Fewer journalists, a scattered media landscape, and faster news cycles. These are some of the challenges that today’s marketing teams face compared to a decade ago. An easy way to deal with these challenges and make time last is to have the help of an all-in-one platform for media monitoring, distribution, measurement, and analysis. In this guide, we give you a step-by-step manual on how to find the right PR software for your business.
A few years ago, a marketer had few venues to spread their news apart from direct advertising or pitching a story to a relevant journalist. The upside was that the journalists were plenty and most of them worked at well-known media outlets – often with clearly defined departments that were fairly easy to reach; the obvious downside was that many stories remained untold with many fighting for limited media space. Today, marketers have a lot more venues to make their voices heard and draw attention to their brands, but they are also facing several new challenges.
- Fewer journalist
Falling revenues have forced major media houses to downsize and the number of journalists per marketer has fallen to just one in six.
- A more diverse media space
While the major publications have shrunk, the internet and the advent of social media have developed a more diverse media landscape – making it harder to find the right journalist to carry the story further.
- Faster news cycles.
The 24-hour news cycle has led to stories that before could stay relevant in the minds of the public for days now and might be forgotten within hours.
While these challenges might seem daunting, they are in no way impossible to overcome. Especially not if you are using PR software that gives you the reach you need and a better understanding of what content works – and what does not.
What to expect from a PR software tool
PR software has come a long way since they first were introduced; originally mostly a tool for publishing news to relevant platforms, today’s PR software can work as a hub for you to keep track of all your PR and communication and automatically present the result. Modern PR software is the most fundamental tool to gain insights, not only into your communication and marketing but also into your overall business decisions.
Here is a list of the features you should be looking for PR software to offer. The more that a single platform can provide you with the better (as long as the charged price is within your budget).
An up-to-date library with relevant media outlets, journalists and influencers
With a few clicks, you should be able to get a comprehensive list of people and media outlets that might be interested in what you publish and distribute it to them. Some tools will also help you rank the different publications and help you decide which one is most relevant for your company.
Integration with own website and social media platforms
Publishing the same message across multiple platforms without having to adjust the format will save a lot of time as well as making sure errors are kept to a minimum.
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Media monitoring with a comprehensive presentation of the results
How many journalists or influencers have read your publications? Who has picked up your story and how are they presenting it? Modern PR software should keep track of this and present the results to you in a way that you understand. Read more about media monitoring here.
Automatically generated presentation sheets
Some software offers automatic presentations of key statistics and findings which will save lots of time as well as making it easier to show the brand performance to superiors.
You can expect most of the major PR platforms and software to comply with the GDPR regulations, but in order to avoid the risk of having to delete stats and contacts in the future, you should make sure that this is the case.
High domain rating (SEO)
Even though much of the SEO optimization will be up to you and how you structure your content, some PR software is more trusted by Google than others and will help your publications end up at the top in search engines. Always make sure to choose software with a high domain rating if your ambition is to have a rich digital footprint.
Attentive support department
No matter how intuitive a platform is, a helpful support department can never be overestimated. This will not only help solve problems quickly but also be of great aid when learning how to use the tool and taking full advantage of the functions offered.
How to find the perfect PR software for your company
The first thing you should do is to identify your needs and wishes. What functions does the PR software need to have to benefit your business? For some companies regularly updated media lists with journalists in niche publications would be the most important, while easy integration with social media might be the only thing needed for others.
To avoid spending money on functions that you don’t need – make a comprehensive list of all of your demands and wishes before you start searching for the perfect software. When you’ve done this things are quite straightforward.
Search for the right tool
- Google, visit different companies’ web pages, and gain information. Think about how the design of the platform will harmonize with your communication – never underestimate the power of visual communication and how the design can either add to your message or undermine it.
- Investigate what your competitors are using and evaluate where your needs align and differ.
- Ask colleagues if they came across any PR platforms at previous workplaces and if they have recommendations.
- Read customer cases to see what value the software gave other companies.
See what others have to say
Spend some time researching which are the most popular software among journalists and read reviews on TrustPilot.
Ask for a demo or trial
Before you make the final purchase – try it out! Most PR software companies offer a week or 14 days trial. Take the chance to sign up for a tool demo.
After a certain amount of time, you can evaluate if the benefits are worth the costs and what functions you end up using (it might be more than you initially thought).
Stay ahead in an ever-changing world
The digital world is still under development; as a marketer you have much to benefit from in keeping yourself up to date and using the latest technology. The PR market is bigger than ever, with more and smaller brands reaching the ears they need to expand their business. At the same time, more people are competing for the same media space. By investing some time in choosing the right PR software for your business much of the monotonous work will be lifted from your hand – freeing time for you to use the insights gathered from the same tool to make your next campaign more successful.
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