The 20 Best PR Tools Every PR Manager Should Try in 2024

21 min read

PR tools are a must for public relations professionals. They create new opportunities and make working in public relations more effective and less time-consuming. Here are a few worth looking at if you’re a PR specialist.

PR tools are software designed to help manage a brand’s public relations efforts by monitoring media coverage, analyzing public sentiment, and tracking trending topics. They are crucial for understanding how a brand is perceived, identifying potential issues early, and crafting informed responses.

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Let’s take a stroll down memory lane to the times when there was no social media, knowledge of HTML was in the hands of few, and connecting to the Internet was used to interrupt phone calls. There’s neither social media nor web technologies.

PR practice involves making phone calls, writing letters, and meeting people face to face.

Your PR tools include your brain, a piece of paper, a pen, a telephone, a fax machine, and your business cardholder.

Hard to imagine, huh?

As web technologies and social media have developed, public relations and the tools to harness it have changed. PR tools are helpful for PR professionals who often need to be multitaskers and need to keep their work organized.

But there are plenty of tools to choose from, and they’re all just a few clicks away.

Try the Best PR software!

How to choose the one tool for us?

I’ll break down a list of different PR tools suitable for various areas of public relations efforts:

  • PR reporting tools are designed to provide detailed analysis and insights into your PR campaigns, allowing you to measure their effectiveness and make data-driven decisions.
  • PR outreach tool will be perfect if you want to connect with journalists, influencers, and other key stakeholders to maximize your outreach potential. They can greatly simplify your outreach process.
  • Monitoring tools are essential for tracking your brand mentions across various media platforms. They enable you to stay informed about public perception and respond to any issues.
  • Press release distribution tools are ideal for ensuring your press releases reach the right audience, increasing the chances of media coverage and enhancing your brand visibility.

Psst.. sometimes the same tools can answer different needs. This is usually the best option!

Ready? Let’s dive in!

PR tools for media monitoring

Media monitoring lets you track and manage your organization’s reputation in real time.

Remember Mr.Big from Sex and the City? What if I tell you that he almost caused a brand’s death?

In 2022, Peloton, a famous fitness brand known for its stationary bikes, faced a public relations crisis when an episode of the television show “And Just Like That…” portrayed a character dying of a heart attack shortly after a Peloton ride.

That character was our Mr. Big.

The scene sparked concerns about the safety of Peloton bikes, leading to a significant drop in the company’s stock price.

Luckily, Peloton was able to respond quickly to the negative publicity because they had a strong PR monitoring system in place. They immediately issued a statement refuting the safety concerns and highlighting the health benefits of their bikes.

Peloton also arranged for a cardiologist to appear on a morning talk show to discuss the episode and reassure viewers.

By actively monitoring media coverage and taking swift action, Peloton mitigated the damage to its reputation and prevented the crisis from escalating further.

Isn’t it wild? It wasn’t even an actual event, and it still could have caused so much PR damage if not a monitoring tool.

How can one event influence PR? Peloton's story.
How can one event influence PR? Peloton’s story.

You can also use online monitoring to identify journalists and influencers covering topics related to your industry or organization.

This information is valuable for building and nurturing media contacts.

What’s important is that PR professionals can measure the impact of their PR campaigns through media monitoring. They can track the reach and sentiment of media coverage and use this data to demonstrate the value of their efforts to stakeholders.

PR tools can help you:

  • Protect brand reputation
  • Get notified about industry media, experts, influencers, competitors, and other authors talking about your business
  • Get in touch with social media influencers
  • Identify new press releases opportunities
  • Identify new media outlets
  • Prevent PR crisis
  • Conduct market research
  • Identify new media opportunities
  • Get hard data about the online presence of your brand
  • Improve your media relations

PR involves various visibility and communication activities. Depending on the actual scope of your daily tasks, one or two PR tools can turn out to be priceless support. I can’t even imagine how time-consuming my everyday duties would be without a media monitoring tool.

– Michał Jońca, PR Specialist at Brand24

Pro tip: Different media monitoring tools offer various media coverage, so make sure that the one that you choose monitors the sources that you want to keep up with.

Manage your brand reputation!

