The 24 Best PR Tools for Public Relations Pros (2020 List)

Farzad Rashidi
17 minute read

We created a list of the 24 best PR tools for public relations professionals in 2020. 

From writing and distributing press releases to monitoring online brand mentions, you’ll find it all here.

Here are some of the tools you’ll find inside:

  • Respona—for press release distribution and outreach
  • Ahrefs—for online brand mentions and prospecting
  • HARO—for connecting with popular journalists
  • And many more

Let’s get into the list. 

Tool #1: Respona

The first tool on our list is Respona. 

Respona home landing page.

So, what is Respona?

It’s a great alternative to tools like BuzzStream, PitchBox and Prezly. 

We created Respona as an all-in-one PR and link building tool to help people send highly personalized emails to their prospects. 

You can use Respona to:

  • Build inbound links to important content pieces on your website
  • Reach out to influencers and popular bloggers in your niche
  • Find the right contact information for your prospects

In essence, Respona helps you build relationships with important people and companies in your industry, connecting with them through highly-personalized media pitches.

If you’re into digital marketing in general, you know that email outreach is really critical when it comes to forming relationships with people. 

The same applies to public relations. 

A tool like Respona can help you connect with the right people and promote important aspects of your business (e.g. a press release for a new service or product).

With Respona, you can use our templates or create custom sequences with personalized subject lines and body text that will resonate with your target audience.

You can create as many follow-ups you want for your sequence and manage all replies from your Gmail—or any other—email account.

If you’re looking for a smart PR outreach tool, you’ve got to give this one a try. 

Why We Like It: It combines personalization with productivity

Favorite Feature: Opportunities

Ideal For: Media monitoring/PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #2: HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

We couldn’t miss HARO from this list. 

HARO home landing page.
Image Source: HARO

HARO is among the most popular tools for PR and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professionals.

It’s ideal for small businesses with expertise on specific topics and that aim to get media coverage in relevant publications. 

Think of HARO as a two-sided marketplace where on the one hand, there are sources (like you) looking for press coverage and on the other hand, there are journalists looking for sources. 

Even though there are paid plans in HARO, you can start with a free account and see what the tool can do first. 

I highly recommend it as a PR solution to get you started. 

Why We Like It: Some opportunities are really worth it

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: Media monitoring/PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #3: Google Alerts

Google Alerts is another tool we couldn’t pass on for this list. 

Google Alerts search bar.
Image Source: Google Alerts

As you probably already know, Google Alerts is a tool that allows you to monitor the web for new content around topics that interest you. 

You can use Google Alerts in two main ways:

  1. Monitor the web for new content around certain terms that are relevant to your business.
  2. Monitor the web for new content that mentions your brand or your products and services.

Even though the second way comes in handy mostly for businesses that have an audience already, the first can be a great opportunity to discover new content quickly and use it to make connections, acquire backlinks, and get mentions for your brand. 

Even though there are many tools out there that mimic Alerts’ functionalities, there’s one thing those tools can’t beat:

Google Alerts is free to use for anyone with a Gmail account. 

Why should someone pay for something out there that’s already free? 

This tool is a great place to start if you’re serious about monitoring your niche. 

It’s easy to set up and—as I just mentioned—free for anyone to use. 

Why We Like It: It’s easy to set up and adjust

Favorite Feature: Alerts using boolean strings

Ideal For: Media monitoring/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #4: Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another essential tool for this list. 

Ahrefs home landing page.
Image Source: Ahrefs

It’s not a PR tool per se, but its capabilities can be useful for PR purposes as well. 

From uncovering opportunities for content creation to monitoring your competitors’ PR efforts (e.g. whether or not they get featured on podcasts), Ahrefs is a powerful tool for PR professionals. 

It’s also one of the most popular SEO tools on the market right now. 

However, you can use it as a monitoring tool, backlink checker, content explorer and much more. 

If you’re serious about monitoring your niche, you’re going to need a tool like Ahrefs. 

Why We Like It: All-in-one tool for monitoring your niche

Favorite Feature: Content Explorer

Ideal For: Media monitoring/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #5: Coverage Book

The fifth tool on our list is Coverage Book. 

Coverage Book home landing page.
Image Source: Coverage Book

If you’ve ever tried to create a coverage report, you know that this is a tedious task. 

