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6 Tools for Generating News

Everybody’s crunched for time these days, and PR pros are no exception. You’re charged with managing relationships within and outside your organization, identifying stories and pitching opportunities, and making sure that social doesn’t run amok – and that’s just in the first hour of your workday.

Toolbox - Tools for Generating News

You could work harder, but your goal should be to work smarter. You don’t need to work insane hours to make your organization more popular on social or in the news. You just need to take a timeout and set up some tools.

Such tools will help you generate news. More importantly, they’ll get you home in time to see your kids before they go to bed, take the dog for a walk, or spend some time at the pool. Here are six tools, some you have heard of and others you likely haven’t, that will help you do your job more efficiently.

1. Twitter

Twitter Social Media Updates

If you want to be the first to land a story, you need to be on Twitter. Use the social network to follow trending topics. Next, newsjack them. If you see a topic that you can use to vault your organization into the news, do it. Join the conversation with a well-placed tweet or a message on another platform. If possible, write an article or blog post that’s tied to the topic and publish it immediately. Trending topics have limited shelf lives, so you have to work fast. The biting incident of today is the old news of tomorrow.

2. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

HARO Tip - Pitching Reporters

HARO brings the news outlets and opportunities to you. Make the most of the tool by customizing it to your needs. Determine how often you’ll receive HARO’s emails and define those emails according to the industries in which you operate. You probably don’t need to know of an opportunity in a tech magazine if your organization works in the cosmetic industry.

3. Triblio

Triblio - Tools for Creating News

Triblio is content marketing automation software. If you think it’s for marketing professionals alone, think again. You can create personas within the software, and Triblio identifies news and blog posts of interest to those personas. The result? You find topics key to your core audiences and may even discover a topic that has yet to go mainstream.

4. Feedly

Feedly - Tools for Generating NewsFeedly is usually denoted as Google Reader’s replacement. You’ll want to set up this tool so that you can subscribe to RSS feeds instead of subscribing to yet another email list. You’ll end up with a more manageable inbox as well as a platform that stores all your favorite feeds. It’s an agnostic platform, so you can view it in almost any browser and on almost any device.

5. Instapaper or Pocket

Instapaper - Tools for News

These two services perform similar functions, so it’s up to you as to which one you use. The magic in these services is that they store items you’ve bookmarked “read later” in Feedly. Feedly is just a feed, which means you’ll end up scouring for the article you thought was the most amazing thing ever at 6:04 a.m. this morning. Bookmark the article instead and have it automatically sent to Instapaper or Pocket, a process you can set up with either service but is something you can manage with other tools.


IFTT - Tools for News

IFTTT is a service that uses what it calls “recipes” and “ingredients.” It’s all based on the concept of “if this, then that.” In the case of Feedly and Pocket, you’d set up the following recipe: If I flag this article in Feedly, then it automatically saves to Pocket.” Why do that if you can do the same thing in Pocket? IFTTT offers thousands and thousands of recipes, some of which will help you not only generate news but also curate and share it.

You may be hesitant to automate some of your work, but doing so will improve your productivity and produce the news you need and want to generate for your organization. Start small and test one or two of the tools. See how the experiments impact your work and go from there.

How do you manage your workflow as a PR professional? Let us know about some of your favorite tools in a comment or on Twitter.

Want the ultimate PR software tool? Take a demo of the Vocus PR Suite!

Image: florianric, inakihuarte (Creative Commons)

About Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman is the director of editorial services at Tenacity5 Media. When she isn’t researching, writing, and editing blog posts and white papers, she writes poetry and essays, draws her favorite Write Right character, and plans what art form to study next. She’s based in Austin, Texas and can be found on Twitter @erinmfeldman.

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