6 Tools Every PR Professional Should Know About

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The public relations industry is often characterized as fast-paced, stressful and always-on. With the proper tools, however, many day-to day tasks that are traditionally time-intensive or seemingly mundane can be simplified, freeing up time for the more strategic, creative and intellectually stimulating projects that we’re always hungry for.

The six tools below can help PR professionals increase efficiency, speed and productivity on things like creating media lists or tracking client coverage. This way, we can spend more time focusing on the fun stuff — like brainstorming fresh storyline ideas or strategizing an upcoming launch.

Google Alerts: Notifications for client and competitor coverage
If you’ve ever worked at an agency you know how important it is to be on top of everything, all the time. But staying on top of client and competitor coverage while you’re busy writing a Pulitzer-winning press release or creating a frame-worthy media list (with all the reporter Twitter handles updated!) can be tough. Often, client stories we’ve secured or major competitor announcements publish while we’re heads down in other work. As a result, sometimes clients flag coverage before we’ve even had a chance to read and analyze the story. Google Alerts can ensure you get near immediate access to relevant coverage — across all of your accounts, without having to search for it.

Google Docs: No more attachments titled “Client name release — version 29”
Speaking of press releases, if you’ve ever written one, you know how many revisions it has to go through before it’s ready to go live. And even after it’s ready to cross the wire, you still may get one or two last-minute edit requests. If you’re working on a Word doc, each revision means a new attachment and email. At some point, there are so many attachments and versions that it’s hard to know which is the most up-to-date. With Google Docs, all the parties involved can collaborate, suggest edits and update a single doc in real time.

HARO or HARPO?: Help A Reporter Out
HARO may be a service aimed at helping reporters get great sources for their stories, but it could just as easily be called HAPRPO (Help A PR Person Out) because it’s a great way to quickly get clients into articles reporters are already working on. The best part is that the reporter requests come straight to your inbox, along with their contact information. It’s a win-win service for journalists and reporters.

Cision: Find contact information on reporters and publications
How did we ever build out media lists before Cision? For those constantly pitching reporters and creating media lists, Cision — if it’s not already — will quickly become your best friend. You can use Cision to look up contact information on specific journalists and publications, and even find out which reporters cover your client’s industry area. Bonus tip: Even if the specific reporter you’re looking for isn’t listed, you can find out the template form particular publications use for their employee email addresses.

IT Database: Find out who covers various industries
Another great tool for those who frequently pitch media is IT Database. If you’re looking for a reporter who covers a specific topic — like mobile payments or enterprise security — IT Database can help you quickly find relevant reporters who cover the space.

Twitter: Build relationships with the media
Whether it’s a reporter you frequently work with, or a new journalist you’re reaching out to for the first time, it’s important to be up-to-date on the articles they’ve recently written before reaching out. Journalists are far more likely to read and respond to personalized pitches. Instead of going to each individual blog or publication to find out what articles reporters have recently written, you can follow them on Twitter and get updates across journalists and publications straight in your Twitter feed. Plus, you get the added bonus of getting to know things like a reporter’s interests outside of work, or how they like (or don’t like) to be pitched, which helps you build a stronger relationship with the reporter.

BATEMAN GROUP’S CLIENT SPOTLIGHT 4.18.14

As the Heartbleed bug continued to dominate headlines, The Associated Press reached out to Qualys as a resource and remediation aid. In other news, Sitecore got great coverage of its new customer announcement involving L’Oréal.

Heartbleed Bug Causes Major Headache,” The Associated Press – Michael Liedtke interviewed and included Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek as an expert in his coverage of the OpenSSL ‘Heartbleed’ vulnerability. He was specifically interested in Kandek’s commentary on the importance of changing all passwords after the attack.

One-to-one Marketing, Global Scale: Sitecore Lands L’Oréal to Personalize Beauty,” VentureBeat – As a follow up to a briefing with Sitecore CSO Darren Guarnaccia, VentureBeat’s John Koetsier published a feature on Sitecore’s L’Oréal customer win announcement and a broader corporate story about Sitecore. He referred to L’Oréal’s digital strategy as a “game changer.”

A Video Game Meant to Take Us Back to the Physical World,” NPR – In her article on Ingress and its popularity, Laura Sydell of NPR cited App Annie data on the number of international downloads Ingress has had since its inception.

Jeff Bezos Chose the Wrong Forcing Function for Amazon Web Services,” Forbes – Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, shared his perspective with Forbes on the increasing pace of enterprise cloud adoption and the forces driving it.

