There's nothing more valuable to a client than seeing his or her company's name appear in an article, news report, or blog post. This third-party credibility and the ability to gain the attention of decision-makers is key to building a brand.
But without the right software, you could be missing out on hundreds of earned media opportunities.
According to the 2018 Marketing Agency Growth Report, new agency businesses often face challenges while deciding which tools to invest in for the next year. 72% of new business owners invest in both online and offline lead-generation marketing strategies, 45% of them invest in diversifying their agency service offerings (learn more about apps for agency services), and 34% invest in implementing new business practices.
While focussing to invest in marketing and sales strategies in an effort to increase lead gens and customers, it is also essential to invest in tools for public relations so you can increase your agency's visibility and image across the market.
If you're looking to double-down on earned media efforts, you might need a few tools to manage, track, and monitor your clients' and even your own firm's PR efforts. Without being able to connect the dots between a media mention and an influx of leads or inquiries, your agency is leaving value on the table.
But the public relations industry is changing: Some blogs and influencers are becoming more important than traditional outlets, journalists and editors are increasingly turning to Twitter, comments boards, and other sites for sources, and newsrooms are shrinking, leaving editorial voices outnumbered 5:1.
However, many new digital tools have erupted from the changing environment, making it difficult to know which will help garner the most media mentions -- the goal of an effective PR strategy. To maintain a positive and abundant PR message -- that will influence a target audience to learn and adopt a brand -- it is important to keep expanding reach.
PR software should be used to make this ongoing challenge easier; you want to know who, what, where, when, and how to get your messaging out. Here are the top media monitoring and PR tools to put on your radar in 2021.
With Prowly, PR professionals can do media relations more effectively while saving time on routine tasks. The modern and user-friendly tool lets you find relevant media contacts and organize them in a PR CRM, create visual press releases, send personalized email pitches, and maintain journalist-friendly newsrooms.
Users praise the free 7-day trial, transparent and affordable pricing plans, and helpful support. Unlike most PR tools, Prowly offers both monthly and yearly plans, so you don't have to sign up for a long-term commitment.
3. Muck Rack
Price: Contact for quote
Muck Rack’s software enables PR teams to effectively find the right journalists for their stories, send customized pitches, collaborate as a team, and quantify their impact.
Today’s PR professionals have no time for inaccurate contact information, disjointed workflows or archaic software. That’s why companies such as Under Armour, Taco Bell, Pfizer, Golin and Penguin Random House use Muck Rack to take their communications to the next level.
Muck Rack is also the solution of choice for journalists, who use their free, automatically updated portfolios to showcase their work and to provide information about what stories they’re looking for, their personal interests and how they prefer to be pitched.
Price: Contact for quote
Meltwater is a PR and social media monitoring tool that allows managers to interact on social media, curate content, track competitors and emerging stories, and measure the results of their efforts. Meltwater's pricing depends on the client and their individual requirements, but plans have been known to have a yearly cost of $6,000 or more.
Price: $240/month for Professional Plan
Prezly is a PR publishing platform for communications professionals. The platform allows you to publish press releases and other stories in your own branded online newsrooms, plus you can send email pitches from directly within the tool. Allowing people to create content and earned media opportunities from that content -- in the same tool -- makes this product a unique addition to a business's PR team.
Price: $29/month for Solo Plan
With Mention, you input your company name, an executive's name, or other information you want to monitor and the sources or sites you want to monitor. You can then get desktop or mobile notifications and emails when someone mentions the brand. In addition, you can manage your social media accounts from the dashboard and respond, favorite, or complete other actions through the dashboard.
7. Coverage Book
Price: $99/month for Bronze Plan
Coverage Book makes it easy to collect and present the media mentions and results of earned efforts. You can upload offline coverage or simply input the URL of the article and Coverage Book will create a screenshot. There's a main dashboard that shows the combined views, shares, and inbound links resulting from PR efforts. You can also drill down into individual articles and see their impact.
Price: Contact for quote
Cision is one of the most well-known and full-featured PR software options on the market. It's database contains more than 1.6 million journalists, influencers, and editorial contacts, The platform provides advanced distribution, tracking, and analyzing features to makes sure you never miss a mention or fail to prove the value of your agency's PR efforts. You can also run content amplification campaigns through the site so that your editorials and content show in recommended content modules on sites.
Cision's pricing depends on the client's needs, but small-business plans have been known to be as little as $20/month.
Price: $49/month for Plus Plan
Brand24 lets you track social mentions and sentiment online to better understand how a brand is being talked about and perceived online. You can share alerts with other team members for one-on-one follow-ups, and the tool allows you to monitor the sentiment and mentions of competitors for a more realistic view of how the brand matches up.
