If you work in public relations, then chances are you’ve heard of the “usual suspects” like Cision, Muckrack and Meltwater in your PR arsenal to help you keep track of monitoring, competitors, and media. And then there are things like HARO and Profnet which have been around for awhile to make your pitching a bit easier. But with the influx of social media over the years, there are new PR tools to help with pitching that can help you build your toolbox up, and connect with journalists like never before.
Here are some of the new tools and social accounts I’ve had my eye on recently.
I learned about Vetted through one of my favorite PR resources, Michael Smart. Someone in his private Facebook Group had inquired about this service several weeks ago, so I briefly looked into it. It claims to get your clients or business into the news “without pitching” and is more of a passive PR platform. Call me old-fashioned, but PR is anything but passive. You gotta work for that coverage! And from what I did learn, if you do get coverage they “charge your credit card.” That kind of turned me off. I know there are paid services to get journalist requests such as Profnet, and free ones like HARO, but even then you have to send a well-written, relevant pitch.
I do like the fact that this is super targeted and helps match you up, as journalists need to enter keywords. But a lot of us aren’t pitching something so specific, such as a certain product or source like a specific type of doctor. Some of us offer new story ideas. So ultimately this may work for some, and not for others.
Instagram Account: Before You Hit Send
Before You Hit Send is an Instagram account that is newer and quickly gaining more followers. They share new outlets, media moves and trends to “stay one step ahead.” I like their “quick 5” which gives you a rundown of what’s happening within the PR industry. This is a nice way to stay informed as you’re scrolling Instagram. Their link in bio also offers more. I haven’t signed up for emails but I may. I also need to listen to their “Secured That” Spotify playlist!
Instagram Account: PR Girl Manifesto
PR Girl Manifesto is another Instagram account that I’ve started to follow over the last several months, which is an inclusive community for communication professionals. Fatou Barry is the founder, and she was on a recent PRSA Pittsburgh event where she discussed being a young black woman in PR. She is really inspiring and her Instagram account exudes this, along with great resources to stay informed while you scroll. I also recommend following Fatou on Twitter.
Software: The PR Loop
I received a DM on Instagram the other week and thought it was spam, but when I actually read it I realized this was a legit service. The PR Loop is another community for PR pros and journalists to connect and exchange knowledge and locate resources. They have an app called Story Match and they relate it to Tinder. You essentially upload your story and if the journalist likes it, they swipe. Then you can privately chat. I just signed up for the free trial (which is 90 days – nice) so I am unsure if I like this yet, but I do ultimately like the concept!
Facebook Groups can overwhelm your home feed, so I’ve recently unfollowed all groups that I don’t moderate, and pop in to see them occasionally when I remember, which is nice for my brain. But one I haven’t unfollowed is Sharing Opps: PR-FRIENDLY. Here, journalists ask for sources on stories they are working on, and PR people pitch what they are working on. It IS in fact friendly…and helpful! I’m sure there are other groups similar to this one out there.
All in all, like I said above, PR is anything but passive. You have to actively pitch and do the work to get results. But it’s nice to know there are new PR tools to help with pitching to supplement your work and help you along the way. What other resources are out there?