Brand24

Brand24 is a media monitoring tool that can easily help you monitor and analyze the online buzz about your brand.

It collects online mentions of predefined keywords from multiple sources. Brand24’s media coverage includes:

  • websites
  • blogs
  • online media
  • press releases
  • news sites
  • discussion boards (forums)
  • social media platforms
  • podcasts
  • newsletters
  • video platforms

In fact, Brand24 has developed significantly during the last few years. Focusing on AI technology, it has become a much more powerful tool than just a mention collector.

PR agencies and professionals use it to:

  • track brand mentions across the web
  • find the newest press releases
  • create PR clippings
  • analyze target audiences
  • gather insights to improve PR strategy
  • keep up with news and trends from the PR industry
  • measure the results of a PR campaign
  • learn how the sentiment changes over time

Besides the above, Brand24 offers a plethora of analytics to help you measure the performance of your online presence and the effectiveness of your PR efforts.

Monitor online sources in one place!

Some of the most important features include: 

  • AI analysis
  • Presence score
  • Metrics of volume
  • Metrics of engagement
  • Metrics of reach 
  • Metrics of sentiment 
  • Metrics of influence
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Mobile app
  • Reports
  • Filters
  • Boolean search

There are a few other Web and social media monitoring tools you can try.

Here are my recommendations:

Google Alerts

Without a shadow of a doubt, what makes Google Alert attractive is the fact that it’s completely free!

Is it, however, enough to get the job done?

It depends.

Google says it ceased developing and improving Google Alerts. In comparison to other online monitoring tools, GA is entirely devoid of analytical features.

A screenshot from Google Alerts which can be a good PR tool

When it comes to data collection, people report a lot of spam, serious delays, and missing mentions.

Nevertheless, trying it and seeing how it works for you is good. Who knows, it might be just fine. If you are a beginner PR professional, it’s a digital tool you can start with.

Here’s what you can do with Google Analytics:

  • Monitor multiple keywords
  • Monitor multi-word keywords
  • Set up the frequency notifications
  • Set up email notifications
  • Set up RSS notifications 
  • Monitor mentions in various languages 

If you’d like to learn about the differences between Google Alerts and Brand24, have a look at Google Alerts alternative

Try the Best PR software!

Brandwatch

It’s one of the biggest players in the media monitoring market.

Brandwatch is powerful in data analysis and has AI-supported features.

However, the tool is now changing its focus from media monitoring to consumer intelligence and insights. Still, it can help your PR team.

Brandwatch is a great fit for enterprise-size companies.

Brandwatch as a monitoring tool will surely help you keep up with media mentions and press releases.

A screen from Brandwatch which can be used as a PR tool

Apart from features typical for a media monitoring tool such as keyword monitoring, notifications, reporting, or sentiment analysis, Brandwatch offers also: 

  • Demographic data
  • Image analysis
  • Shareable dashboards 
  • Flexible displays 

Over the years, Brandwatch has certainly made a name for itself. Nevertheless, it is quite an expensive tool, but there are affordable Brandwatch alternatives.

Now, let’s move on to the next PR tools category!

PR tools for outreach

After all, despite the development of technology, human relations are still fundamental to public relations. 

Outreach is one of the most important aspects of PR. Years go by, and it’s still about building relationships with people who can broadcast your message to a wider audience.

Some of the best PR tools for outreach allow you to build relationships with journalists, influencers, bloggers, and experts you can reach out to, build relations with, and expand your contact database.

PR professionals who are constantly looking for media opportunities are willing to establish new press or media contacts, and PR tools make this a lot easier.

Understand your target audience!

Muck Rack

Muck Rack is a digital PR tool that offers plenty of features to manage your outreach efforts: media database, monitoring, pitching, collaboration, and reporting. 

An image from Muck Rack which is an outreach tool for PR

Muck Rack has a large database with contact details. It enables users to connect with journalists and collect press contacts more easily.

Add to it the rest of the features, and you will get an all-in-one outreach tool with an intuitive dashboard!

Anewstip

Anewstip is a tool designed to streamline the process of connecting with journalists and influencers relevant to your brand or campaign.

