Marketing has always been important, so there’s no wonder it has changed and evolved over the years. The goal, of course, could be different depending on the age – from simply selling a product to the customer on the marketplace to the advanced, international campaigns focused on thousands of purchases.

Fortunately, today, with the way technology is developing, you don’t have to hire a whole PR agency! When almost everything has moved to digital, specialists can do the work in-house and facilitate their marketing actions with unique PR tools.

Imagine focusing on the most interesting parts of your job and leaving the rest for automation software systems. Sounds appealing? Let’s get to know the supreme PR tools that can rock your marketing strategy in 2021.

Why Good PR Matters in 2021 

Even in medieval times, people were fighting for titles and royal appreciation, so they needed to promote themselves. As said – competitors don’t sleep (and they never did).

This year, great PR is even more critical than in previous periods! Today marketing is not only about simple product selling. As most companies have moved online and started to share more information with their consumers, digital social communities have begun to have a crucial impact on brands. Millions of users can write reviews of your products on websites you might not even know exist. 

Digital marketing exceeds social media – it’s about reaching your leads on various channels and responding to their experiences concerning your brand.

According to this study, PR specialists in 2021 need to use influencers to fill in for missing coverage, take control of stopping fake news, and creating more at-home experiences for their audiences. They also have to deliver authentic answers to troublesome questions that customers expect. That’s why PR rules the roost this year and is expected to maintain the leading position in the marketing business.

Change the game with these PR tools 

Some marketing experts might be concerned about using PR tools. However, this research shows that PR professionals don’t have to worry about their job perspectives as AI cannot replace them in the future. The situation is completely the opposite! Dedicated PR tools can be a relief for specialists. If used the right way, automation can make marketing actions more measurable, adjusted to the client’s needs, and, most importantly, more profitable.

If you choose suitable applications, they can be a revelation. In this article, we have gathered and compared the best performing PR tools to help you up your marketing game. We’ve listed the flagship features of each software system, including the strongest points and downsides, as well as the basic pricing. You can also read which particular software solution is the most suitable to choose for your situation.

Mediatoolkit

Mediatoolkit is an essential media monitoring and social listening tool that tracks mentions relevant to your business. It follows keywords across social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and even VKontakte!) and beyond. You can be sure it fishes out every reference about your brand on websites, forums, blogs, and in each place where an online discussion might be happening.

mediatoolkit PR tool interface screenshot

What this PR tool offers 

In a nutshell, with this PR tool, you can find out what your customers are saying in real-time. This enables you to discover important mentions and influencers that can boost your business. It’s also essential for robust analytics, as it captures and orders data into actionable reports so that you can evaluate both sentiment and engagement.

  • Live media monitoring. Track your data and receive relevant notifications in real-time. The tool will notify you as soon as something important happens. You can predict and prevent unpleasant situations, for example a sudden increase of mentions could mean an impending crisis.
  • Find out which websites have published your press release. Instead of searching manually who approved your press release and hoping that none of them misspelled your brand name, you can just automate the whole process.
  • Manage your brand reputation with sentiment analysis. If you know about complaints early enough, you can respond to them immediately and nip the problem in the bud. And vice versa, you can stress the messages that are positive and use them to build a positive brand image.
  • Use media monitoring for content creation. Get to know what the audience wants to learn about your brand or niche, and provide them with such information.
  • Media toolkit tracks mentions in any language in the world.
  • The interface is international. You can set the software’s language to German, English, French, Croatian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Serbian, and Swedish in order to navigate it easily.

Superpowers 🚀

  • The intuitive interface makes it easy to use from the start.
  • Effortless query setup and simple result reading.
  • Tracks mentions in every language possible.
  • Fast and complex help desk responses.
  • Updated Mediatoolkit iOS mobile app to have access to the PR tool when you’re on the go.
  • No credit card needed to sign up for the free trial.
  • Mentions, sentiment analysis, AI, and more.
  • Full support (chat, email/Help Desk, phone support, knowledge base, FAQ) and 24/7 Live Rep!
  • A free trial version.

Downsides

  • You might have to generate a report to see data from Facebook.
  • Reports could have more customizable options.

Pricing

There are four versions of MediaToolkit depending on your business size: Medium Business, Optimal, Enterprise, and Agency (which can be tailored to your needs). Any paid plan you choose offers top-notch social listening features. The pricing starts from €399 per month, but you get up to 25 queries, 50,000 mentions, and unlimited keywords and users.

