The holiday season is finally upon us. I don’t know about you, but I take every opportunity to turn ordinary days into special ones. It’s the most wonderful time of the year but not just because the trees outside are up in lights, and because it’s socially acceptable to eat an entire pumpkin pie by yourself (in fact, it’s encouraged). The holidays mean so much to us at Idea Grove because it’s a time to reflect on and acknowledge all the many things we’re thankful for. With that being said, we’re giving thanks for a few PR and marketing tools that help make our jobs a little easier:
Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
A favorite amongst our team, HARO, provides a database that connects the media directly to source experts. Journalists list their needs and requests through the site, and sources are notified three times per day of these ongoing media opportunities. HARO separates requests by topic or industry, which makes it easy to review when searching for a topic that is a perfect fit for your client.
HARO’s connections with media outlets involve some of the most popular in the industry. The list includes the New York Times, Reuters, Chicago Tribune, Mashable, ABC, and TIMES. Today, HARO connects over 475,000 sources to more than 35,000 journalists.
Staying up to date on industry news is EVERYTHING. From what’s going on in the world to what’s happening in a client’s specific industry, it’s crucial to be armed with the latest information. The best way to stay on top of what’s hot in the news is to get it sent directly to your inbox. Here are a few email newsletters and outlets our team is particularly thankful for:
Even though Google Alerts and Google News are technically not newsletters, these are extremely helpful and easy to use. As you set alerts with key phrases or company names, your inbox will be automatically filled with articles related to your searches. At Idea Grove, we use Google Alerts and Google News combined with email newsletters to stay on top of competitor news and trending topics that are related to our clients.
Feedback from the media is extremely valuable and any response, both positive or negative, is important in shaping our relationship with that contact moving forward. I always ask a reporter with every follow up pitch what they are interested in writing about currently, sometimes it goes nowhere but most of the time they appreciate the question and provide not just feedback on the pitch but also help spark a new angle or idea.
At Idea Grove, we try to capture these notes, save and update them as we gain more feedback. It is important to collect the reporter’s feedback but more important to share it with team members who pitch the same publications.
Reporting and Analytics
While this aspect may be overlooked, we’re incredibly thankful for data and proof points that can showcase a campaign’s results and deliver insight. Everyone works hard to put together campaigns and pitch publications to gain coverage for their clients. But if you can’t show how effective your work was, then it will be hard for your client to understand the strategy and purpose.
Some analytics and reporting tools we love are Google Analytics and TrendKite. With Google Analytics, we can show a plethora of data related to our client’s websites and how effective they are at bringing in traffic. TrendKite allows us to track media coverage for our clients and their competitors. TrendKite has interactive reporting that we can present to our clients, giving them access to media coverage from different time periods or see how they compare to competitors.
Last, but certainly not least, the most invaluable tool to be thankful for is our team—and that includes our b2b technology clients. We are all able to lean on each other, asking questions and offering suggestions. By leaning on our team and its wide range of knowledge, we benefit from a cornucopia of capabilities, creativity, advice and support that’s necessary to get the job done.