As a small business, PR is very crucial to your success — perhaps even more so than conventional advertising. While the two tend to have very similar objectives, they could not be more different. As an entrepreneur or business owner, understanding this difference and leveraging it effectively could propel your business beyond your business goals.

Among other things, a well-thought PR campaign can:

  • Increase your brand credibility through valid third-party mentions.
  • Increase general awareness of your product, supplement direct advertising and other marketing efforts.
  • Increase visibility of your company in the marketplace — remember, perception is reality.

All this can cost your business less than what typical advertising does. You see, the PR software tools you bring on board may have a disproportionate (positive) influence on the outcome of your strategy.

So let’s take a look at some of the options we have, shall we?

Pr.co

With pr.co you can create your own newsroom from where you can manage your public relations campaigns. Its intuitive design and easy-to-use interface makes it simple to create, publish, and distribute content across the web from one place. You can also take advantage of real-time reports to measure dissemination of press releases.

Advantages

  • Pr.co allows you to take your PR destiny into your own hands with a ‘newsroom’ dedicated to your needs. The newsroom serves as a landing page for all your company announcements, making it easy for you to craft a brand message that effectively tells your story, keeping in mind what’s happening.
  • Email distributions enable you to properly segment the distribution of your press releases. With the contacts CRM you can keep a detailed profile of every member of your press network. This includes summarized notes and metrics such as opens, clicks and others. You can thus send the right news release, to the right people, at the right time.
  • You can work as a team without any hurdles as you can assign well-defined roles to different team members. A detailed report on work activity serves as a reference point for managers to see what is happening in the team.
  • Real-time reports make it easy to measure and quantify PR efforts. Once the press release is out you can track its progress in real-time, making changes in your strategy as you deem necessary.
  • Being able to access, control, and streamline your PR process from one place saves a lot of time in the long run, and makes team’s workflow simpler.

Disadvantages

  • The $50 price-tag (per month) may put this content marketing software out of reach for some of the smaller SMEs working on a shoestring budget.
  • Its features do not include: press monitoring, article author databases, or a communications calendar.

Conclusion

Pr.co is great for freelance PR professionals, startups, SMEs, communication departments and individuals working in medium or large companies. And PR agencies, of course. Those on not-so-tight budgets or just starting out with public relations will benefit from the easy-to-use interface, guides, tutorials, and customer support.

Ceros

Ceros is a cloud-based interactive platform that allows PR practitioners and enterprises to create rich and interactive content without any coding skills. The software’s flexibility allows for the creation of infographics, magazines, ebooks, quizzes, interactive landing pages, and microsites. Since this is a cloud-based platform, team members from anywhere in the world can collaborate on the same PR project at the same time.

Advantages

  • Digital PR personnel and enterprises can bypass developers and still produce stunning digital content with Ceros.
  • Publishing content as as simple as hitting the publish button. You are provided with an auto-generated embed code and a link for dissemination. Distributing the content through your website is straightforward with the embed code and the link is handy for sharing it with your media network or influencers.
  • Editing content is also easier with Ceros. Every time you make a change, simply hit the publish button to make it go live. Refreshing the page will allow you to see your changes implemented wherever your content is published. This gives you amazing power over how your content is previewed across the web.
  • As a cloud-based service, Ceros makes it easy for members of your PR team to collaborate on the same project at the same time.
  • An analytics dashboard at the back-end helps track basic performance metrics such as page views, referrals, and shares. Analytics reports also show relevant engagement metrics such number of times a video is played, time spent on a particular page and clicks. This makes it easier to understand which PR content works and highlights the areas that could use some improvement.

Disadvantages

  • The price range of $3000/month may be too steep for lean setups – typically startups, small PR agencies and some SMEs.
  • Ceros does not yet support the scheduling of content, so if you need to publish content at a preset date and time in the future, you will need to rely on some other tool. Sometimes precising in timing is critical to the success of a content marketing or PR campaign, so this is a major drawback for users and businesses that need this feature.

Conclusion

Ceros is a great fit for marketers, public relations professionals, designers, and enterprises who seek the ability to create stunning, interactive content and images in a collaborative interface. Complex designs and content can be created quickly using preloaded animations and characters. The fact that coding skills are not required to operate the software makes it ideal for creative teams that do not have ready access to a developer.

Hubspot

Hubspot is a comprehensive marketing automation platform designed to track and analyze your online marketing activities such as email campaigns and blogging. It provides a lot of tools needed to push the right communication to the right recipient, turning them into leads and funneling in customers. Essentially, it is a sales tool more than public relations software, but for some PR professionals it could be a very good fit indeed. Allow us to elaborate.

Advantages

  • Hubspot makes it easy for PR professionals to get a company’s brand story out. The platform has very nifty features that you need to help you get your message out to the right people, at the right time, while staying on top of metrics measuring the success of your communication.
  • Its use as a centralised control panel for social media, email and other platforms makes it very relevant to communications executives reaching out to journalists or other target audiences.
  • Content marketing novices can make very good use of the free, in-depth training Hubspot produces. They also have high-level guides for more experienced content marketers which are also relevant to PR content.
  • Their workflows help streamline tasks and increase efficiency of your team’s efforts. The software ships 10 out-of-the-box templates which can be customized to suit your specific needs.

Disadvantages

  • Hubspot is one of the pricier marketing automation platforms but this post is not a comparison of marketing automation software — it is about Hubspot’s relevance to public relations and pricing is still very important where retainer margins are lowHubspot subscriptions are charged annually by default which can be a tough climb for the struggling PR agency; tougher for individuals even more so, despite the useful features.
  • The workflows provided are based on simple ‘yes’/’no’ propositions. For example, “Did Mary open the email” or “Did Mary click the link?”. There are other apps that offer more flexible options for creating workflows.
  • If you need ongoing technical help you have to pay for it.

Conclusion

If a solid inbound strategy forms a crucial part of your PR campaign (and it should), then Hubspot will be a great fit. The software is easily scalable to accommodate businesses of any size ranging from small to large, and for PR firms with more than a few clients its ROI can be justified. However, the price tag means this platform is better suited to businesses that have deeper pockets..

So, which software is more relevant for the work you do?

Surprisingly, if you are looking for an all-in one solution to your content marketing and PR needs, and money is no object, then Hubspot is the content marketing software you need. The features and tools are comprehensive and make it a one-stop shop for every content marketer and PR professional. Moreover, it has a Crozdesk Score of 84% with a whopping 93% on user happiness (at the time this post was published).

Firms with clients who stand to benefit more from using interactive, impactful content as a means of getting their story out will find Ceros a natural fit. It’s a user-intuitive platform that comes with technical abilities to replace the need for an in-house programmer. Click here for a blow-by-blow comparison between the two software, if you would like to dig deeper.

Those looking to take their PR strategy to the next level without incurring a hefty financial burden can go for pr.co. The features provided are aimed primarily at streamlining the processes involved with running efficient public relations campaigns and organizing PR teams. Compared to other PR and Outreach software that have higher Crozdesk scores, pr.co is packed with features, and ultimately a better fit for those with comparatively lesser resources or experience.

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