7 online communications tools you can’t work without

Here’s a witty guide to the Magnificent Seven online tools that have saved this PR pro’s bacon time and again.

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I look back to my early days as a communicator— when people referred to the internet as “The Information Superhighway” and mainly used it to host “Star Trek” fan pages—and wonder how I fooled the world into thinking I was a halfway-competent practitioner.

We live in an amazing world in which we have access to an auxiliary brain holding the entirety of man’s knowledge. We use it almost exclusively to share pictures of cats.

With nothing more than the right search string, anyone can sound coherent, twist a phrase cunningly, or tie things together graphically. In between sharing pictures of cats.

Here are six tools—plus one BONUS tool, free!—I depend on to turn the typewriting monkeys in my brain into communications gold:

1. Wikipedia

The ‘pedia that World Book could only dream of becoming just barely makes this list. You think, “Well DUH; everyone uses it.” I include it because I remember it wasn’t always this way.

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