There is an abundance of marketing, public relations and agency-geared tech tools out there, so when you’re trying to choose the right tool for you and your company, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. How can you know which ones have a proven track record of working well and which are all talk?
Pretty much every PR professional has some sort of tool or app that they can’t live without. So to help you wade through the noise, we’ve asked 14 members of Forbes Agency Council to share their favorite apps and why they are essential for the success of their teams.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.
While there are a number of good tools on the market to measure the results of PR efforts, Meltwater is quickly becoming one of our agency’s most used tools. You can track share of voice, sentiment (positive, negative or neutral) and set up custom reports. When we’re pitching our clients’ stories, our media contacts want outcomes and metrics. It’s natural that our clients want the same from us. – Jodi Amendola, Amendola Communications
2. Social Blade
One thing that is very important is to understand how your competition is working and how they are performing. The reason that it is so important is that if you know what they are doing, you can stack your work against them. What this also means is that it is very important to know the statistics that they have and what works and does not work. Social Blade will tell you all of this. – Jon James, Ignited Results
There are so many moving parts at a PR agency: multiple clients, projects, pitches, deadlines, features and so on. It’s a lot to keep track of! PR executives aren’t involved in the daily tasks but have to be able to get a snapshot of what’s going on. I can hop onto a client channel on Asana and quickly review what the status is, like if we need to beef up our outreach or if we’re performing strongly. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR
Marketing and PR are, at their core, communication, but often internal communication takes a back seat. Slackaligned our team and our concurrent projects. Being built on the SAAS engine, it allows for a myriad of integrations and automation. More than just a messenger app, it keeps the internal communication seamless, while you work on PR and marketing. – Kirk Westwood, Glass River Media
My favorite tool is an app called Rev. Do you have thought about a topic that would make a good blog post? Turn on the app while you’re driving or on the golf course, hit record and you’ll get a transcribed draft emailed to you that you can post online. – Dustin Detorres, DeTorres Group
As a boutique PR agency, we are always looking for tools that simplify our operations. With time tracking at the core of agency services, we’ve found Harvest to be invaluable. It’s incredibly simple to set up and easy to use, compared to most of the enterprise solutions out there, with desktop and mobile apps to easily track your time wherever you are. – Molly Mulloy, Crafted Communications
Mailtrack allows you to track opens and clicks on any email you send. It’s super helpful when pitching to journals, as you can check in on if they’ve read your email or clicked on your press release. It even shows if they’ve opened it multiple times, which likely means that they’re interested in what you’re sharing. Following up after seeing interest can be timely and successful! – Darian Kovacs, Jelly Digital Marketing & PR
Of all the marketing, PR and communications apps and tools out there, honestly, the one that brings me the most value in my job is Reddit. I love the platform for the ability to customize the feed for topics that matter to me, as well as the ability to use it to keep my finger on the pulse of what people are talking about, which has led to greater, more informed creative programming for my clients. – David Harrison, EVINS
9. Meeting Planner
I work with brands all around the world and it’s not uncommon to be organizing conference calls across multiple time zones. I cannot live without Meeting Planner. I can put in all the various locations of the participating parties and it color codes time slots that are the most accessible for all participants, making it super easy to get it right. – Emily Porter, havasformula.com
First, I think in terms of a software stack to align with each phase of my agency’s workflow: onboarding new clients and projects, managing and discussing the work and finally invoicing and managing my firm’s finances. For the first phase of managing contacts and opportunities, I can’t live without Copper. It’s a great CRM and sales pipeline platform that integrates seamlessly with Google G Suite. – Kris Flint, Citizen Best
Feedly is a news aggregator we couldn’t live without. As a tech agency, we are addicted to the Feedly app for staying on top of the latest news in each of our clients’ industry segments. It’s often the first step to developing thought leadership ideas and inserting our clients in tech trend stories. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove
We use lots of tools, but as the owner, I am a big fan of Audible because I eat books for breakfast. Great executives are constantly learning, and any great executive needs to be reading weekly. Audible makes it so easy to do so, whether you’re driving, running or just taking some time to relax. Reading allows you to move away from the tactical and measuring tools of the day and learn from others. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications
PR execs are on the front lines of industry influencers, movers and shakers. They need a killer camera and an efficient, high-quality full-function smartphone editing app to document these events and interactions. The Snapseed app (not sponsored) is full of tools to add resolution, depth and definition make your photos look professional and popping. – Serenity Thompson, A23 Advisors
Wappalyzer is super helpful when you need to know the tech and marketing tools a website is using. It gives you a way to easily “spy” on your competition or see what a new lead has been doing before they approached you for help. We use it before all sales calls. – John Griffin, Spiral Scout