With a database of over 15,000 media contacts, it enables you to engage with journalists who have covered similar topics.

Additionally, Anewstip utilizes intelligent algorithms to recommend journalists likely interested in your story based on their previous work and areas of expertise, saving PR professionals time and effort.

Yes, you could’ve reached a million media contacts, but if their relevancy was low – you can’t expect much from such email outreach campaigns.

The tool also allows you to monitor the open rates of your pitches to gauge their effectiveness and enhance your outreach strategy.

The result?

More relevant media placements and better media exposure.

Find new potential PR opportunities!

Brand24

Outreach brings us again to media monitoring.

Media monitoring tools like Brand24 can help you identify sources talking about your niche:

  • industry media
  • online news media
  • experts
  • influencers active in social media

Brand24 will be useful to strengthen your media relations and expand your network by gaining new media contacts.

These features can be incredibly helpful:

  • AI-based Topic Analysis

Every brand sparks discussions on specific topics. Monitoring these topics and their sentiment is crucial for understanding public perception.

Even a well-regarded brand can face negative conversations on specific issues.
For example, Spotify’s “Music Streaming Experience” has 15,194 mentions, a reach of 144 million, and a 14.78% share of voice. This indicates a high level of engagement and generally positive sentiment.

On the other hand, topics like “Spiritual and Religious Content” or “Entertainment Account Sales” are highly irrelevant, so it’s worth monitoring these mentions to address any concerns.

  • AI-based Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis can tell you if people view your company positively or negatively. Thanks to AI, Brand24 can also analyze this data for you and identify which source generates the most negativity.

Monitor sentiment around your brand!

  • AI-based Emotion Analysis

It takes a step further and reveals the audience’s specific emotions toward the brand. The Brand24 Metrics Tab shows whether people are:

  • Disgusted
  • Angry
  • Admirable
  • Fearful
  • Joyful
  • Sad

How can it be useful? This knowledge allows brands to address any PR crisis and online conversations. Thus, helping them connect better with their target audience.

  • Influencer score filter

The tool assigns an influencer score from 1 to 10 to every social media profile mentioning your keywords. Then, you can filter from most to least influential social media profiles mentioning your keywords.

  • Top public profiles

The score is calculated on the basis of a few metrics combined:

  • Number of followers a profile has
  • The volume of mentions it produces
  • Visibility percentage specific to a particular social media posts

Find the best influencers for you!

Prowly

Prowly is an interesting digital pr tool. Thanks to it, you can do PR outreach and manage your media relations from one place.

It allows to:

  • find relevant contacts (in media databases with over a million records or via smart media contact recommendations provided by the tool)
  • send targeted pitches
  • generate PR reports to see who opened your emails and automate your follow-ups.

Prowly has all the right features to help you maximize your press releases, increase your press coverage, and build better relationships with the media. 

Prowly - PR tool for outreach

There’s no upfront commitment and no lengthy contracts – you can take advantage of a free trial, choose monthly subscriptions and different add-ons, and then upgrade as you go. 

JustReachOut

JustReachOut is a platform designed to help businesses and individuals with their digital PR and general PR efforts.

It provides various features and services to assist users in finding relevant journalists and bloggers in their industry or niche, crafting effective pitches, and managing media outreach campaigns.

This all helps outreachers get more relevant press releases and establish long-term relationships with media outlets.

JustReachOut typically offers a media database of journalists, bloggers, and media outlets. Users can manually search through them to find the most relevant contacts for their PR campaigns.

PR professionals can create and customize pitches within the platform. It can be super helpful in crafting compelling and personalized messages to send to media contacts.

If you ever did outreach, I won’t surprise you: Building relationships with media contacts is crucial.

The tool can help you schedule follow-up emails to nurture relationships and increase the chances of getting news coverage, social media mentions, or backlinks.

JustReachOut - PR platform that will boost your PR efforts

We could keep talking about outreach, but the possibilities will never end.

But no doubt, the crucial part is dragging attention to your pitch and how to do it?

Here are fantastic PR tools for this process:

PR tools for text editing

Writing is an essential part of the job, whether it’s a long email, an article, or a press release.

