10 tools PR pros have turned to in 2021

As remote work and ongoing pandemic disruption have sparked massive workplace shifts, here are some resources that are helping communicators succeed.

Top PR tools

While there are no silver bullets for PR success, a handy tool or piece of technology can streamline and strengthen your workflow.

We’ve been asking PR pros all year what new tools are making a positive difference in their lives, and the responses have been all over the map. Some are investigating new productivity software and communications platforms. Others are still living and dying with their email and smartphone.

While some tools have risen to great popularity, only to find backlash amid burnout and screen fatigue, others appears set to play a prominent role in the PR workflow of the future.

Here’s a look at the tools PR pros say are most important when it comes to finding success in a post-pandemic environment.

1. Slack phone calls. For those who are tired of Zoom, a voice call over Slack can provide a nice alternative. Other PR experts say they would be lost without Slack, which helps them manage their email inbox by moving multiple conversations into a new, focused channel.

2. Asana. For collaborators trying to track work across a variety of clients, a tool that helps organize workflows and enables task assignment has been crucial. Plus, Asana allows users to forecast how much bandwidth a project will occupy for a team, a feature that allows users to limit scope creep and keep client demands in check.

3. SEMrush. The SEO and keyword search tool is a must for smarter, more targeted pitching, according to fans of the product. An SEO tool is a crucial addition to the PR toolbelt, even if your strategy involves much more than link-building and digital awareness.

4. DashThis. This automated marketing reporting tool integrates multiple platforms into one visual dashboard and report, giving a team (and clients) a holistic view of your digital marketing impact. For measurement and reporting efforts, DashThis could be the piece that ties everything together.

5. Toggl. This time-keeping app is a “game-changer” for one pro who works to track time across multiple clients.

6. Google Docs. Platforms that allow collaboration between remote employees have been essential for COVID-19 workflows, and such flexibility remains crucial for a hybrid remote work future. Yet, PR pros warn that such capability doesn’t mean teams should start “writing by committee.”

7. Freehand. This product enables gives users access to a “virtual whiteboard” for digital collaboration sessions.

8. Trello. This list-making application is a helpful tool for those eager to track efforts and campaigns. For example, one PR team uses Trello to track clients’ media appearances (including those that got canceled or that they declined) as well as the number of calls/meetings held with clients during each month.

9. Muck Rack. The media database and monitoring platform offers an alternative to offerings such as Cision.

10. Dataminr. The real-time risk detection tool, backed by artificial intelligence, can help organizations prepare for the unexpected, argues one PR pro. The email alerts Dataminr sends allows PR pros to stay ahead of breaking news—while avoiding being overwhelmed by events that aren’t relevant to their business.

Which tools have you found most helpful during the past year?

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