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PR and Marketing Students, Know Your Tools

If you’re a university student studying marketing communications, it’s never too early to familiarize yourself with what should be in your toolkit. If you work for an agency, you can impress them with what you already know. If, in time, you strike out on your own, you’ll know what resources you need to get the job done.



Cision and Meltwater are enterprise software for media relationships and monitoring. They’re expensive, and sometimes they still fall short in tracking journalists in regions outside North America and Europe. But they aren’t the only databases available. There are much cheaper options, like PressRush, which has fewer capabilities but still delivers on the basics. And, of course, there’s the cheapest, tried-and-true method of doing the sleuthing yourself; tracking down media contacts on websites and LinkedIn, and cold calling newsrooms.


You should be familiar with news wire services like PR Newswire to service press releases. They have a wide range of pricing, reach, and capabilities. For crafting PR content, cloud-based software like Grammarly and even the grammar and spellcheck tools in Word can be your best companions in helping you elevate your text.


Social media management and analytics tools like Sendible and Hootsuite can make your work in social easier. They’re great for scheduling and generating reports but explore your options and consider your needs, first. Most of them fail in at least one area when matched up with the native functions of various social media platforms. There are standalone social listening tools like HubSpot and Sprout Social, and the same capabilities are offered in enterprise level PR software.


With Semrush and Moz, you SEO websites yourself. Even the free version of Semrush offers enough features that it may be all the SaaS you need.


The tools cited above are just a few examples, of course. Our main point is that you need to know the ones that are relevant to your communications work.

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