Make sure you do yours in a text editor that fits your needs, be it on the usability or aesthetic side of things.

Do you need a clean, typewriter-like experience? Or complex text editors you could use to write books in?

I don’t know about you, but I grew tired of typical text editors. Maybe it’s my distractedness, but I feel as if they were screaming at me with thousands of buttons, tabs, and options. That’s why I’m a fan of plain text editors.

But let’s see what’s in store.

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G Suite

The Google Docs editor is somewhere between simple and complex.

Then, in addition to Google Docs, you get access to other useful tools—Google Sheets, Google Slides, and others.

A screenshot from Google Docs, a text editing tools that can be used as a PR tool

I myself write a lot, and there are at least two Google Docs features that are extremely helpful to me:

  • Sharing – Few clicks, you can share and invite to your document other collaborators
  • Commenting and suggesting – Very useful when it comes to sharing feedback, proofreading, or brainstorming ideas with teammates

Google Docs can be useful for planning your PR campaigns, collecting ideas for a PR strategy, or just note-taking.

But at the same time, it’s easy to get distracted there. With so many formatting options, colors, etc – it’s hard to focus on the main task – writing.

It’s a part of G Suite – a cloud of tools from Google. All you need to access it is a Gmail account.

iA Writer

iA Writer is ideal if you’re looking for a distraction-free and minimalistic text editor. To me, it also gives some kind of typewriter feel.

Image of iWriter, a text editing tool for PR

With its modest design and very few yet powerful features, you can fully immerse yourself in writing. It’s only you, plain background and letters.

Some of the useful features include: 

  • Focus Mode
  • Reading Time mode
  • Automarkdown 
  • Syntax highlight
  • Content blocks 
  • Hashtags 
  • Various fonts 

iA Writer is available for iOS, OS X, Windows, and Android. 

This PR tool can be useful for marketing professionals and content managers.

Google Keep

Note-taking is text editing, too. 

To capture all important ideas before you lose your train of thought, use Google Keep.

Apart from being an accessible and simple notepad to write down your ideas on the run, Google Keep is a part of Google Suite and stored in the cloud – it means you take your thoughts, notes, ideas, and things to do everywhere you go.

An image of Google Keep, a good tool for PR

Like other Google products, Google Keep is easy to embrace. You can use it on your smartphone, on your desktop, or as a Chrome extension. And it’s all in the cloud.

Google Keep can help you remember important topics and collect ideas considering social media posts, media requests, or a new digital campaign.

Its features include:

  • Photo Upload 
  • Voice recording
  • Checklists

Improve your PR efforts!

PR tools for mind-mapping

Mind mapping is a good way to brainstorm ideas and visualize information about the project you’re working on.

Sure, you can do it on a piece of paper, but it’s getting complicated when you have to attach files, share them with collaborators, or present them to someone else.

With good mind mapping software, you can: 

  • Draw infinite map 
  • Attach files
  • Collaborate with others 
  • Export your boards 

Draw.io

One of the tools I personally like is Draw.io

Theoretically, Draw.io isn’t strictly a mind-mapping tool – it’s a diagramming tool. Therefore, it might lack some features typical for mind mapping. Practically, it works miracles in mind-mapping. You can draw basically anything you want.

Also, you can access it without registration – you just install draw.io Chrome extension and there you have it.

iMindMap

This one is particularly interesting because it was developed in collaboration with Tony Buzan, the inventor of the mind-mapping technique.

People say it adheres more closely to Buzan’s concept of mind mapping than other tools. 

A screenshot of a PR tool called iMindMap

What makes iMindMap stand out is the ability to present your mind map in a few different ways – not only in the shape of a tree.

Make your PR data-driven!

Milanote

Milanote is more of a concept map maker than a mind-mapping tool. Still, you can completely map out your project. 

You can fill up the infinite pinboard with notes, links, images, and files. The tool is very simple in use primarily because it has only the most necessary features.

Some say it’s the most easy-to-use concept mapping tool out there.

One of the cool things about Milanote is that it has a web clipper. It means that the tool displays the content from a link directly inside the pinboard.

PR tools for productivity

It’s so easy to lose focus these days! 

