This is a post from PR columnist, Alison Kenney.
As a solo PR pro, I love any technology or technique that makes my work easier or more affordable. Those that make life both easier and affordable really take the prize!
Following are a few examples of services that are free and also leverage social media to help PR pros collaborate to make their work easier and more effective. Each of these examples replaces or competes with a service that either a) previously cost an arm and a leg or b) was something that every PR team did individually and then staunchly guarded.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – Founded in 2008 by serial entrepreneur Peter Shankman as a Facebook Groups page, HARO is one of the fastest-growing social media services in North America.
HARO enables journalists to connect with the right source and grants everyone – from home-based entrepreneurs to large businesses – access to reporters who may write about them. It’s comparable to PRNewswire’s Profnet but can be subscribed to for free versus Profnet’s $3,500 price tag.
PitchWithMe: a new concept from PR pro Heather Whaling that helps PR folks collaborate on pitches to discover potential resources and offer journalists more multiple resources. As Heather says on the PitchWithMe site, “within agencies, this kind of packaged pitching is already taking place; however, freelancers, boutique agencies and small businesses don’t always have these kinds of resources available. Until now.” Thanks Heather!
BloggerLinkUp: kind of like a HARO or Profnet for bloggers and those trying to reach bloggers, BloggerLinkUp was formed by Cathy Stucker as a free resource (via email subscription) for bloggers who are looking for expert sources, products to review or guest posts and for PR reps who have products they’d like reviewed or guest blog posts they’d like to see published. In addition to providing tactical solutions, what I think is so great about these services is that they are also shifting the emphasis in our daily PR jobs from process to content. Now that we all have access to reporters’s queries, bloggers requests and other PR reps to collaborate with, we can focus on creative strategies and hopefully improve the PR services we offer.
What do you think? What free collaborative social media tools do you recommend?
Alison Kenney an independent PR practitioner with more than 15 years of PR consulting experience.Â She is based on Boston’s North Shore and has worked with organizations in the technology, professional services and consumer industries. She writes a bi-monthly PR column on LindsayOlson.com. Learn more about Alison Kenney.