Can you Architect Virality? Absolutely. Here’s How,” Huffington Post TED Weekends – Bunchball founder Rajat Paharia shares his thoughts in response to Kevin Allocca’s TED talk on virality.

Bateman Group’s Client Spotlight 4.4.14

Like the newly discovered water vapor bursting out of Encephalus, one of Saturn’s many moons, so too did the deeply held beliefs of Mozilla’s CEO, Brendan Eich emerge to the surface. Truth can only stay hidden so long before it erupts through unseen fissures at any moment. While those two stories dominated headlines, Bateman clients also revealed their (stellar)  intrinsic qualities across the media landscape. Some examples include Venture Beat‘s coverage of Clari‘s emergence as a premiere tool for sales productivity, Braintree’s perspective on in-store tracking featured in Fortune and Digimind‘s guidance on brand management in The Next Web. Read more after the jump.

Why in-store tracking might not be as bad as it sounds,” Fortune – Retailers are beginning to track consumers via their smartphones, raising fears of privacy intrusions. Braintree’s CEO Bill Ready discusses the potential benefits to consumers of having retailers track them (personalized data, etc.) for richer shopping experiences.

Windows XP: Old Platforms Die Hard, Security Risks Live On,” The Wall Street Journal - Danny Yadron included Qualys’ BrowserCheck data in his coverage of the end of Windows XP support. With the end of XP,Yadron used Qualys’ statistic that “more than 10% of computers used in government and corporations world-wide will still use the 12-year-old operating system.”

In pursuit of truth: A brand’s guide to managing misinformation online,” The Next Web - Digimind CEO, Patrice Francois, offers advice for brands on telling fact from fiction in the online world and address when and how to act. As more and more information floods the internet, it’s increasingly important for brands to be able to pick their online battles.

Tidemark wants to save European companies from Excel hell, says CEO,” IDG News Service - As a result of an interview with Tidemark CEO Christian Gheorghe, journalist Mikael Ricknas wrote a winning piece on Tidemark’s European expansion and Consolidation App release. Tidemark plans to release superior enterprise options to wean businesses off of Excel and email for financial planning and analytics.

Paid App Market Is Shrinking With Stunning Speed,” Forbes - App Annie and IDC released their Mobile App Advertising and Monetization Trends report. Tero Kuittinen wrote a feature on the findings of the report, focusing on the app market’s rapid transition to freemium and the reasons propelling the evolving payment structures in the app marketplace.

Clari wants to be a psychic for sales rep,” VentureBeat – Clari launched its mobile-first sales productivity platform out of stealth at DEMO. Thanks to Bateman’s efforts, Eric Blattberg of VentureBeat wrote a piece focusing on Clari’s history leading to the launch. The article summarizes the platform beautifully and positions Clari CEO Andy Byrne as a thought leader in the space.

Can You Architect Virality? Absolutely. Here’s How,” Huffington Post - In this byline for the TEDWeekends series, Bunchball founder and chief product officer, Rajat Paharia, offers his expert insight on designing viral experiences. Contrary to popular belief, viral content could be created using the right strategies.

 

Mozillagate: On the importance of speaking authentically

I can only imagine that Mozilla employees are in the middle of a lot of soul-searching right now after an intense two weeks, which culminated in the resignation of a founding Mozillian and newly-appointed CEO, Brendan Eich.

Dubbed #Mozillagate, the controversy began last Monday when Eich jubilantly announced in a blog post that he had been promoted to the role of CEO. Almost immediately, we saw an outburst from protesters over a donation he made to Proposition 8 – a repealed law that defined marriage as a union between man and woman.  He had made the donation back in 2008 but no one really knew about it until the LA Times broke the story in 2012. The reactions to his being named Mozilla CEO were vitriolic, swift, and angry. Board members resigned, employees petitioned for Eich to step down, OKCupid asked its members to boycott Firefox, long-time VP of communications Leslie Nakajima resigned.

As with the Chick-fil-a controversy, we saw the battle lines drawn between those who felt Eich had a right to do what he wanted in his private life, and still be an effective CEO, and those who felt a bigot should not be a business leader.

Mozilla reacted to the outrage by keeping its mouth shut, unwisely thinking this would blow over again as it had in 2012. When the company finally spoke in a blog post, five days later, it was to “clarify Mozilla’s official support of equality and inclusion for LGBT people.” Eich followed up with a rather stiff post reiterating Mozilla’s anti-discrimination policy, in which he said  he would remain “committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status or religion.