Even if you have a ready-to-use template, there are many things involved in creating a solid presentation:

  • Copying/pasting your coverage links one by one
  • Taking screenshots of the pages you were featured in and inserting them into your presentation
  • Taking performance metrics (e.g. estimated traffic) for your brand mentions
  • Put everything together into a readable and aesthetically pleasing presentation.

Well, with Coverage Book, all you need to do is insert the links of the websites/pages you were featured in. 

The tool will do the rest and create beautiful presentations in minutes. 

If you want to take your reporting to the next level, be sure to give it a try.

Why We Like It: Ease of use

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: Reporting

Tool #6: Visme

The next tool on our list is Visme. 

Visme home landing page.
Image Source: Visme

Visme is the best Canva alternative on the market. 

You can use it to create visually appealing graphs, charts, presentations, infographics and everything in between. 

It’s trusted by more than 4.5M users worldwide and used by companies like PayPal, IBM and Unilever. 

You don’t need me to tell you that good design can help you stand out from the crowd.

Needless to say, in a world that’s too noisy, having good design is critical. 

Visme empowers people to create beautiful graphs that they can later distribute to their media outlets and channels. 

Visme has three business plans that can definitely cover any need you may have. 

Be sure to give it a try.

Why We Like It: It makes design fun

Favorite Feature: Infographic maker

Ideal For: Graphic design

Tool #7: BuzzSumo

We also mentioned BuzzSumo on our list of the best link building tools for 2020. 

BuzzSumo home landing page.
Image Source: BuzzSumo

You can use BuzzSumo in four main ways:

  1. Discovery—to discover new content on the web 
  2. Research—to conduct deep web research based on advanced filters 
  3. Influencers—to find influencers in your niche
  4. Monitoring—to monitor your niche

You could say that BuzzSumo combines capabilities from other tools in this list. 

In other words, BuzzSumo is a software tool with a variety of features that could help you in many different ways. 

This is why it’s so popular, and why it’s trusted by marketers and PR people in companies like Ogilvy, BuzzFeed, Expedia and many more. 

Make sure to check it out and even give it a try with a 7-day free trial.

Why We Like It: Ease of use/Friendly UI

Favorite Feature: Discovery

Ideal For: Media monitoring/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #8: Business Wire

Next, we have Business Wire. 

Business Wire home landing page.
Image Source: Business Wire

Business Wire is a company owned by Berkshire Hathaway. 

It’s primarily a press distribution service—similar to Newswire and PRWeb that we’ll see next—even though it also offers other services such as EDGAR filing or XBRL regulatory filings.

Business Wire has been operating for over 60 years now and is considered one of the best companies out there when it comes to press release distribution. 

It has offices in 22 countries and connects with 100,000 media outlets. 

On its website, you’ll find news on the PR industry and Business Wire’s new partnerships and company advancements (on the section Business Wire Newsroom), as well as a blog section with educational material for public relations professionals.

Why We Like It: Highly experienced in the field of press release distribution

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: Press release distribution

Tool #9: PRWeb

PRWeb couldn’t be missed from this list of the best PR tools. 

PRWeb home landing page.
Image Source: PRWeb

PRWeb is a PR distribution service owned by CISION. 

What’s interesting about PRWeb is that it includes a pricing page on its website. 

At the moment, it has four main plans:

  • Basic 
  • Standard
  • Advanced 
  • Premium

The truth is, even though traditionally PR services have been quite expensive, these plans are actually pretty affordable. 

Moreover, considering PRWeb’s wide network of media partners and distribution channels, the service is definitely well worth paying for. 

If you’re serious about distributing your press release, be sure to give it a try.  

Why We Like It: Wide distribution network

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: Press release distribution

Tool #10: Critical Mention

Next, we have Critical Mention. 

Critical Mention home landing page.
Image Source: Critical Mention

Critical Mention is a media monitoring tool for companies who want to have full control over their online presence. 

With companies like McDonald’s and CBS using it, you can understand that Critical Mention must really be powerful. 

From monitoring social media to monitoring online news and even television and radio broadcasts, Critical Mention is a truly unique software tool for PR professionals.

It’s not a tool for small businesses, but rather than for large corporations and enterprises. 

If you’re at that level or scale then you can request a demo of the product, which also includes a free report of your recent earned media. 

Why We Like It: All-in-one tool for media monitoring

Favorite Feature: Broadcast monitoring

Ideal For: Media monitoring

Tool #11: Moosend

The next tool on our list is Moosend. 

