Digital PR is on the rise, globally, and we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing . Especially when that thing is a tool that makes our jobs easier, tactics more effective, and results more impressive.
Here, we break down the top online PR tools for digital marketers and public relations professionals moving in 2021.
For brands that rely on press releases, investing in Business Wire is a no-brainer. With a reach of more than 162 countries, over 200 industry categories, and access to 100,000 media outlets, Business Wire is a well-known leader in the press release space and one of the top PR tools out there.
Business Wire users have access to press release distribution (including newsrooms, individual journalists, consumers, bloggers, and more), as well as interactive media, and online newsrooms. The platform’s preferred partnerships aren’t to be ignored and include the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and more.
Another great tool marketers should keep an eye on is the Smart News Release: the Multimedia Desk will optimize files with photos, videos, and more before preparing them for distribution. Oftentimes, these files appear in publications such as Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, and the New York Times.
Sign up for an account for pricing information.
BuzzStream’s software is a good fit for any digital marketer focused on digital PR, link building, or content promotion. The platform allows for easy research, pitching, contact managing, and reporting.
When we say easy, we mean it: BuzzStream includes automatic list building and has the ability to automatically identify contact information, website statistics, and social metrics from a list of URLs. Pitches can be segmented and personalized, and reminders can be set or follow-ups can be completely automated based on defined rules.
Pricing for BuzzStream subscriptions starts at $24 per month.
BuzzSumo offers thorough content discovery and research, plus access to influencers and monitoring, however, we at Digital Third Coast use it to monitor backlinks – ours and our competition’s.
The site’s “Monitoring” feature allows us to create and receive alerts whenever we, or our clients, receive an inbound link.
For content-specific monitoring, we set up alerts to the exact URL of our client’s campaign. Then we choose how we’d like to be alerted (pro tip: set up a Slack integration for instant alerts for easy, automatic updates).
We also do the set up alerts for our competitors’ domains as well. We’ve found that one of the best ways to find more backlink opportunities for our clients is to monitor the spaces their competitors are taking up. When we track a competitor’s brand mentions, we’re able to target new coverage for our own clients – and keep up with what people are talking about.
Pricing starts at $79, and new BuzzSumo users can try the service free for 30 days.
DTC’s outreach department is a group of Cision power users. We use Cision more than any other online PR tool. Its database of more than one billion contacts to build and curate our contact lists, send targeted pitches, track success, and manage contacts.
If that’s not enough, consider this: beyond list building and pitch distribution, the cloud-based communication software also includes social media management, monitoring, publishing, and reporting. In addition, Cision has partnered with PR Newswire to help users reach more than 3,000 newsrooms and 10,0000 websites in 170 countries worldwide.
Pricing for Cision’s services can be requested here.
In addition to providing users with TV, radio, news, podcast, and social monitoring, Critical Mention is home to a database with millions of contacts and outlets. Each one locatable by topic, job title, and more. Together, these make up what Critical Mention calls an Earned Media Suite that encompasses the entire PR cycle, from targeting and pitching to monitoring and tracking.
A host of well-known brands, including McDonald’s and CBS, uses Critical Mention.
Packages and pricing are scalable, and each plan is tailored to users’ needs. Quotes for Critical Mention can be requested online, here.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is another Digital Third Coast favorite. We use it almost daily to find opportunities for ourselves and our clients to be quoted. Sourcing services such as HARO provide direct links between subject matter experts (us or our clients) and journalists looking to enhance their upcoming stories with quotes.
Users will receive three emails a day with requests – and with over 75,000 journalists and bloggers taking advantage of HARO, the possibilities are endless.
A number of major publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Time, use HARO. But keep in mind, many are on tight deadlines that require fast responses to secure a quote and placement.
The best parts is that HARO is free to sign up.
Muck Rack is like the Google of journalists — a veritable search engine for media contact information.
No, really, users can search for relevant journalists by topic, name, role, keyword, or outlet. Users can then build media lists, send pitches, create news alerts, and keep track of how campaigns are performing.
At Digital Third Coast, we like to use Muck Rack in tandem with Cision to build even more powerful, targeted media lists.
We also rely on Muck Rack’s State of Journalism report (released annually) for insights on how journalists use social media, react to pitches, and more.
Pricing for Muck Rack, as well as a free demo of the platform, can be requested online, here.
Meltwater prides itself on helping marketers stay on top of their strategy and performance with a host of services, including media relations, PR reporting, and newswire distribution.
Digital marketers may want to take advantage of everything Meltwater has to offer, but their media relations software is most appealing. With it, users can distribute wires, discover relevant journalists using filters such as beats, outlets, and location, and manage relationships. Plus, with analytics and interactive dashboards, reporting is made easy.
If you’re curious in learning more, you can request a demo for Meltwater online.
Another popular and useful digital PR tool is SEMrush. It’s a jack-of-all-trades platform for SEO, PPC, and content marketing that will take your game to the next level.
We love it for SEO and use it to conduct keyword research, competitor analyses, on-page SEO audits, and more. But we also love it for our blog, especially the SEO writing assistant, which allows us to be sure that our text is unique and optimized to drive more organic traffic to our site.
Pricing starts at $99.95 per month and includes more than 40 tools and features.
Prowly allows PR and marketing experts to streamline all of the moving parts. The all-in-one platform includes a media database of more than 1,000,000 contacts, a press release creator, pitching software, and contact management system.
As if that’s not enough, users can also publish their press releases in fully customizable online newsrooms that act as a journalist go-to for brand news. Prowly users include major brands like Johnson & Johnson, Citi, and Vimeo.
Prowly’s pricing starts at $98 per month, but they offer a 7-day free trial for new users.
Marketing and PR professionals across the country are always on the hunt for the next big digital marketing tool. But not every agency is pursuing the same digital PR results.
While some are interested in monitoring media coverage and building relationships with journalists, others have more tangible metrics to track.
Regardless of the aims of your broader marketing campaigns, these digital PR services used individually, or in tandem, can help you achieve your goals.