Have You Automated These 7 (Boring) PR Tasks Yet?


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Written by Freddie Tubbs
As you begin with your work day, your main goal is to add value – to your clients, to your business and your clients’ businesses. However, in the PR industry, mind-numbing, repetitive tasks often get in the way of the true creative, strategic work you long to work on, and which ultimately will cement your value in the minds of those clients.

And so, while PR job is fun and full of challenges that make you better, these repetitive tasks can suck all of the fun out of your to-do list; but they don’t have to.

These days there are plenty of clever automation tools that when combined with a defined workflow, can free you up to focus on the other initiatives you never quite seem to find the time to work on. Here are some of the most boring PR tasks (let me know if you disagree) and the specific tools that can help you automate this aspect of the business:

How to automate Influencer/Blogger Research

Assembling Influencer Lists

Scouring Google and Instagram for influencer contact information is slow-going and methodical in the worst way. Knowing this, many companies have arisen to make it easy to spit out lists of contact information based on parameters that you input into the system. A software like Buzzsumo will help you find topic experts based on defined interests, popular content and influential sharers, and if you’re looking for a great foundational list in the fashion/lifestyle space, check out PR Couture’s own curated media list.

Finding Influencer Contact Information

Another tool you should take a look at is Voila Norbert. This software butler can help you to easily find an email address of an influencer – all you have to do is enter their first name, last name and domain. If you need multiple email addresses, don’t fret, Voila Norbert also accepts spreadsheets. “It’s inexpensive but the work it does is irreplaceable”, – explains David Miller, a Communication Manager at Essayroo and Study demic writer.

Pulling Social Data Reports

In some cases you have the email address of an influencer (or have been given a name by a client) but you need any easy way to vet that their influence across all social profiles is aligned with campaign goals. Sure, you can manually enter their name or possible handles platform by platform, but you would be amazed to see how many people have the same name and,  different handles across different platforms. Imagine doing this for each of the influencers on your list – it would take a lot of time.

However, helpful tools like Full Contact can assist you in finding all of their social media profiles in mere minutes. All you have to do is enter their name and email and you’ll get a full list of social media profiles associated with that specific email.

How to automate pitching + PR outreach

Sharing Client News

When it’s time to send out a pitch or press release, you’re likely looking at multiple steps – your inbox or email service provider, your media list in Excel or Google docs, DropBox for the additional client materials and images…it’s a lot. In some cases, you’re also managing an online newsroom or putting releases out on the wire.

While personalized pitching is critical, it is time-consuming and it’s easy to make a copy + paste mistake (we’ve all been there). Instead, you could use Prezly – a tool that incorporates all of these tasks and gives you analytics for email open rates. For press release creation, you can use a tool like Via Writing and StateOfWriting as a grammar checker. With a more automated pitch process you’ll have more time to fine-tune your campaign.

Email tracking 

No longer do you need to send out a bunch of pitches and wonder who opened them. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools that can help you with this – just search for plugins/add-ons with your provider and you’ll have a great tool for tracking your emails. For example, try Boomerang for Gmail.

How to automate capturing client coverage and creating clip books

Ah, a task given to interns since the dawn of time, this has to be the most boring part of the PR work – all of the fun is done and now you’re left cropping and pasting and trying to create a record of results in an aesthetically pleasing way. You have to gather data of mentions and combine them with your reports, add interesting images and screen shots, and then you have to turn all of this into an appealing deck or PDF and on top of it all,

However, you could use one tool for it all – Coveragebook. You only have to enter the URLs of your mentions and they will give you a good looking PDF with metrics and pictures. Clip books, managed.

How to make social media publishing way easier

If you aren’t scheduling your social media posts, yes even those for your own business, it’s time to learn about the value of batching content (where you put aside maybe 3 hours a month to create social content for the month ahead) and then schedule that out across all your platforms so you never have to worry about client work getting in the way of agency promotion.  There are plenty of tools out there, including HootSuite and Planonly that offer post scheduling as well as analytics solutions that you’ll enjoy. You can also outsource your content creation with services like Ukwritings and Boomessays.

These are just a few examples of how you can optimize your daily tasks through. It’s definitely something that you should try out if you often find yourself annoyed at all of those repetitive tasks that bore you. Think of what else you could automate without harming your results and enjoy doing the work that really matters

About Freddie
Freddie Tubbs is a communication manager and a business writer at Australianreviewer. He regularly takes part in online PR conferences and contributes expert columns to Bigassignments and Ukservicesreviews blog.