In the world of PR, there is so much to keep with each and every day. From staying on top of what is going on with your client’s calendars and social media to trending topics and news, I know… it can get overwhelming.
Fortunately there are countless apps and tools out there to help you stay organized on on top of everything.
But, without spending way too much time downloading and testing each one out there, how do you know which ones are the best for you?
If you were to take a peek into my Evernote app, you would quickly notice, it rules my world. (Maybe it’s sad to say, but I would be lost without it.) I keep many active notes in there; notes including my daily personal to-do and shopping lists, a note for ideas that come to me for anything relating to work, and my ‘wish list’ (things I want to buy for myself… we all deserve a little treat from time to time, right?!).
This app has endless features (many of which I honestly do not even utilize), but I do love that is sync flawlessly with the app on my laptop and the feature of sharing and discussing notes with other Evernote users.
Another tool I would be lost without, and of course I have created multiple calendars; personal, birthdays, work, events, twitter chats for myself and clients, and editorial calendars. Having each calendar color coded makes looking through my, what would probably look to you as cluttered (I like to call it organized chaos), calendar a breeze. I can quickly see what I have coming up each day, week, and month with just a quick glance.
If you use your calendar, and rely on it as much as I do, you have to remember to check it! And not just the current day each morning. Check it ahead of time; is there something you need to prepare for, for the next day? What do you have coming up next week? And set reminders! Some of my calendar events even have three reminders.
(It may seem excessive but when I have a call with a client, I can check a week or few days ahead of time to make sure I am prepared and then the day of, I have an hour, 30 minutes and 10 minutes reminder. An hour lets me know that I have more than enough time to wrap up whatever I’m working on, the 30 minute acts as more as a warning signal and the 10 minute reminder lets me know it’s time to get on the call in a few minutes.)
Through Google Alerts you can easily manage your, or your client’s, reputation, product, branded terms and phrases. They are a great way to stay on top of who is talking about you, your company, and/or your clients at all times. This is another tool you have to make sure you are checking.
When your alert comes through, check it and determine whether or not it is something you need to respond to or if it is an alert that you can add to your to-do list and come back to later. This is also a great place to monitor your competition.
If you know which sites may be talking about you or your client, you can even set up an alert to monitor that specific site. Simply type: “site:http//site-you-want-to-monitor.com” in the search box and create your alert.
A large majority of my time spent managing my and my client’s Twitter accounts is done within the lists I have created. Lists such as: people to stay in front of (this usually consists mostly of potential/ideal clients), networking groups and members of those groups, resources and industry news, events, people I have interacted with in Twitter chats, PR connections, personal friends, topics relating to your industry and target market. (ie: If your target market is small business owners and entrepreneurs, create a list called “Entrepreneurs” or “Business Owners.” If you choose to keep this list public, I recommend coming up with a more intriguing and branded name for the list.)
I’m going to be honest… I do not love Hootsuite as a whole. But I do love that I can schedule most of my social posts and tweets a week of ahead of time and then spend my time interacting with followers and topics instead of worrying about posting or scheduling each day. I work with a few gals that swear by monitoring accounts within Hootsuite, and it works great for them. It isn’t for me.
I like to actually go into the Twitter account and manage from there, but I will say Hootsuite is a great place to follow and keep a close eye on a certain hashtag. If you or your client are attending an event soon, it would be very wise to learn the event’s hashtag ahead of time, create your Twitter list, follow the hashtag within Hootsuite, and start interacting with it before you arrive, while you are at the event, and after.
Dropbox / Google Drive
As you may have already guessed, my Dropbox (and Google Drive) is full of folders within folders, within folders. It is meticulously organized so I can quickly and easily find, edit, or share any file for which I am searching – whether I am in the office, at my laptop, or on the go and only have my phone with me.
The ability to share files with such ease is fantastic. When clients have a folder full of graphics they would like to share with me, Dropbox makes the sharing, and access to such folders, smooth and simple. I love Google Drive, not only because it keeps me extra organized and because I can effortlessly share files, but because when a coworker and I begin working on campaign, we jot down all the ideas that come to our minds, discuss, collaborate, and flesh out the entire process. We always start in one Google Doc, together. I like this because I am able to see and immediately discuss any thoughts that come to mind and receive their feedback, and then all our ideas are in one place.
Slack is a messaging system that is used all day, every day by each person in our office. It makes it extremely easy for everyone to be and stay on the same page, at all times – all of our communication is all in one place.
Just like any other messaging app, you can have your one-on-one conversations but you can also create ‘channels.’ Channels = group conversations you are able to invite certain members of your team to and label based on the channel’s topic. (You may want a channel dedicated solely to your leadership team, your design team, employee group chats, client statuses and updates, or any other topic you regularly chat about that is deserving of it’s own space and won’t “clutter” other conversations.)
Slack can also be easily integrated with some services you may already be using each day: Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, and Twitter to name just a few of the lengthy list.
HARO – Help A Reporter Out
If you haven’t heard of HARO yet, you need to check it out – now. You can get an insider look at what writers what to know and for whom they are looking to connect with. When you sign up with HARO you will start receiving three emails per day with a list of journalists who are searching for people to interview in their upcoming article or podcast.
The deadlines can be very tight so make sure you are checking these emails, and pitching to appropriate topics and stories, soon after they hit your inbox. This is an easy and awesome way to secure coverage, gain more exposure, and position you or your client as the expert in even more places. (Who doesn’t love the idea of that?!)