Automation in PR is such a big topic at the moment.
I believe that not everything can or should be automated in PR - the biggest quality of a PR professional is their understanding of subjects and ability to communicate with others. Neither can be automated.
However, there are a variety of tools available to help automate some processes within a PR campaign that free up the time to spend building those important relationships.
The problem is there are so many around - you could spend more time trialling them all than saving time. Here are 5 simple tools that can be used throughout most campaign flows that can help reduce the admin elements and really save you time:
1. Brainstorming content
A great timesaving tool for brainstorming content is our free app, Answer the Public. Simply plug in the subject you want to brainstorm and the app spits out the most common questions asked in Google about that subject.
Not only does this generate ideas for content, the results are based on search data proving that people are actively searching these questions, therefore you’ll be writing meaningful content that’s great for SEO.
Time saved is the equivalent of 1 person using the tool for 30 minutes as opposed to 5 people in 1.5hr brainstorm.
Average time saved: 7 hours
2. Getting the idea signed off
Once you have your awesome idea, it needs to be signed off by various stakeholders. While the quickest way to get the sign off is having everyone in the room for an hour to discuss it, so much time can be wasted with emails to and from everyone suggesting different days and times. Use Doodle to let everyone select dates and times suitable for them, see at a glance when everyone is free and automatically sync it with your calendar.
Time saved depends on how busy your team is but the tool suggests it halves the time.
Average time saved: 1 hour
3. Writing press material
The idea is now signed off and now you need to write the press materials. Move away from Word which is stored on your computer and start using Google docs. Firstly you can then access this anywhere. Find your train delayed and you have a spare half an hour but most recent file is saved on a different system? Or it’s been emailed to someone else to look over? If it’s saved to Google docs then you can access it anywhere. What’s even better is once finished, you can easily collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders on the same document. Everyone can feed their changes in live so you won’t need various revision documents which are sent over time and time again for approval.
Time saved depends on the nature of the document and how many changes you need. The majority of time saved here will be simply waiting for the amends to come back and approvals.
Average time saved: 3.5 hours
4. Contacting journalists & getting the story out
Prezly is a great tool in helping disseminate your information to the right people. The tool allows you to easily set up press rooms, send and track press releases and also track your story, seeing who has opened your emails and gone on to engage with your newsroom
Time saved - Prezly has been told that their customers can get their stories out in an hour as opposed to half a day.
Average time saved: 2.5 hours
5. Reporting coverage
Coveragebook.com’s main aim is to reduce time wasted on collating coverage - one of the most boring admin tasks PR’s still face. Use coveragebook.com to simply throw in your coverage urls and the tool gathers all your screenshots and metrics and generates them into a report for you.
Time saved depends on how much coverage you generated but on average customers save 9 hours a month.
Average time saved 9 hours.
Total time saved: 23 hours!
If this has inspired you to try out a few more tools, check out our post Chrome Extensions to make your life better