Moosend home landing page.
Image Source: Moosend

What is Moosend? 

It’s an all-in-one marketing platform. 

From email marketing to subscription forms and landing pages, this tool can help you perform various marketing activities all in one place.

For example, you can use Moosend to send a news release to your email subscribers.

Alternatively, if you’re often a guest on podcasts, you can set up custom landing pages to offer special discounts to all people who listened to the podcast and who’re interested in your product. 

So, as you can understand, this software tool has many capabilities for PR professionals. 

Furthermore, Moosend offers a freemium plan that’s ideal for small businesses that want to get started with email marketing and automation. 

Make sure to give it a try. 

Why We Like It: Variety of features

Favorite Feature: Landing pages

Ideal For: Building custom landing pages for PR campaigns/Sending news releases

Tool #12: Anewstip

Next on our list is Anewstip. 

Anewstip home landing page.
Image Source: Anewstip

What is this tool all about?

Anewstip has four main functions:

  1. Media lists—where you can find media lists with journalists who are relevant to your niche
  2. Pitch—where you can pitch relevant journalists and make media connections
  3. Alerts—where you can set up alerts based on your target and branded terms
  4. Report—where you can create stellar PR reports in Google Slides in minutes.

It’s a really nifty tool with everything you may need to get started with your PR efforts. 

Be sure to give it a try. 

Why We Like It: Variety of features

Favorite Feature: Media lists

Ideal For: Media monitoring/PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #13: SparkToro

Tool #13 is SparkToro. 

SparkToro home landing page.
Image Source: SparkToro

SparkToro is a software tool built by Moz’s founder, Rand Fishkin. 

A person like Rand needs no introduction to the marketing scene, of course. 

However, this tool may be somewhat unknown to the PR world. 

So, what is SparkToro? 

It’s a market research and audience intelligence tool for marketing professionals.

Of course, the tool isn’t limited to or directly targeting marketing professionals, as anyone can get value out of it. 

The interesting thing about SparkToro is that it allows you to conduct searches and identify audiences based on certain activities they perform online. 

Honestly, there isn’t a tool quite like it out there right now and if there is, it definitely doesn’t have the quality of data that SparkToro has.

If you’re interested in creating lists of media contacts and opportunities you can connect with and reach out to, you’re going to need SparkToro.   

Why We Like It: It’s one of a kind

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: Media monitoring/PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #14: MuckRack

I believe MuckRack needs no introduction to the PR world. 

MuckRack home landing page.
Image Source: MuckRack

MuckRack is one of the most popular tools for PR professionals.

Why? 

Well, it’s because it allows you to “search for journalists, monitor news and build reports” all in one place.  

It’s main features include:

  • Media database
  • Monitoring and alerts
  • Pitching
  • Collaboration (PR CRM)
  • Reporting

Thus, as you can see, from identifying media prospects to project management for your PR campaigns, MuckRack is the go-to if you want to scale your PR operations.

I’d say it’s a tool that may not be suitable for people who are new to PR, as its functions are a bit more sophisticated. 

However, if you want to take your PR operations to the next level, feel free to request a demo from the team at MuckRack. 

Why We Like It: All-in-one PR tool

Favorite Feature: Media database

Ideal For: Media monitoring/PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #15: Mention

Here’s a tool you might have heard of. 

Mention home landing page.
Image Source: Mention

Mention is one of the most popular tools out there when it comes to monitoring online brand mentions.

Here are some of the activities you can use Mention for:

  • Online media monitoring
  • Social media listening
  • Competitive analysis

Monitoring your industry and niche in real time allows you to engage in conversations around your products and services and connect with your audience on a deeper level. 

Mention can also help you identify trends among the millions of Tweets posted every day and understand how people talk about your industry. 

Knowing what words and phrases people use when describing your products can later be used in PR campaigns to help you get better results overall. 

This tool may not be necessary for small businesses, but it can be particularly useful if you’re a brand that’s growing in terms of popularity and awareness.

Be sure to use Mention’s 14-day free trial to see what the tool can do for you. 

Why We Like It: Easy to use

Favorite Feature: Social media listening

Ideal For: Media monitoring/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #16: Grammarly

Next on our list is Grammarly. 

Grammarly home landing page.
Image Source: Grammarly

Now, I have to be clear about something:

Grammarly isn’t a PR tool per se, but rather a software tool that can support your PR efforts. 

How? 

By proofreading your PR material before sending it to your list of prospects. 