This tool is best for…

MediaToolkit offers an array of professional features, and it’s intuitive to use. However, these solutions are tailored mainly for enterprise-level media monitoring for SMEs. As the interface is intuitive, anyone interested in using this tool doesn’t have to be an IT expert. What’s more, it operates in multiple languages and thus for customers come from a wide range of backgrounds.

Brandwatch

This is a social listening and analytics tool that tracks daily conversations on online channels like blogs, social media, news, forums, and video platforms. It helps companies understand consumer insights, trends, influencers, and brand perception. In a nutshell, brands can learn from organic conversations about themselves.

Source: Matt Evans

What this PR tool offers

This tool uses web crawler technology to search through websites every day and analyze their pages. It indexes the content through keywords and examines it automatically in terms of sentiment analysis (like the previous tool).

  • Influence Score measures an individual’s ability to generate engagement and picks those whose message is amplified. Companies can identify people who are already talking about the company and reach out to them as influencers instead of searching for them manually.
  • Sentiment analysis enables companies to evaluate the experience their customers have with their brand. The language interpreter technology works similarly to MediaToolkit.
  • Data is stored in 3 ways. Traditional database (to store information about the page), repository storage (to keep the page’s actual content), and search index.
  • Real-time tracking through a self-service dashboard enables clients to refresh how the brand performances daily, conclude, and optimize campaigns right away.

Superpowers 🚀

  • Simplifies influencer identification.
  • Provides many advanced features based on AI and Machine Learning (robust content analytics: from text to image).
  • Official firehose access to Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit.
  • Access to historical conversations going back to 2010.
  • Many support options (chat, email/Help Desk, phone support, knowledge base, FAQ).

Downsides

  • No mobile app.
  • No free trial.
  • Expensive for typical small to midsize businesses.
  • The vendor does not provide pricing – you have to trawl through the Internet to find information about it or get in touch with them.

Pricing

As stated above, there’s no information about pricing on the official website, but according to this source, it starts at $1,000 per month for 10,000 mentions.

This tool is best for… 

This tool is best for large enterprises rather than small or medium-sized businesses, as the pricing is relatively unaffordable for companies with tighter budgets. The flagship advantages of Brandwatch are real-time tracking and influencer identification powered by AI and a modern interface. It might come in handy for those who don’t need unlimited mentions nor mobile access.

Mention

Mention is a web and social media monitoring tool. You can track what people say about you and your competitors online. It allows you to create content and post it on social media too.

a screenshot of mention, on of the pr tools in mediatoolkit blog
Source: Dribbble

What this PR tool offers 

As stated above, what’s unique about Mention is that it’s not only a social listening tool but also a social media scheduler. Besides, you can pick one of three types of alerts that will pop up whenever someone mentions the keyword you follow: Basic, Standard, and Advanced.

Superpowers 🚀

  • Mobile app for iOS and Android
  • Deployment for: Cloud (SaaS, Web-Based), and Desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux).
  • Planning & managing social media posting besides social listening.
  • Industry reports (the latest one is the Instagram Engagement Report 2020).
  • Free version & a free trial.

Downsides

  • Doesn’t show sentiment from past activity.
  • Users complain that this tool sometimes misses mentions, especially on different forums.
  • People also say that the tool constantly asks them to log in again and validate their accounts with other services like LinkedIn.
  • Getting familiar with the platform can be challenging.
  • Sometimes users complain that the tool is too slow.

Pricing

Mention can be quite an affordable choice, so if you’re at the beginning of your journey with PR tools, you can consider this one. The pricing starts at $29.00 per feature per month, but it’s intended more for personal use as it’s not suited for SMEs. A version for small businesses starts from $83 per month and is limited by the number of keywords. How many keywords you have depends on the version you choose.

This tool is best for…

Mention offers solutions that suit every budget. If the features it offers are enough for you, it can come in handy for individual PR and Social Media managers as well as marketing teams and whole agencies.

Meltwater

Meltwater is a reputation management platform. This PR tool combines media monitoring with management so that your team can create engaging posts based on mentions, schedule them, publish and watch again how well they perform on social media.

a screenshot of meltwater PR tools
Source: G2Crowd

What this PR tool offers

This PR tool offers media monitoring, outreach, social listening, social publishing and engagement, and social influencer management. It aims to make it easier to understand who has engaged with the content you have shared and create personalized content for the right target group.

Superpowers 🚀

  • Intuitive interface – simple UI and UX.
  • You can create a custom reporting dashboard.
  • It’s possible to publish and schedule posts besides media monitoring.

Downsides

  • Analytics are limited.
  • No press release creator.
  • Monitoring doesn’t include LinkedIn.
  • Pricing is not transparent, as the vendor does not provide it.
  • No free trial.

