7 Tools for Tracking PR Efforts Online
One of the biggest reasons I love online Public Relations is because you can track almost all of your tactics. Reputation is a tricky thing to track but online it leaves little footprints you can follow and report to your client.
Out of dozens of digital tools, here are the ones you should add to your toolkit.
Google Analytics is your hammer; one of your main essential tools that should never leave your side. This free tool provides a wealth of information regarding your website, who’s buying your products, referral sites that are bringing the most traffic, social media insights, what tactics assist in conversions, and why to track other PR efforts both on and offline.
Open Site Explorer
A good sign that you are doing your job right is lots of backlinks. Open Site Explorer, like a measuring tape, will not only help you track what sites have linked to your client but also how you measure up to your competitors in that area. Open Site Explorer has a limited free edition but paid subscribers have the ability to view social shares and unlimited reports.
These are your nuts and bolts; you know those little things that make a big difference. They come in the shape of Google Alerts, Social Mention, and TalkWalker. They’re free so take advantage of them by creating alerts for social mentions, brand names, news release titles, and other linkable assets that people might share.
Tout is your electric screwdriver with all those gizmos that make it super easy to get the job done. Tout is a unique email tool to help you create templates for fast emailing, schedule emails, monitor the email status, set reminders to follow up, and analyze how well your emails are performing.
Now we’re getting into the bigger all-in-one toolkits. And, of course, these are the ones you have to pay for.
Viral Heat is known for their social media management and does have a free plan with basic capabilities. With their paid advanced plan, you can identify social influencers and those who might be interested in purchasing your products, publish and monitor all your social accounts in a single interface, and view detailed analytics about user engagement.
Vocus will help you engage, share, monitor and measure your online PR efforts. They offer a variety of services from email HTML coding and tracking to news release distribution and landing page templates. Vocus has 4 plans, their basic one starts at $300/month. Vocus is great for in-house PR professionals who need a little extra assistance to put together and track a large PR campaign. And Vocus is a lot cheaper than hiring an agency or another employee to help do the work.
Cision does it all. Used by both reporters and PR professionals, Cision offers a way to analyze results and target and monitor coverage on their easy-to-use platform. Their solo edition is $350/month and includes a media database, editorial calendars and email campaigns.