Especially if we’re talking about press releases or other important PR material, you should always make sure your text is error-free. 

Grammarly helps you do exactly that. 

Of course, you can have an editor who takes care of finished material, but Grammarly can add an extra layer of security to make sure everything is as it should be. 

Make sure to give it a try. 

Why We Like It: Ease of use

Favorite Feature: Grammarly for Google Docs

Ideal For: Proofreading

Tool #17: NinjaOutreach

If you’re into marketing, you definitely know or have heard of NinjaOutreach. 

NinjaOutreach home landing page.
Image Source: NinjaOutreach

NinjaOutreach is a tool to help you find Instagram, YouTube and Twitter influencers.  

It’s primarily a tool for influencer marketing, although it also has capabilities for PR outreach and link building. 

The good thing about it is that it allows you to conduct searches based on the topic that interests you and narrow down results based on your location (e.g. New York), as well as several Instagram metrics like engagement rate. 

This way, you can create a media list that’s highly relevant to your business and products/services.

If you want to use social media as part of your overall marketing strategy and PR efforts, you’ll want to use this tool to find better prospects faster and easier. 

Why We Like It: Ease of use/Quality of data

Favorite Feature: Instagram Search

Ideal For: Media monitoring/PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #18: ProfNet

The next tool on our list is ProfNet. 

ProfNet home landing page.
Image Source: ProfNet

Think of ProfNet as a service that’s similar to HARO. 

Like HARO, ProfNet helps experts connect with journalists and get covered in major publications. 

It’s a great public relations tool for those who are true experts on a certain beat (area of expertise) and looking for media mentions in relevant publications.

If you want to get media coverage through your PR strategy, you’ll need this in your toolset.  

Why We Like It: Easy to use

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #19: Cision

If you’ve been in the PR field for a while now, you’ve probably heard of Cision. 

Cision home landing page.
Image Source: Cision

Some of the tools mentioned in this list (e.g. HARO, PRWeb) are actually subsidiaries of CISION. 

Besides all these individual services, the company also offers software tools for PR professionals and teams. 

From monitoring your niche to advanced PR analytics and reporting, CISION is a powerhouse for public relations. 

Pricing of the product isn’t displayed on the website, as you have to schedule a demo to learn more about how much the product costs. 

It’s a solution for big companies that invest in brand equity and in building a brand that will last. 

Why We Like It: All-in-one tool for PR management

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: Media monitoring/PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #20: SourceBottle

The next tool on our list of the best PR tools is SourceBottle. 

SourceBottle home landing page.
Image Source: SourceBottle

Think of SourceBottle as an alternative to HARO. 

Similar to HARO, SourceBottle connects sources to journalists looking for expert information. 

As a PR specialist, you can choose to be a source—based on the topics you possess and know well—and get notified every time a journalist is looking for information about your field of expertise.

On top of all that, SourceBottle—at least, according to their website—is free to use. 

Thus, you have nothing to lose if you give it a try. 

Why We Like It: Free to use

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #21: Crystal

Here’s a tool that you might not be aware of. 

Crystal home landing page.
Image Source: Crystal

Crystal is “the app that tells you anyone’s personality.”

The tool analyzes millions of data points—from a prospect’s profile on LinkedIn, for example—to provide you with useful information about that person’s personality. 

This can be particularly useful for media relations, as it gives you a type of intelligence that you can’t find elsewhere. 

The tool is used by marketing, sales, recruiting and PR teams by companies like Google, Amazon, Airbnb, Oracle and many others.

Crystal’s Chrome Extension is a great place to get started. 

Be sure to give it a try in your next PR campaign. 

Why We Like It: Ease of use

Favorite Feature: Chrome Extension

Ideal For: PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities/Prospect analysis

Tool #22: Hemingway

The next tool on our list of the best PR tools is Hemingway, also known as Hemingway App.

Hemingway home landing page.
Image Source: Hemingway

Like some other tools in this list, Hemingway is not a PR software per se.

It can also be used for content marketing and blogging. 

So, what is Hemingway and how can you use it for your PR campaigns?

According to Self-Publishing School, “the Hemingway App is an editor that highlights and corrects grammar, fluency, and sentence structure in order to help your writing read and look better.”

When writing press releases, you can use Hemingway to get useful insights on the readability of your copy and overall structure of your text. 

It’s a nifty tool that’s free for everyone to use. 

