that kind of posting quickly gets buried by the frequent posting that occurs on social networks.

Many articles and news stories allow you to add a comment (often linking to author profile) to the end of the article – something that’ll be more easily visible to others who read it in the future.

4. Buzzsumo: see which ideas and influencers have the greatest reach

Buzzsumo lets you enter a search term and see the best performing posts across a range of social media, ranking them by the number of shares, retweets and likes. It also has a search engine that helps you to identify the top social influencers in a given area.

Buzzsumo screenshot

5. Answer The Public: what your audience wants to hear

Sometimes in B2B tech, the most relevant issues for your audience get lost because you’re explaining a piece technology to a readership that isn’t already familiar with it.

Answer The Public lets you enter a search time and displays the questions people are asking around a topic. It helps you check if you’re addressing the fundamental points that there’s a demand for, and is also a good source for generating new content ideas that audiences want to know about.

6. Anewstip: find the journalists who are most relevant to your work

Ever felt like you’ve got a stellar story, but you just need to find the right person to cover it?

With pretty much every journalist being on Twitter, Anewstip is an indispensable tool for PR professionals. It lets you search for journalists and media sources by what they tweet and stretches all the way back to 2006.

In the example below, I searched for ‘cloud security’ in the journalists tab.

screenshot anewstip

Next steps for taking PR further

These are just some of the many free online tools that can help PR professionals extend their reach. If we’ve missed any vital ones out, feel free to add them in the comments below.

Also, on 1st July we’re hosting a breakfast event for those in tech PR, we’ll be exploring ways to measure the digital ROI of public relations. We’ll be joined by Stella Bayles, author of PR’s Digital Resolution, and you can register for a ticket here.

Download Futureproofing The PR Department for more ways to stay ahead in B2B public relations


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