Price: $200/month for Standard Plan, free with limited features
Anewstip is a search engine for finding journalists, influencers and media outlets that have recently mentioned a topic on Twitter. You can filter by journalists' profiles only, topic, and language, and then sort by influence, number of tweets, or how many times the person has mentioned your keyword. With this information, you can then create media lists and export these for pitching or use the site's paid service to pitch and track outreach and response. The site is also useful for monitoring tweets and articles being published about a keyword so that you can jump onto emerging trends or get in touch with journalists interested in a topic.
11. Agility PR Solutions
Price: $350/month for Connect Plan
Agility PR Solutions provides powerful, yet easy-to-use media database, monitoring, and analytics solutions for communicators. The service helps you distribute and analyze the results of press releases, providing access to more than 700,000 journalists, influencers, and bloggers all over the world, and it provides a ton of targeting and distribution options for reaching niche and industry contacts or for targeting individuals by location or job title. These tools allow you to identify and connect with influencers, capture coverage, and measure impact of everything you do, making it easy to monitor and measure traditional, broadcast, social media, and online coverage.
Price: $800 – $1,000/month for Analytics
Brandwatch is an enterprise-level social media monitoring tool that could be used to track ongoing PR campaigns. You can monitor relevant topics, mentions, purchase intent, share of voice, and the top sites that mention the company. The tool could be extremely useful during crisis situations or if you need to monitor a competitor's moves. It could also be used to track breaking news so you can make sure your clients are at the top of a reporter's list when they need a key source or commentary.
13. Critical Mention
Price: Contact for quote
Critical Mention is a media tracking tool where you can search TV, radio, online news, and social media to monitor mentions of your brand and trending topics relevant to your client. With this service, you can clip and share broadcast coverage and analyze the outlet's audience and reach. Subscriptions to the site come with 24/7 support and account management.
Price: Contact for quote
JournoRequests provides a free daily email of all the mentions of a need for a source from journalists in the United Kingdom, which are organized by categories such as tech, education, parents and children, etc. With a paid account, you can get instant alerts for requests in a specific category or by selecting targeted keywords. The founders also have a complementary site called Hey Press, which is a search engine for finding journalists who have written about specific subjects and keywords.
15. Help a Reporter Out
Price: Free for Basic Plan, $19/month for Standard Plan
Help a Reporter Out, also known as HARO, is an invaluable resource for connecting your clients with journalists who are looking for expert sources. Journalists list their needs through the site, and sources are notified three times per day of these ongoing media opportunities. These are often situations where reporters are working on deadline, so be sure to prep your client that he or she will need to be flexible and available.
16. Augure by Launchmetrics
Price: $350/month for Essential Plan
Augure is an influencer and PR cloud-based platform that provides a range of features and options for PR managers and agencies. Owned by the company Launchmetrics, it has a CRM-style platform to track communications with journalists, social media monitoring, email marketing and tracking capabilities for sending out releases and follow-ups, and reporting and measurement tools.
17. PRWeb by Cision
Price: $99/month for Basic Plan
If you're looking to distribute your client's press release, PRWeb is an affordable option. Now owned by Cision (the seventh PR tool on this list), PRWeb's pricing levels are based on what tier or type of publication you would like your release to be sent to, and it provides response and tracking features for showcasing impact and results.
18. Covered Press
Price: Starts at $195 per month
Covered Pressstreamlines press tracking, reporting, and analytics, combining three important tools into a single, all-in-one PR platform. It also offers white-label reporting so publicists can brand their own analytics portals and reports for clients.
Price: Contact for quote
Marketwired is a press release distribution service where you can build media and influencer lists, send targeted news updates, and track performance. The service also has a feature where you can create an online newsroom to store everything about the client's brand.
20. Business Wire
Price: 400-word press releases start at $325
Business Wire distributes your press releases and information to 89,000 media outlets in 162 countries and allows for videos, links, photos, and other information within your releases. Business Wire's pricing is based on the size of your press release in number of words.
21. Radio Guest List
Radio Guest List is the HARO of the audio world. You can sign up for email notifications from producers, journalists, and podcast hosts who are looking for experts on specific topics so you can reach out with your credentials and interest.
Price: Pay As You Go
BlogDash provides PR pros with a database of influential bloggers in various categories. The tool allows you to set campaign goals, create pitch lists, and reach out to bloggers. They also have an outsourced service to manage blogger outreach, content creation, and tracking for you.
Price: Starts at $356 per month — free for NGO's and special programs for startups.
The team at pr.co designs and develops tailor-made newsrooms for brands (like Viacom, Dolby, and WeTransfer) and for PR agencies (like Mediamonks, Edelman, and Wunderman Thompson). Their newsrooms are powered by a platform that allows agencies to easily publish client news, build press lists, pitch news to media contacts, and manage complex editorial workflows.
With agencies in mind, pr.co has developed portfolio newsrooms to increase inbound PR, generate more media exposure, and to make sure that your press network can find news from all your clients; not just the news that they’ve been pitched. They offer their services to NGOs free of charge.
Originally published Dec 7, 2018 12:13:00 PM, updated April 08 2021