How to Build Your Digital PR Toolkit

What does it mean to transition to Digital PR?

Last September I gave a plenary talk about how to build your digital PR toolkit at the “Boardroom”, the biggest public relations industry event in the Philippines organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP). The main thesis of the talk was simple — to transition to “Digital PR” you need to be able to put analytics, agility, and innovation at the heart of PR operations.

I wanted to drill down further into something practical and useful that the audience could bring back to their offices so I shared with them my favorite affordable digital PR tools. Check them out below as well as the slides that I used for the presentation.

There are 3 big unlocks that need to happen: digital planning, digital content creation, and digital reporting.

Unlock Planning: Leverage Data and Analytics

For planning you need to be able to leverage data and analytics to come up with powerful insights to help guide your PR plan. This is where social media listening tools come in. The problem with the more “famous” ones is that they are crazy expensive. The good news is that there are alternatives that can give most PR professionals what they need.

For this I have two favorite tools: Buzzsumo and Mention. Both tools allow you to do social listening across platforms and they can even filter between bloggers, influencers, press, companies, and normal organic tweets. You can customize further the lists so they can be more accurate.

Imagine the amount of value you can give your clients or your business if you have this at your fingertips? Best thing about it is that it won’t break the bank. The “pro” suite of Buzzsumo is just $79 monthly.

Unlock Creation: Optimizing Content for Digital

Next we need to unlock digital content creation. We do this by using AI and machine learning to guide us when we do our content. This reduces a lot of man hours in editing and revisions. For this I lean on two very powerful but affordable tools: CoSchedule and Hemingway.

CoSchedule is a headline analyzer tool that tells you how to improve the copy of your headline. This is absolutely critical because the headline of your article or press release determines clickthrough rates, search engine optimization, and top line awareness (when just read on the newsfeed and not clicked).

Hemingway, one the other hand, is arguably the best writing application you can get because of the auto-correct and auto-suggest features. If you have new writers on board and you want a tool that can help them give you better drafts, invest in Hemingway for them.

Unlock Value: Deliver Reports in Style

Last, but definitely not the least, is to save man hours by automating your coverage reports. For this my favorite tool has always been CoverageBook. You input your story pick-ups and it automatically gathers data and beautifully creates a visual report that you can send to your clients or bosses. It’s a fantastic way to be able to make reporting more efficient.

There are also more tips that I covered in the presentation which you can see in the slides which I’ve embedded below.

How about you guys? Do you have favorite Digital PR Tools? Share them with us in a comment below!

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Carlo Ople

Author Carlo Ople

Founder and writer of and for full disclosure I'm also the Vice-President for Digital Marketing Strategy of PLDT/Smart, the largest telco in the Philippines. Prior to this I co-founded a digital advertising agency (DM9 Digit) which we sold to Dentsu, the largest single branded agency in the world. I also co-founded one of the biggest tech websites in the country, Unbox ( Views do not represent PLDT/Smart and are purely my own.

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