“You will see exemplary behavior from me toward everyone in our community, no matter who they are; and the same toward all those whom we hope will join, and for those who use our products,” Eich said.

(Kinda tough to believe that. What’s the saying — Put your money where your mouth is?)

He gave his first interviews on Tuesday, lobbing any questions about his actual stance on gay rights and stressing Mozilla’s “inclusiveness” philosophy again (which a Kara Swisher follower perfectly described as “pretzel PR”).

Can you really separate church and state?

I normally agree that a business leader is entitled to be an ass, but Mozilla’s case is, in the words of Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman, “messy” because ultimately it is a crowd-sourced company. His employees aren’t just his employees, they are every Mozilla volunteer engineer and evangelist promoting its cause. Mozilla is the most popular open-source company in the world and founded upon a mission to promote openness, innovation, and opportunity on the Web. Heck, 40 percent of Firefox was developed by volunteers.

On Thursday, Mozilla Foundation Chairwoman Mitchell Baker posted one of the most heartfelt corporate blog posts I’ve ever read in which she apologized for not acting “like you’d expect Mozilla to act.”

“We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves,” she wrote. “We will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility — our large, global, and diverse community is what makes Mozilla special, and what will help us fulfill our mission. We are stronger with you involved.”

Beautiful.

No matter what your view, a CEO has to do the right thing

As a long time fan of Mozilla and it’s mission, I was hurt and disappointed when I learned about Eich’s donation. But people make PR mistakes all the time, so I waited for Mozilla to respond with humility and regret.

I wished so badly that Eich had just come clean about why he donated money to Prop 8. Was it for religious reasons? Personal baggage? Did he lose a bet? Whatever the case, it was definitely not a time for more twisted, distracted “pretzel PR” that tip toes around the subject. You may be able to fool a Chik-fil-a diehard, but you can’t fool a Mozillian.

 

Bateman Group 10 Year Anniversary Party Pictures

This is the way we “Rock” and “Roll”

It’s an exciting week for us at Bateman Group. We are celebrating our 10-year anniversary. More on that later. And while we have most of our Brooklyn team in da house, we are keeping them busy both day and night. We had a two-fer on Wednesday night — rock climbing and roller disco party. Read on for details and pics.

Resident rock climber Liam Hausmann organized an outing to Mission Cliffs (just a 10 minute walk from the office) for some afterwork sweating. There were no serious injuries, we’re happy to report, and it’s sure to be the first of many such outings. The team laughed, they fell, they pushed themselves to new heights, and became contortionists in the process. Surely a night to be remembered (sore muscles and all).

 

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NY account coordinator Leah Conklin reaching new heights.

 

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Seasoned pro, outing organizer and SF account coordinator Liam Hausmann literally gets horizontal, upside down.

 

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SF senior associate Katie Garagozzo showing bystanders how it’s done.

 

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SF account manager Grace Nasri, SF account manager Kerry Tescher and SF associate (and yours truly) Katrina Dene helping eachother to the top.

 

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SF account manager Kerry Tescher and SF account coordinator Ivy Choi learning what awkward feels like.

 

Meanwhile, downtown a group of Bateman-ites were representing the firm on the dance floor — the roller disco dance floor at a party sponsored by Bateman Group client AdRoll. The Mezzanine nightclub’s main floor was transformed into a sizable roller rink, complete with disco balls and video projections of vintage roller disco footage. The crew, sporting sweat bands and sunglasses given out as swag at the door, were the first skaters on the rink and the only people in costume when they arrived. Standing out and setting a trend is never a problem for us Bateman-ites, so they were more than happy to get their groove on to Donna Summer nonetheless.

Soon the rink was full of people wearing fake afros and sequins roller skating backwards and in conga lines. It was a barrel of fun until the synchronized dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” got people led to a wipe out mid-dance. The Bateman Group gang busted their best roller disco moves, but failed to master the “Thread the Needle” trick they were attempting at the behest of Tyler Perry, partner and general manager. The night was — as Briana Marshall, senior associate at Bateman Group, put it — “both harrowing and fun.” Here are the pics to prove it.

 

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SF account manager Sara Fastenberg, NY associate Billy Kelly and SF senior associate Briana Marshall rocking short shorts

 

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SF senior associate Briana Marshall, SF account manager Sara Fastenberg and SF vice president Paula Cavagnero getting into character