Make sure to add it to your own list of tools. 

Why We Like It: Friendly user interface (UI)/Ease of use

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: Media monitoring/PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #23: Mynewsdesk

Nearing the end of our list, we have Mynewsdesk. 

Mynewsdesk home landing page.
Image Source: Mynewsdesk

So, what’s this tool all about? 

Mynewsdesk allows you to…

  • Monitor your industry and your brand
  • Build and manage (press release) distribution lists
  • Create and publish content
  • Track and measure results from your PR campaigns

In a nutshell, Mynewsdesk helps you get media coverage and monitor the whole process while doing so. 

Feel free to visit the company’s website to find out more. 

Why We Like It: Friendly UI

Favorite Feature: N/A

Ideal For: Media monitoring/PR outreach/Identifying media opportunities

Tool #24: Medium

The last tool on our list is Medium. 

Medium home landing page.
Image Source: Medium

Medium is a place where bloggers, PR professionals, influencers and people who like reading good stories go to read news and spend their time online. 

It’s a mega-site that gets millions of visitors per month and has a wide organic reach in search engines like Google. 

The question then is: How can you use it for your PR efforts?

If something goes viral on Medium, your piece of content or story has a good chance of getting media coverage in big publications. 

Medium can be a great distribution channel for your content and a way to reach new audiences from all over the world. 

As it’s organic reach is growing, you can use it as one of the channels to distribute your content. 

Just make sure to adjust the messaging and overall structure of your content to what resonates with Medium’s readers. 

In this list of Top Medium Stories, you can get an idea of what works when it comes to this platform. 

Why We Like It: Connect with likeminded people in a direct way

Favorite Feature: Content Editor

Ideal For: Media monitoring/Identifying media opportunities/Press release distribution

Now Over to You

That was a long list of tools. 

However, we hope it was a very helpful one. 

By this point, you should have everything you need when it comes to your PR outreach efforts. 

Remember: These tools can be effective only in the context of specific processes. 

In other words, even the best tool on its own can’t help you if you don’t have the right processes in place. 

Now I’d like to hear from you. 

Have you ever tried any of these tools? If so, did you use a service to distribute them or did you do so yourself? 

Let me know by leaving a comment below. 

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi is the co-founder of Respona, the all-in-one PR and link building tool that combines personalization with productivity.He runs the marketing efforts at Visme, where he helped the company gain over 4 million users and pass 1.5M monthly organic traffic. Since then, he’s been helping other companies achieve the same success via Respona.

Read Similar Posts

Farzad Rashidi

The 22 Best PR Blogs You Should Be Reading in 2020 (List)

Looking for the best public relations blogs to read in 2020?  We created a list of 22 PR blogs your competitors are reading (and you should start reading as well).  Read More...

Farzad Rashidi

How to Write a Press Release: 2020 Guide (+ Templates)

You worked hard creating your new product.  Now, all you have to do is to promote it.  The question is:  Where do you get started?  Enter: press release. In this Read More...

Farzad Rashidi

What is HARO & How Does It Work? Complete Guide for 2020

HARO has been used for many years now by bloggers to get media coverage and increase their backlinks.  In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about it… Read More...

Farzad Rashidi

Content Promotion: The What, Why & How Behind It (2020)

Content promotion is the best way to amplify your pieces of content and grow your audience.  The question is: Where do you get started? In this guide, I’m going to Read More...

Farzad Rashidi

PR Outreach: How to Do it Right (+ Templates, Tips & Tools)

There is no doubt that PR outreach can help your business grow.  The only problem?  That most people are doing it wrong.  And, with 57% of top-tier publishers receiving between Read More...

Farzad Rashidi

What is Digital PR? (& How It Can Help You Grow)

What is digital PR?  This is a question many business owners have.  Digital PR can help you improve your rankings, increase your online visibility and grow as a business.  The Read More...

Farzad Rashidi

8 Ways to Get your Blog Noticed and Boost Traffic

Wondering how you can get more views and traffic for your blog?  Most bloggers will tell you that getting your blog noticed is all about publishing great content.  However, the Read More...

Farzad Rashidi

Top 5 Examples of PR Campaigns (Step-by-Step Guide)

When most people hear the word “PR Campaign," they think of going to fancy galas in suits and sucking up to influential people. Yuck. Luckily, the PR landscape in 2019 Read More...

Get notified of
our next content

No spam, no BS, unsubscribe at any time.