PR professionals are in constant motion – pitching, researching and digging for news. Getting bogged down with monotonous tasks, while necessary, can interrupt the day’s momentum. The V2 team compiled a few of our favorite on-the-job hacks we use as tools to help streamline onerous work so you can focus on the big-picture projects.
1. Stay in the Loop
The Skimm: For PR pros, it’s critical to know the day’s top stories by the time you finish your morning coffee. Rather than having to sort through and curate the most important articles yourself, theSkimm does it for you – compiling the day’s major headlines into a concise newsletter sent straight to your email every morning.
Talkwalker and Google Alerts: Daily scans can feel like futile effort at times, but a quality find can be the deciding factor in landing quality coverage. Talkwalker and Google Alerts can make the scanning process easier – just enter the terms you want to track into the respective tool and receive up-to-date alerts directly to your inbox.
Muck Rack: Researching background information on a specific reporter (who would be perfect for your latest pitch) can be challenging. Enter Muck Rack. Muck Rack presents you with the data you need—including a journalist’s role, the publications they frequently contribute to and recent articles they’ve written—without needing to invest in an expensive media database.
2. Step Up Your Computer Game
F.lux: Staring at the computer screen all day can distort your vision, cause headaches and even affect your sleep. F.lux allows you to adjust the display so the brightness and colors to lessen strain on your eyes, even after the longest days. You can also set timers to adjust the warmth and tone of your monitor automatically.
Lightshot: You pull images and article excerpts for clients all day, but screenshots can be blurry or awkwardly sized. Lightshot, a Chrome extension for screenshotting, allows you to crop screenshots down to the pixel, immediately save or print them, and even add text, highlights or arrows for emphasis.
JotNot Pro: Securing print coverage is exciting—until you need a digital version to share with the client or promote on social media. Rather than scanning it on the printer manually, JotNot allows you to scan directly from your phone’s camera. Just snap the picture and the app will format the image for you and export it in the file type you need.
Print Friendly: Online content isn’t always formatted for printing. The Print Friendly extension formats your articles for printing, removing ads, links and other unnecessary extras, so you get it right the first time—saving time and paper.
3. Communicate in Prime Time
Boomerang:PR requires excellent organization and time management—especially when it comes to your email. With Boomerang, you can write pitches and other important emails throughout the day, set the exact time they need to be sent, and implement reminders if you don’t get a reply by a certain time.
Outlook time zones: We work with journalists and clients all over the world, which means an afternoon meeting could line up with someone else’s dinner plans. Outlook has a built-in setting that allows you to view your calendar in three different time zones, so you can easily and conveniently schedule times that work for everyone.
Grammarly: A typo in an email, pitch or article can damage your credibility and even relationships with reporters. Grammarly helps by checking for spelling, punctuation and grammar across all these mediums, and even suggests how to make your writing clearer and more concise. When it comes to your most important documents, however, it’s always best practice to have a colleague proofread!