5 Online Programs + Tech Essentials Every PR Pro Should Have
1. A File Sharing Program
Working in this field, I’m always sending large files back and forth. Many times I find that the files are just too large to send and receive with my email.
Dropbox and Google Drive allow you to share all files at any size over the cloud. As a public relations professional, you can often deal with large files such as audio, videos, photos and graphics. Both tools allow you to transfer these files between individuals with no size limit.
2. A Media Monitoring and List Building Tool
Whether you work for a public relations firm or do public relations for a company, you have a client’s reputation to monitor. Cision, Vocus, and Meltwater are programs that track your client and relevant topics in the news. Both programs also allow you to build media lists. Google Alerts is free tool from Google that sends you email notifications when your client or a topic of interest is mentioned in the news.
3. A Social Media Management Tool
When I conduct social media trainings, one of the things I always emphasize is the relationship between social media and the news media. Twitter is where the media hangs out. It’s where they post their articles, look for information and tips and build information. Tweetdeck, BackTweets and Brandwatch let you to track individuals, keywords and hashtags. These tools have both paid and free options. Muck Rack is a paid tool that specifically tracks journalists and topics. Not only do all of these tools allow you to keep up with the news media, but really help to build relationships with them.
4. A Tablet
I always joke that PR is 24/7 job. PR professionals need to be able to work from any place at anytime. In order to do that it’s almost as if you need a miniature office to carry around with you. However, our backs aren’t made for that. Tablets are great for working on the go. Tablets such as the Apple iPad and Windows Surface 2 come with many applications that you use on a daily basis in your office. You can even get a keyboard for it, and the best part is that it is small enough to go with you anywhere. The nature of public relations is instant. A tablet allows you to work in the exact moment, even if you’re not in the office.
Editor’s pick – the Apple iPad Mini – it’s lightweight enough to fit into a handbag, or you can get a case carry it as your clutch/wallet. Capture photos and video footage in the field and on the fly.
5. A Portable Electronic Charger
So with all of this talk about how important technology is, we can’t forget that we have to keep it running. That means we have to keep in charged. Unfortunately, you’re not always going to be near an outlet. Portable electronic chargers like the Mighty Purse Charge on the Go and myCharge charge your tech items without being plugged into anything and are small enough to fit in almost any bag. Some hold a charge up to 24 hours. It’s perfect if you travel a lot for work or you have a long work event to attend.