Getting ahead in the age of distraction
I have three words for you: scissors, glue and book.
Are we about to make a lovely scrapbook? No my friend, we’re time travelling back to the simple days of coverage tracking in the 90s. Snip, snip.
As much as we love a good throwback, we’ve come a long way from the analog world of “cut” and “paste”. The communications industry is barely recognisable thanks to the introduction of “Ctrl+X” and having the rest of the digital world at our fingertips. We have access to super sophisticated tools that enhance all elements of our communication, not just clippings booklets. Below is a collection of some of our favourite tools that complement the active mind of a PR professional in the digital age. And the great news is that they’re all free!
The Headline Analyzer
- The Headline Analyzer is a useful tool for sense checking the strength of your headline in terms of its shareability, organic reach and SEO ranking. We all know how to author an eye-grabbing, punchy headline, but this tool will give it the reach it needs to take hold across your digital channels, particularly over email where you often only get one shot for a click-through.
Answer the Public
- While you’re researching and planning your campaigns, use this tool to understand the questions people are asking in relation to specific topics. It will help guide your strategy with more accuracy. It uses volume and frequency of mentions in search engines such as Google to link and illustrate the questions most associated with different keywords. For example, you could search for “shopping” and it will pull up relevant questions being searched for. You can also break your search down by different markets, question type and popularity.
- Intrigued by the name? This app reads your copy and highlights any long-winded words or sentences that will lose your reader’s attention – genius. It doesn’t stop there. It will also flag any grammatical mistakes too and if that doesn’t sound useful, it even gives your copy a “readability” rating! We all know the struggles of a limited word count, so this is a highly useful tool for keeping it short, sweet and to the point.
- Most agencies will already be linked up to great tools like Meltwater or NewsWire, which help you track coverage and search for relevant media. Another supporting tool for ensuring media relevancy is Anewstip. It has an impressive database of over 1 million media contacts around the world, and will help you identify the right journalists for your campaign, based on their recent articles and Tweets.
- Anewstip also allows you to create your own media lists and organise your contacts so you can easily share your press releases with the relevant media you’ve identified using personalised pitch notes.
Fuel your curiosity
The most important lesson I’ve learnt on the journey to a digital world is to stay curious. These tools really only begin to scratch the surface – what’s important is that you’re interested in finding them and not afraid to try them out and explore other tools. They will not only save you time, but also help you think to differently and essentially, enable you to evolve in line with our industry.
As Charles Darwin said; it’s not the best, the brightest or the strongest who succeed in evolution, it’s those who are willing to embrace change and adapt. Go forth and enjoy! And if you’re keen to learn about more digital tools to play with (or if you want to start a scrapbooking club), drop us a line!