5 Apps To Put PR In Your Pocket

If you're like most startups, you have a love/hate relationship with public relations.

You love your headlines. You hate the potentially tortured path to getting them. Here are some of the public relations apps I’ve reviewed recently. Try them out to see if they cut down on the angst and accelerate your opportunities.

1. Easier editorial calendars.

Try PressFriendly. This startup seeks to streamline media planning and pitching by showcasing editorial calendars and suggesting media contacts for your story. It supports a traditional media workflow in a smart, cost-effective way. You still do the work, but they put you in a platform environment and coach you along the way. (We’ve tried this one a number of times at Write2Market–it’s not customizable enough for serious national stories yet but if you’re a one-woman band, it may be just about perfect.)

2. Share your journalist contacts.

Try Bolo. Rather than build outlet-oriented lists like Bulldog Reporter, Cision, or PressPR do, Bolo’s interface starts from relationships you already have with journalists. This is particularly useful when you need to transfer relationships with journalists to other team members as you grow.

Visibility into your team’s network of journalists is also a big deal because you can share stories through trusted connections instead of spamming reporters you don’t know with “cold pitches.” While certain types of content, such as fundings or IPOs, are pretty much guaranteed coverage, most article ideas still rise or fall because of real people who care about what they’re doing and with whom they’re doing it. Bolo gets that. It lets you map the meaningful media relationships that your team already has in a useful, even respectful way.

3. Create more Twitter traffic.

Try Tweetdis, a WordPress plugin. It allows you to call out tweets within the text for your readers to share. Not only does this make it simple for readers to tweet your content on your blog, for example, it gives you more control over what those tweets say. A similar app that helps build social sharing, ClickToTweet, which allows you to email links that your readers can click on to tweet.

4. Showcase your thought leadership.

Try FlipBoard. This content aggregating app is not new, but the ways it’s being used by brands like Racked, Gamespot and even politician Ted Cruz show are. FlipBoard is becoming more of a content discovery app as smart brands curate content into scannable digital magazines. Plus, you can use it to highlight your own headlines and content. Here’s an example of using Flipboard to showcase your own thought leadership.

5. Create easy testimonial or how-to videos.

Try Videolicious. You can create video story packages that look like CNN and take minutes to edit completely on your iPhone. The simple interface makes it easy to do yourself, and that saves big bucks over hiring a professional. The platform quotes prices based on how much video you need.

6. Get more public relations for your live events and webinars.

Try Meerkat. We had a Meerkat moment at one of my public relations agency events last February. Here’s how it works. One of our team members opened a Meerkat video stream from her iPhone on her Twitter account. Several of her Twitter followers jumped on the live video. Some of her followers’ followers started sharing the live feed. Suddenly, our reception had a much larger engaged audience. The “digital attendees” interacted back with us on Twitter. It was fun! We’re going to do it again tomorrow at one of our lunch-and-learns, when we’ll invite the speaker’s Twitter followers to participate in the event as it happens and share questions live.

You get the idea: your video potentially going viral, in real-time. Your Twitter followers can share the feed with their followers in real-time. You can also save the video on your phone for re-use. (Another app that works in a similar way is Stre.am, which I have yet to try.)

7. Get more eyes on your existing content.

Try OutBrain. If you have polished content like blogs or articles online, OutBrain can breathe new visibility into them by posting them to CNN, Slate, ESPN and more top sites. Using OutBrain is similar to buying impressions through Google Adwords–it’s a pay per click model. The difference is, with OutBrain, your articles are embedded in editorial content on respected sites–they appear as article content, not paid ads.

What did I miss? I’d love to know about the PR apps you’d like to add to this list. Please share them in the comments field.

This article was originally published in our founder’s column in Inc. Magazine.

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