Navigate Communications, PR, and Social like a Bawse

6 Low or No-Cost DIY PR Tools



When you’re starting, growing, or maintaining a business or your own brand, it’s a constant balancing act between hard and soft costs. Space isn’t free and peeps need to eat foods other than ramen (you fancy, huh?). It can be a real dance deciding how to distribute available funds. As a result, finding a budget for social media, communications, or public relations support is sometimes a tough sell.

Just because the money may not be there (yet) for everything your heart desires, it doesn’t mean you can’t access tools to help get you to the next level. The good thing is, today’s market is chock-full of great, low or no-cost options. But we talked about the time you don’t have, didn’t we? Lucky for you I’ve slogged through a few and I’m here to share my faves. Here’s a list of 6 handy social, communications, or PR tools worth their weight in white truffles.

1. ProWritingAid

If we’re being honest, we want to write better. If you had an editor to comb through every piece you pen, helping to avoid poor grammar and spelling, clichés, and just tighten and make it more pleasant and engaging to read, how much more confidently and often would you publish? Welcome to your very own trusty and salary-free editor, ProWritingAid.  Paste or upload your document, and in seconds you’ll have a comprehensive overview of your piece. The report can be tough to swallow and take some time to fix, but it’s worth it to have pieces you’re proud to share.

Cost: Free, with paid membership levels offering additional features available

 2. MyGuestBlog

You may have heard a great way to get your name out and develop thought-leadership is to guest blog, and it’s true. Guest blogging can expose you to new audiences and help establish you as a trusted voice. It’s also a solid tactic to drive traffic back to your own blog and site. But knowing where and how to make it happen is daunting. MyGuestBlog is here to help by connecting bloggers, journalists, and content creators for opportunities to share high-quality content on each other’s platforms. A high tide floats all boats as they say.

Cost: Free

 3. HARO

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a tool used by journalists and sources to find each other. Published 3 times per day for email subscribers (early morning, midday and evening), it lists journalist requests for sources on specific stories. As part of your media relations efforts, keep your eye out for requests relevant to you and respond promptly and per the specific instructions. A journalist may quote you or feature your product in an article, invite you to be an interviewee, or you’ll prove yourself a quick, reliable source–which they’ll use again. Journalists are looking for you this time, which feels a lot like a right-swipe. Even on days when none of the requests is a fit, it’s a great gauge of news trends.

Cost: Free

4. Google Alerts

Unless you’re a bot, keeping up with all news, all the time, is a deeply unrealistic goal. The best way to try is to automate certain tasks. Here’s where Google Alerts comes in handy. Google Alerts is an automated service that scans the web for content based on keyword criteria you set and delivers them to you. Set up alerts to catch mentions of your company, spokespeople or executives, storylines, industry trends, competitors, and more.  You’ll never miss an opportunity to brush your shoulder off or look insanely smart again.

P.S. As a bonus tip, I’m currently trying TalkWalkerAlerts, an alternative to Google Alerts, that’s also free. So far, so good as a slight tweak in terms of style and functionality from the search giant.

Cost: Free

5. PRLog

If you’re still using press releases to share your message, you’re aware distribution services can be costly. Enter PRLog, a free press release distribution service that delivers to contacts in your desired industry sector or genre. It’s no frills, easy to use, and it works.

Cost: Free, with paid membership levels offering additional features available

6. Feedly

I’m on a constant mission to have less than 18 Internet Explorer tabs open at once. Here’s the scene: you come across a great article or blog. You open and bookmark, subscribe, or add it to your longer-than-a-long-weekend-border-crossing of a reading list and think ‘I’ll read that in a bit’. Over the course of days and weeks, this optimistic declaration degrades into ‘Tomorrow, for sure’, ‘Once I finish this fourth coffee, probably’, and finally, ‘Sometime this millennium, fingers crossed’. Following several resources helps you to stay on the pulse of your industry, generate fresh ideas, and learn more every day, so what to do? Feedly is like an online library system. It collects from the sources you want to follow and puts them in a single feed of your own design, saved and ready for you to peruse at your own pace. You can even set up several feeds by say, topic or keyword to keep things organized. As a bonus Feedly integrates with a few social management platforms, making sharing content crazy easy.

Cost: Free

Add your cost-effective finds to the list!


To Press Release or Not: That Ain’t The Question


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