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Budget-Friendly PR Tools Every Small Business Needs

Running a small business isn't easy. You wear many hats: chief executive, intern, janitor, dishwasher, trash emptier, receptionist, bookkeeper, and more.


Life has recently become a little more intense because you now also have to be your own publisher.


PR Tools for Small Businesses


This is both good news and bad news. It's good news because you no longer have to rely solely on influencers and media to tell your story for you. You have the opportunity to manage that yourself. But it's bad news because it definitely increases your workload.


It used to be you had to hire a PR professional or firm because of their relationships with those influencers and journalists. Now you can build those relationships yourself and can hire a PR expert as you grow.


Now, I know I just said you no longer have to rely on those people to help tell your story...and that's true. But you still want them to talk about you. It always serves you well if a third-party says something positive about you.


All of this can be managed—and your day-to-day life won't seem so hectic—with a few online tools.


Online Tools that Help with PR

Canva: This is a fairly new tool that allows you to design your online properties as if you are a pro. Need a professional image for your business’s Facebook cover photo? Canva to the rescue! Need a presentation that looks like you spent hundreds of dollars to make it look professional? Canva to the rescue! You can do social media graphics, blog post images, business cards, flyers, invitations, and more.


Google Analytics: I’m always shocked when I ask a small business owner if he or she reviews their analytics, and I get a blank stare. It happens more often that not, which is why it’s on this list. Analytics is the tool a business owner needs to make important decisions about their website, even if it’s not used for sales. It’s free and there are tons of tutorials online to teach you how to get the data out of it that matters to your business. If you use only one tool in this list, this is the one.


Hootsuite: If you use any of the social networks, Hootsuite is the tool for you. It not only provides an easy way to update your social networks with the touch of one button, it allows you to create lists based on different influencer profiles. Have a group of industry trade reporters you want to follow? Put them in a list so you can easily find the information they are sharing without having to go through all of the updates everyone you follow shares. This will make it exceptionally easy to engage and build relationships with the people who can help your business grow.


Feedly: Feedly is a user-friendly place to store your blog and news subscriptions. Anytime a new article is published, it appears in your account. This is where you will house all of the journalists and bloggers who are important to your business. When they publish something new, you’ll see it on your Feedly page and can read and share from there. I always recommend small business owners take the time to comment on articles, where they have expertise. This begins to build a relationship with the influencers who can add credibility to your business.


SlideBatch: SlideBatch is the solution for “making web content visual and powerful.” They say a buyer will view eight media items before making a decision and where they find those can be scattered across the web. Now you can control what people see and how they see it. Drag files from your desktop, from Dropbox, SlideShare, or Flickr. Or you can add items from Google, YouTube, Vimeo, news, blogs, and even the social networks. You create the batch, design a customized player, select a template, and choose color theme, and voila! You now have a visual slideshow for your newsroom or other page on your website.


Talkwalker: If you only use two tools in this list, Talkwalker Alerts is the second. Set up alerts for your name, the company name, and your brand or product names. Once a day, you'll receive an email with links to articles that mention your search terms. For instance, if the alert is for your name and someone mentions you online, you'll receive an email with the link so you can read what was said. This is a great way to not only monitor what is being said about your company online, it allows you to find the right influencers to build relationships with because they're the ones already writing about your industry or category.


While you certainly have to think about things such as your reputation and how others view your brand, these tools make it a lot easier to manage your time and still make it home for dinner with your family.


Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Follow her on Twitter.