Welcome to PR Tech Tools, a blog about public relations technology tools. In this blog, I will explore the advantages and disadvantages of different PR tech tools, as well as the benefits they offer PR professionals.
I have been wanting to launch a blog like this for a long time, even going so far to buy various domain names to house such content. In the end, I decided to used my own website as the channel and spin off the other existing two blogs (general and travel) under my Instagram and Twitter names (look out for www.ivanofhk.com coming soon!)
I’m excited to get started!
Since starting my PR firm (www.eightpr.com) a year ago, I’ve been on a mission to discovery what PR tools are out there to help startups that are useful, affordable and do the job. You would be surprised by just how many bits of kit are unable to even satisfy those three requirements adequately. One software I came across had the bold statement of being better than a listed U.S. software vendor. Took me five seconds to see through that!
As a bone fide start-up and small enterprise, the items required to get up and running were equivalent to that of a PR campaign itself! Apart from a hundred or so item list, there was a need to look at technologies to help work efficiently, increase productivity without having to spend an arm and a leg or employing someone.
Another factor was that I wanted to explore this stuff on my own and discover what worked. Recommendations helped me to find new tools as did Google Search and the scouring of interest groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. I came across mines of information and, in one case, an actual treasure trove of software useful in the PR world.
One thing that was strikingly obvious was the Asia Pacific region is under served by PR technology and the UK and U.S. are streaks ahead. I remember talking to a senior comms leader in Hong Kong and saying I'd just come across CoverageBooks and how it was an administrative pain killer.
The PR pro had no idea. This made me think that there are many agencies using PR technologies but keeping the information quiet. Which means I can blow the secrecy doors off! Haha.
Pay to Play
My philosophy has always been to pay for software rather than use the lite, free version because this supports the company, staff and funds R&D...and puts a dent in my pocket.
This may be old-fashioned thinking in a world where ‘free’ rules.
[As an aside, so many times I see people complaining about having to pay to access content online. One commentator I saw even went so far as to say paywalled content is just soft censorship. I disagree. If you want quality, why should it be free? I don't support the argument that if a publisher makes lots of money, their products should be free. Journalists, office rent, distribution, infrastructure, overheads all have to be paid for after all.
Recently I shared a story on LinkedIn and was approached offline by someone asking to share the unpaywalled version. With this certain publication, I had taken advantage of a special offer and paid US$1 for a month of access. US$1 to access content and, instead of paying, this person asked me to provide the content. For free. Extraordinary.]
I have come across many new PR Tech Tools in the last twelve months. Many are shiny and new. Some had bold promises that didn't produce. Some were better than I imagined. Some are still getting better and better. I have also come across the gold in the form of the 'lifetime' software deal. Not annual. But for life!
For this blog, some links to products may contain affiliate links, meaning I might get a commission. This doesn’t cost you anything but may help pay to keep my nice new PR Tech Tools blog running. Of course, if you feel uncomfortable about this, you can always navigate to the website yourself and explore.
As a reminder, the tools I write about are those I've used, am using and paid for out of my own pocket. I intend not to review any present client products. I am happy to review anything and will accept trial versions / product in exchange for an honest review and this will be clearly stated in any such post.
So, stay tuned for some interesting PR tech tool reviews and insights! And please get in touch if there’s a particular tool you’d like me to cover.
Thanks for reading.