5 Tools Modern PR Pros Can Use to Maximize ROI


Today we bring you a guest post by Chief Strategy Officer Rebekah Iliff of AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. The San Francisco-based technology company is passionate about using data to show the true impact and value of PR.

In a world where office managers have become “Campus Innovation Advocates” and HR reps have metamorphosed into “Company Culture Experts”, it’s no doubt that the act of reinventing traditional roles has benefits beyond morale. Aside from the perk of having a cool business card to whip out, the titles of today push employees to redefine their place and purpose within an organization. Case in point: diet ice cream is far less inspiring than sorbet. Which makes you want an extra scoop?

Sure — there’s the fun-factor, but reinvention also raises expectations for roles altogether, and if you want your company to be cutting edge, you’ll want to consider some role revamps during your next round of organizational restructuring.

So what about the reinvention of marketing/PR roles and the titles that go with them?

In “Why Every Tech Company Needs an English Major,” Tech VP of Business Development and Corporate Strategy Matt Asay states his thoughts on why storytelling and wordsmithing should be valued to a greater degree when it comes to recruiting the right folks in tech. He thinks that as technology continues to powers our lives more and more, business should look to “…humanities-oriented communicators to articulate why the technology matters,” adding, “…the ideal marketing candidate may look more like a technology journalist or blogger and not at all like an engineer.”

Our idea of who we should be recruiting must drastically shift to accommodate an ever-changing landscape.

Conversely, the PR pro’s role has evolved into something surprising over the past few years as well. Think of this as the other side of the context coin: instead of acting primarily as narrative storytellers/media liaisons, the most valuable PR pros have expanded their skill sets to encompass data literacy, strategy, measurement, content, community, and beyond.

We bring you (sound the horns)…the PR Engineer!

In a nutshell, the difference between “traditional PR roles” and that of PR Engineers is that the latter are required to have a certain level of data literacy in order to apply findings and make more informed decisions around brand communications.

We must put to rest the stereotype that a PR pro is but an event-producing fast-talker with an overflowing Rolodex and binders full of press clippings as proof of success. There will always be a need to perform “traditional PR duties,” but there’s so much more we’ll need to train our teams to do so they can strategize, seek, secure, and report back with both measurable results and innovative ideas on how to move forward.

Now that you’ve stripped away any lingering ties to stereotypes, you’ll need the right tools to succeed as a PR Engineer or forward-thinking marketer. We’ve identified five marketing and PR software tools (of various niches) that can get you on the right track when it comes to data literacy. The key again here is measurement — your marketing holy grail, your public relations sword, your company’s homemade hot sauce.

5 Marketing & PR Software Tools the Pros Use

1.     Content & Inbound Marketing: HubSpot. Use this tool to put your inbound marketing on steroids. It spans everything from SEO and social media tracking to content creation with a heavy focus on e-books and conversion. Measurable results, people. Cool stuff: This infographic does a great job of explaining how to work with HubSpot.

2.     Mobile Engagement: Flurry. This grouping of analytics products measures consumer behavior, advertises to your A-list audience, and monetizes your apps. They have a team to help you understand mobile consumer behavior and loads of data to back it up being that they gain insights from billions of apps sessions per day. You should use this if you’re in the dark on how to engage with your audience on mobile devices. Cool stuff: Their blog touts great industry insights about mobile behavior, so use them as a resource even if you don’t buy the products.

3.     News Announcements: Quora. The press release is dead! Or, is it? Some industry pros think so. Whether you agree or not, this content platform is the new wave in news-sharing, and you would benefit from brainstorming ways to innovate with it. Lead the way in defining industry terms or start some dialogue about a subject that speaks to your brand. Remember, this outlet is all about authenticity, expertise, and genuine weigh-ins. Cool stuff: Access to experts in all fields and opportunities to foster community.

4.     PR Performance: PR.co. This tool allows the ability to create all inclusive, online pressrooms for clients. The page/URL includes press releases/materials, presskit, clippings, images, videos, PR contacts and client info. You then share this link with journalists and the client can share with their customers and partners. This link is ideal for email pitches to media so you don’t have to send attachments and all materials are in one place – easy breezy. Cool stuff: Access to their portfolio pressroom feature which is a showcase of all the releases you are doing for your clients.

5.     Overall Marketing: Marketo. This Mom-of-a-tool for social marketing and marketing automation is great to start with if you’re looking for something super comprehensive. They cater to B2B and B2C companies, small to large in size, and they span the worlds of email marketing, sales insights, analytics, marketing budgeting, and the list goes on. Cool stuff: Informative podcasts and killer client services.

Now that you know the direction PR is heading, and what tools to look into to step up your game, you’re now ready to reassess everything else you’re doing in a retired manner. Tang? In 2014, you replace that with Emergen-C.