Making sense of the PR tool market

How to work smarter: making sense of the PR tool market

The CIPR is making sense of the PR tool market by creating an industry-wide knowledge database. Can you help classify these tools against PR competences?

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The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is helping PR practitioners make sense of the PR tool market.

An initial list of 95 PR-related tools has been collated from a crowdsourced project. The project is led by CIPR’s newly-formed artificial intelligence (AI) panel referred to as #AIinPR. As the name suggests it is a group of practitioners who are exploring the impact of artificial intelligence on public relations. 

You’ll almost certainly discover something from the list of tools to help you work smarter.

95 tools to help you work smarter in public relations

The initial list of 95 PR-related tools is currently grouped into 22 themes of:

Research, Planning, Listening, Social media listening and monitoring, Stakeholder identification and management, Campaign management, Analytics, Audio content, Written content, Visual content, Video content, Media relations workflow platforms, Media distribution, Media monitoring, Media and social media management, Project management, Automation, Crisis planning, simulation and workflow, Measurement, Learning and development and Utilities. 

You can read the full list of 95 tools in this blog post by Stephen Waddington, partner and global engagement officer at Ketchum and former CIPR president.

You’ll almost certainly spot tools that have been missed. When you do please make a submission via this online form. It’ll take you less than two minutes.

Here are six tools that I’ve added to the database:

Stakeholder identification and management

Social Blade

Social Blade tracks user statistics for YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and Twitter.

Use it to gain a deeper understanding of user growth and trends. I also use Social Blade to sense check whether someone on social media has bought fake followers or engagement.

Social Blade: making sense of the PR tool market

StatusPeople

StatusPeople helps you quickly tell how many Twitter followers on a selected account are fake, inactive or engaged.

statuspeople: making sense of the PR tool market

Auditor for Instagram

For Instagram accounts consider using Auditor for Instagram. It's an AI-powered tool that helps marketers check influencers' Instagram accounts for fake followers and likes.

The tool uses machine learning to find behaviour patterns that correspond with real people vs automated bots or sporadic usage.

Auditor for instagram: making sense of the PR tool market

If you are interested in learning more about ways to spot fake followers and fake engagement you might like to read this recent post: How to spot fake followers on social media.

Making sense of the PR tool market: Workflow platforms

Workflowy

Workflowy is an easy way to take notes, make lists, collaborate and brainstorm. It's a great place to gather, organize, and reorganize tasks, ideas, and structure for big pieces of content.

Three benefits of Workflowy:

  1. Helicopter or microscope view: Workflowy lists are collapsible. This allows you to see ‘the big picture’ of how different listed tasks inter-relate. Workflowy lists are expandable, too. This allows you to drill down into nested sub tasks and lists.
  2. Drag and Drop content: it’s easy to move chunks of text around from one sublist to another. This is useful when arranging large content projects or re-prioritising elements within a project.
  3. Hashtag friendly: Use hashtags to quickly designate categories or people. Let's say you have a list of 12 blog post ideas, and a few of those might also make great courses or guest posts. Simply add a #guest or #course hashtag to the items. When you click on a hashtag, all items with that hashtag will appear.

I use Workflowy in three ways:

  1. Make notes and then refine them arranging them into a effective structure

  2. Capture a process then share that process with team members asking for their input

  3. As an alternative to report writing. Instead of spending hours writing a client progress report (which I suspect will never get read) I often email clients a Workflowy link. Themes are captured under bullet points and, if the client wants to dive into greater detail about progress on any theme then more forensic information is nested under each bullet.

Copywriter, Melanie Sparks, has written about how she uses Workflowy to organise her blog. Sparks created a blog management template as part of her post. 

Workflowy image: making sense of the PR tool market

Evernote

Evernote is an app designed for note taking, organizing, tasks lists, and archiving. The app enables you to create notes which can be a piece of formatted text, a webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into a notebook, tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched, and exported.

I use Evernote all day every day.

From a business owner perspective I scan all of my work receipts, and invoices into the app. I then tag them appropriately and share a notebook link with my accountant.

As a consultant I use Evernote to capture ideas and processes alongside Workflowy and then share the link with a client.

As a blogger I use this tool to capture ideas and research themes in depth. Whenever I have a content idea I’ll make a quick note of it on my phone. If I’ve just got an email which sparks an idea I can forward that email directly into a relevant notebook with appropriate tags within Evernote.

I use Evernote to capture information around projects, clients and blogging. Here are some of the tags I use in my blogging workflow:

  • check
    Post ideas: Raw, undeveloped ideas. 
  • check
    Guest post ideas: Ideas for pitches to publications around a theme.
  • check
    Posts pending: These are posts that I am currently writing. They aren’t yet complete, but I have at least started the writing process.
  • check
    Published: These are posts that I have published on my blog or someone else’s blog or magazine.
  • check
    Reading list: A reading list to help me dig deeper into a given subject.
making sense of the PR tool market: EVERNOTE IMAGE

Making sense of the PR tool market: Measurement

CampaignDeus

CampaignDeus provides influencer marketing campaign data on Instagram and YouTube. The platform identifies and classifies brand sponsored influencer campaign performance metrics.

This data is used to provide brands & PR agencies with industry insights across verticals, to benchmark campaigns against vertical & competitor averages, and equip clients with in-depth reporting and recommendations on how to make campaigns more effective.

CampaignDeus’ data is augmented with Artificial Intelligence and human tagging.

Disclosure: I am a strategic advisor to CampaignDeus.

making sense of the PR tool market: CampaignDeus

Mapping PR tools against 50 PR competencies

The next task for #AIinPR is to map the existing and evolving capability of tools against 50 areas of competency in public relations, identified by the Global Alliance. The alliance is a confederation of the world's major PR and communication management associations and institutions, representing 160,000 practitioners and academics around the world.

#PRstack legacy of a PR tool database

The #AIinPR crowdsourced initiative has its genesis in the #PRstack project from 2014 and 2015.

#PRstack began life as a blog post railing against the lack of mature workflow for public relations. But, as Waddington explains in a post from December, 2014 called #PRstack: Help hack public relations workflow the germ of the idea for #PRstack came from a paper he delivered at the Global Alliance’s World PR Forum.

As with #AIinPR, with #PRstack like-minded PR professionals coalesced around a central theme of wanting to nudge the PR industry— and its vendor offerings—forward through action.

Waddington’s blog post morphed into a Google sheet capturing PR-related tools. The spreadsheet became an app. The app became a book. Volume One of the book was succeeded by a second book. Combined both volumes were downloaded 9,000 times.

PRstack cover: making sense of the PR tool market

I contributed along the way to #PRstack. I wrote a chapter in #PRStack volume 1:  How to use Circloscope to build a relationship on Google+ (remember that social media platform?)

I also wrote a guest post for Spin Sucks, a top 10 global PR website owned and run by Gini Dietrich. My post was called How to Use #PRstack to Create a Community of Action.

How to use #PRstack to create a community of action Scott Guthrie sabguthrie

Help the PR industry identify & classify PR tools

Do you want to help the PR industry identify and then classify PR tools against PR competencies?

If you want to help the CIPR with making sense of the PR tool market there are two things you can do:

  1. Submit PR-related tools to the list via an online form

  2. Contact Stephen Waddington directly if you are able to spare an hour to analyse and classify these tools.

About the Author Scott Guthrie

Scott Guthrie works with companies to drive business growth in the social age through strategic insight and technical know-how. That's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

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