What’s even more worrying is that with the abundance of distractions, people experience these days, they don’t even realize they’re distracted. Dozens of tabs and notifications from all over the Internet effectively keep you disturbed and overstimulated.

A few years ago, Cal Newport developed the concept of “deep focus,” which seems to be a response to the above-mentioned problems. 

Here are a few PR tools that can help you achieve sharp focus.

Noisli

This free productivity tool generates ambient sounds of your choice. 

You can choose any of over a dozen soothing sounds of the environment, combine them, and set their intensity to sound just right.

A screenshot from Noisily which can be used as a PR tool

I sometimes play it with electronic music in the background. 

Additionally, Noisli comes with:

  • Simple text editor
  • Timer to help you motivate. 

An article in NYT 

Productivity is invariably connected to procrastination. 

When the chips are down, there’s no magic tool that can help you overcome writer’s block or suddenly find motivation.

We must realize that, at its core, procrastination is about emotions, not productivity. The solution doesn’t involve downloading a time management app or learning new strategies for self-control. It has to do with managing our emotions in a new way.

Learn more about it from this great New York Times reading.

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Freedom

OK, I know it sounds a bit overblown, but Freedom ensures freedom, at least within your digital life.

Freedom is a focus app that can eradicate every distraction on your desktop or smartphone. You can even block the Internet if you wish.

Importantly, Freedom works across many devices ranging from Windows, Mac, Android to iOS. Here’s what Freedom can actually do:

  • Mute particular applications 
  • Mute particular websites
  • Set up recurring modes
  • Track progress 
  • Use Locked Mode

It may be an unusual tool among other PR tools, but believe me – it makes a difference.

Analyze your PR campaigns performance!

PR tools for project management

At some point, a pen and a notepad are not enough to keep track of your projects.

Add to it the impossibility of collaborating with your teammates and other departments in your organization, and you’ll see the need for a project management tool for your PR responsibilities.

Everyone talks about Trello, Asana, or Basecamp – no wonder; they are battle-tested and appreciated across the industry. 

Here are some uncommon time and project management apps you might become interested in. 

Monday

Monday is both a project and a time management app.

Apart from some typical features for this type of software, such as boards, timelines, time tracking, due date tracking, activity logs, and more, it has a few that catch the attention of many:

  • Huge base of project templates for all sorts of job types
  • Great features for project overview from a wider perspective
  • Eye-friendly and intuitive interface
  • Lots of integrations

Asana

Asana is one of the top players in the game – well-known, proven, and appreciated across the board.

What’s great about it is that you can use it for free and still get reasonably satisfactory experience – just fine to manage your PR responsibilities. 

With its advanced customization features, it’s fantastic to:

  • manage your press releases
  • plan actions for social media accounts
  • planning news releases
  • storing pr materials
  • keeping story ideas

ClickUp

ClickUp is said to be one of the best free tools for project management out there.

The tool has been praised for customizability which is limited in some of the more popular tools. In other words, you can tune the tool the way you want, what your team wants, or what a task requires.

Some even say there’s too much to customize.

Thanks to many features, the tool is very competitive even in the free version.

Try the Best PR software!

Conclusion

Choosing the best PR tools for your needs requires careful consideration of various factors. 

Here are some steps to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Determine your specific PR objectives. Are you looking to increase media coverage, manage crisis communications, monitor your brand’s reputation, get to print media, or something else?
  2. Clarify the outcomes you want to achieve, such as increased brand visibility, improved reputation, or better relations with media outlets.
  3. Establish a clear budget for a press release and your PR tools. 
  4. Create a list of the specific features and functionalities you need. This might include media database access, email outreach, media tracking, media database, AI analytics, etc.
  5. Prioritize these features based on their importance to your PR efforts.
  6. Conduct thorough research to identify the best PR tools. Make sure they align with your goals and feature requirements. Look for tools with a good reputation in the industry.
  7. Read reviews, check out case studies, and seek recommendations from colleagues or peers with PR tool experience.
  8. Test the tool. Many public relations tools offer free demos or trial periods. 

Want to measure and analyze your PR campaigns? Try the Brand24 tool!

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