Pricing

The official website doesn’t provide pricing information, but we did the research and this source states it starts from $4,000 per year. The contract type is annual only. Users say it could be modified to be affordable for smaller organizations.

This tool is best for… 

As the pricing is not transparent, it’s hard to say who it’s best for. It may work for those companies that want to get one tool that can do monitoring and media management at once, but not necessarily in top-notch quality. It might be a bit problematic if you need to make complex reports and analytics.

Cision

Cision is one of the most common PR tools used for media outreach. You get access to the communications cloud and database to do the monitoring, analytics, and have access to insights.

Cision Impact.png
Source: Cision

What this PR tool offers 

With this PR tool, companies can generate a catered list of journalists, reporters, and other media professionals, and reach out to them directly without doing additional research. Marketing professionals are provided with solutions to leverage their outreach skills and improve response rates.

Superpowers 🚀

  • Many media contacts available (over 1.4 million)
  • User-friendly and easy to navigate interface.
  • A customer support team also offers online or teleconference training classes.
  • You can set a list of media contacts that include e. g. editors, bloggers, or freelance writers who would be interested in stories about your client within online and offline platforms.
  • You can get contact info from journalists that are impossible to find online.
  • Mobile app for iOS.

Downsides

  • No free trial.
  • No 24/7 Live Rep – the support is limited to Email/Help Desk, knowledge base, phone support & chat. Some users complain about the quality of the support.
  • The company doesn’t provide pricing on its official website.

Pricing

Although there’s no information about the exact pricing, according to this source, the contract length is annual and the estimated price starts from $7,200 per year.

This tool is best for… 

It’s dedicated to PR professionals who need to take care not only of the digital sphere but also more “traditional” elements, such as looking for journalists to cooperate with. However, it might be a good option for bigger companies because (on websites such as G2 Crowd and Capterra) it’s said to be quite expensive. Users advise choosing Cision for bigger PR initiatives since it’s hard to justify the expense.

Brand24

This is one of the media monitoring PR tools that enable companies to identify and analyze online conversations about their own brands and competitors. It keeps users updated on what’s being said about their businesses across the web, helps identify sales leads, and brings customer insights that can improve social customer service.

a screenshot of brand24, a social media monitoring tool
Source: Brand24

What this PR tool offers

Media monitoring is driven by AI and tracks mentions across the web, including non-text content such as podcasts and videos. It’s made to empower its users to prevent PR crises and leverage their strategies thanks to following the right keywords, analyzing them, and drawing actionable insights.

Superpowers 🚀

  • AI-driven media monitoring.
  • It tracks keywords across various social media platforms – not only Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but also TikTok, YouTube, and Twitch.
  • Calculates social media reach and your brand’s share of voice.
  • Monitors podcasts, newsletters, and hashtag performance.
  • With the comparison tool, you can compare the results of all your uploaded projects.

Downsides

  • The set-up process might be complicated due to the unclear nomenclature.
  • As the pricing plan depends on the keyword limitations, you need to plan your actions carefully, otherwise, you might run out of credits.
  • It doesn’t offer many integrations.
  • Sentiment analysis doesn’t work with every language.

Pricing

There are three types of paid plans: Plus, Premium, and Max. The cheapest starts at $49 per month, but it’s limited to 5 users who can track up to 5 keywords and see up to 5,000 mentions. It’s dedicated to personal use. The other two plans are described as “professional” and enable you to track accordingly: 10 and 20 keywords. The most significant difference is in the number of users – Premium ($99/mo) gives access to 10 users (and 100k mentions) while Max ($199/mo) can be used by 99 users (with 250k mentions). If you need more keywords or users, you can pay more to expand these two plans.

This tool is best for… 

Depending on the plan you choose and your needs, Brand24 can be a good fit for small businesses and personal use, as well as medium corporations. If podcasts are one of the most important aspects of your strategy, this PR tool might come in handy. However, it might not be the best choice for companies that start their journey with digital media monitoring because the keyword and mention limitations might turn out to be problematic. 

To sum up on best PR tools

As you can see, there are plenty of options that can make media monitoring a piece of cake, and there’s no need for outsourcing. With the help of unique PR tools, you can track the relevant keywords, analyze the market, get to know your leads better, and find the best collaborations. All done by your in-house team!

To see for yourself how much you need such software systems, it’s always a good idea to test particular solutions before deciding to invest in one. That’s why we provide you with a free 7-day trial (and as you can see, not everyone is that transparent). It’s one click away, but you just have to answer a simple question first – are you ready to boost your PR strategy? If yes, you know what to do 😉.

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