PR tech tools beyond the usual suspects

What are some of the free/cheap tech tools that savvy PR pros are using to save time and get better results? Beyond the usual media databases and monitoring solutions?

That’s what I shared with my Inner Circle members this week. Here are three quick takes:

Gmail templates. Instead of cutting and pasting your base pitch or follow-up email over and over, just set up a template and save time and reduce errors. Google “enable Gmail templates” and follow the directions. Thanks to indy pro Emel Shaikh for turning me onto this tip, which many Inner Circle members were thrilled to hear about. It’s so weird how many free tools are out there that can change your work that you just don’t know about.

Email-tracking tools. Tracking email opens is getting harder and harder because of increasing privacy protections. But so many of the prolific media pitchers in my Inner Circle continue to swear by it. You can do this easily via your pitching platform. But what about the one-off emails sent from your inbox? Or replies? That’s where you can use a Gmail or Outlook plugin to track opens. These are built for sales teams, so the free versions are usually good enough for our purposes. Here’s what my members recommend.

For Outlook – Yesware is your best option. Lowest-tier plan is free forever.

For Gmail – For free plans, Streak and Yesware are both popular. Some users feel like Streak’s design is less intrusive than Yesware’s. If you try one out and want to upgrade (to track clicks, for example), then also consider Mailtrack. Its free version comes with a watermark on your outgoing emails, which makes it a dealbreaker to me, but the paid version is only $10/month, compared to $19/month for the other two.

Background-noise reducer. Noisy dog? Fussy baby? Worry no longer about them disrupting your virtual meeting. is software that removes background noise – try it free for 60 minutes/day.

I also shared:

  • Results from my survey of hundreds of media relations pros about the tools they use and would recommend to others
  • Five types of free/cheap tools you should be using but likely aren’t
  • The one hardware upgrade that will automatically boost your productivity and reduce your errors (only 11 percent of respondents to my survey are currently doing this)
  • The most commonly used software programs for the usual tasks everyone needs

This presentation is accessible only to members of my Inner Circle. To learn more and be alerted the next time we open up for new members, register for our Wait List here.

This article was originally published on November 16, 2022

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