20 free or affordable PR tools to help with your media relations
You've decided you're going to handle your PR. You've drafted your press release. You've got some beautiful photography. You're pretty sure you have something interesting to share. Now you have to send it to the right people and get some media coverage.
But if you want to reach out to journalists or influencers, how do you find their contact details? As media databases tend to be super expensive, you'll want free or more affordable options.
The following list of recommended PR tools should help. These resources will not only help you find relevant contacts and discover key influencers, but they'll also help you to perfect your PR pitch, monitor media coverage, and stay tuned to lucrative opportunities in future.
PR tools to find journalists and influencers
This free platform has been around since 1994 and can still be a reliable resource for finding UK media contacts. Although sometimes a little outdated, it's a good starting point if you're after someone's details. Search through over 6,000 media titles across radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
Build targeted lists in minutes with PressRush, a super affordable journalist search engine. This handy little tool continuously monitors media outlets, and updates report profiles as they publish new stories. Which means it's a pretty up-to-date resource for finding the right contacts.
From $49 per month for freelancers
Find relevant media contacts from the world's largest database, Anewstip. The tool indexes more than 200 million news articles and one billion tweets from more than a million media contacts, so you can quickly discover people to target. You can also monitor news articles and tweets through your own chosen keywords; build media lists to organise your media contacts and reach out to relevant journalists with personalised pitches.
Free with options to upgrade, starting from $69 per month
Buzzsumo helps you find super popular content on the world's leading social media channels, ranking articles based on the number of social shares. More importantly, it allows you to see top authors and what's trending now, so you can strike while the iron's hot.
Free trial available and then it's $79 per month for a Pro plan
WooPitch makes use of various social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, to collect contact details of journalists and influencers and put them into a robust, easy-to-use database. Try it out for free, and if you love it, you can upgrade to access more features.
Free with upgrade options
6. Hey Press
Find relevant tech journalists with Hey Press. Simple as that. A searchable database where you can type in a keyword or name, and hey presto! You'll have a list of relevant people to target.
Starts from just $15 per month
JournoLink isn't just a directory; it's an interactive platform where you can send out your stories to journalists, broadcasters and bloggers. Create a profile, add keywords you think journalists will be interested in, and craft press releases within its interface to send to your media lists.
£25 per month
PR tools to discover media opportunities
HARO stands for "Help a Reporter Out", and that's what you can do with this superb resource. Sign up as a source, and HARO will email you queries from journalists who are looking for sources or case studies for their stories. Even better, the "Basic" plan is completely free and will provide you with media opportunities, delivered to your inbox, three times a day.
Free with upgrade plans available
Build media connections that make a difference, for free. That's the rather appealing promise by PitchRate, a media alert service that fires out daily emails that include a wealth of media opportunities. If you want to respond to anything, you have to send your pitch via the website.
Completely free – you need to create a profile
Get yourself signed up on the "Basic" free plan, and you'll get a daily digest of PR opportunities delivered straight to your inbox. UK-based only – although that might change in future – JournoRequests is free forever, but if you subscribe, you can get ahead of the pack with loads of "Premium" features.
Free with upgrade options available
11. PR Hunters
PR Hunters promises to save hours of your time searching for PR leads by emailing opportunities shared by journalists on Twitter. Sign up for free, select your relevant topics and keyword alerts, and you'll receive a daily summary.
Free with upgrade options available
Journalisted is an independent, not-for-profit website built to make it easier for you to find out more about journalists and what they write about. How does it work? You can search for articles published on UK national newspaper websites and BBC News by journalist, news outlet, subject and keyword. You can also read all articles by a particular journalist, and set up alerts to tell you when your favourite journalists have written something new.
Find journalists that want to write about you. That's what Contactable promises. The tool uses machine learning to analyse what journalists like to write about and help you build relationships with them. With over 3,000 publications, 50,000+ journalists and more than two million articles explained – you're bound to discover relevant PR opportunities.
PR tools to perfect your pitch
14. Hemingway App
The Hemingway App highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors. If you see a yellow sentence, for instance, you should shorten or split it. If you see a red highlight, your sentence is so dense and complicated that your readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering, splitting logic — try editing this sentence to remove the red. It's an excellent tool for wafflers.
15. Cliche Finder
Journalists hate fluffy press releases or over-the-top pitches, so if you want to stick to the facts and avoid any cliches, copy and paste your pitch into Cliche Finder, and it will reveal where you're going wrong.
Grammarly makes sure everything you type is clear, compelling and mistake-free. Register an account and install its browser extension to get started. The tool will check your copy in Gmail, Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, LinkedIn and anywhere else you write on the web. Hover over any word with an underscore to correct a mistake. Even better, you can choose between British or American English. Boom!
Free with upgrade option
Need to know if your email subject line is working? Copy and paste the text into SubjectLine, and it will give you a score out of 100. You'll get one free attempt before the tool asks you to register.
Completely free, but you'll have to register your details
Want to know if your copy is making any sense? Readability is a quick and easy way to test the readability of your work. Copy and paste your text into the online interface, and the results will show you where you need to make changes.
PR tools to monitor media coverage
19. Google Alerts
There is absolutely nothing wrong with useful Google Alerts for tracking any online mention of your brand via the world's newspapers, magazines and publications. Create an alert via the platform by adding your brand name or topic, and you'll get news alerts either as it happens, once a day or once a week – it's up to you.
Monitor your brand anywhere online with Mention – a recent discovery, and a particular favourite of mine. Scour the web, social media and more with this real-time media monitoring tool. You can even analyse your competition, find influencers and get automated reports. There's also a free trial.
Starts from just $29 per month