60 Twitter tools for PR and marketing pros

You can get a lot out of Twitter as it is: It’s an excellent network to find experts, read interesting articles and jump into conversations. But sometimes PR and marketing pros want to do more.

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Recently, while hunting for Twitter tools, we found many suggestions and recommendations were outdated, and several Twitter-based tools have been bought out or shut down in the last few years. Many of the tools we originally found were poorly designed and difficult to use.

We’ve tested hundreds of Twitter tools and narrowed them down to the best that can help you with almost everything—measurement, finding and creating content, interacting with your audience, building your presence and more.

Here are 60 tools PR and marketing pros should check out:

The most popular tools

Here are 60 tools PR and marketing pros should check out:

The most popular tools

1. Bit.ly

Bit.ly shortens links, but perhaps more importantly, it also tracks link clicks.

2. Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck allows you to create multiple streams that can be based on your feed, keywords or searches. You can also easily tweet, retweet and respond through the app or desktop version.

3. Hootsuite

Though it has similar features to Tweetdeck, Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple twitter accounts. The free version includes three Twitter accounts, and you can upgrade to the premium version if you need more than that.

If you’re just starting out with Hootsuite, this article will walk you through setting up Twitter accounts.

4. Klout

Klout provides all users with a score from 1-100; the average score is around 40. You can link your Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus accounts as well. Klout also provides suggestions on users to follow and content to share.

5. Topsy

Whatever your client’s industry–be it organic farming or interior design–Topsy will give you the number of relevant tweets and trends and then list out the most popular tweets. It’s a great resources for finding interesting content and relevant twitter accounts to follow. You can get a lot out of Twitter as it is: It’s an excellent network to find experts, read interesting articles and jump into conversations. But sometimes PR and marketing pros want to do more.

Recently, while hunting for Twitter tools, we found many suggestions and recommendations were outdated, and several Twitter-based tools have been bought out or shut down in the last few years. Many of the tools we originally found were poorly designed and difficult to use.

We’ve tested hundreds of Twitter tools and narrowed them down to the best that can help you with almost everything—measurement, finding and creating content, interacting with your audience, building your presence and more.

Source: http://www.prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/18318.aspx

What is a Press Release

Press releases are curious things.
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At least according to Google. There are 1.3 billion search queries in a clean search (incognito) on Google. If you’re “feeling lucky” as Google suggests, you might find out what they are or how they can be used. Instead of testing your luck on Google, we’re going to break down press releases for you here in the PRWeb Learning Center.
 
Definitions
According to Wikipedia, “A press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy.”
All of these definitions are technically accurate, but what’s interesting about them is that the order reflected above, is indicative of how press releases have changed. From a communication medium directed at the news media, as Wikipedia notes, to another tool for content marketing as PR News, a trade publication for the PR industry wrote.
 
History of the press release
The first recognized press release was created by Ivy Lee, who was widely considered the founder of modern public relations in the early 1900s. In a post marking the press release’s 100th birthday for Search Engine Land in 2006, Greg Jarboe, a recognized expert on both search and PR, wrote the following:
 
“On October 28, 1906, at least 50 people lost their lives when a three-car train of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s newly equipped electric service jumped a trestle at Atlantic City, NJ, and plunged into the Thoroughfare creek.
 
That afternoon, Ivy Lee, who some consider to be the father of modern PR, created the first press release. The Pennsylvania Railroad was one of his clients. Following the accident, Lee not only convinced the railroad to distribute a public statement, he also convinced them to provide a special train to get reporters to the scene of the accident.
The New York Times was so impressed with this innovative approach to corporate communications that it printed the first press release—verbatim—on Oct. 30, 1906 as a “Statement from the Road.” In the weeks that followed, both newspapers and public officials effusively praised Pennsylvania Railroad for its openness and honesty.”
 
How has the press release changed?
In a phrase: press releases aren’t just for the media anymore. Under traditional definitions and practice, press releases were a formal document designed to communicate to the public through the media. Releases were rarely seen by the public – rather the output of the press release was shown in the form of news coverage.
 
Though there are still a number of old school PR pros that can remember mailing or faxing press releases, for the most part, the web changed the paradigm. Press releases published on the web allowed organizations to communicate directly with their audiences, be that consumers, other businesses, or investors.
 
In fact, PRWeb was quick to seize on this idea, and one of the key points of differentiating from traditional press release distribution services is that PRWeb was designed for the web, rather than being built on a proprietary network designed to deliver news to a newsroom. PRWeb pioneered the concept of direct-to-consumer news.
 
As the technology for web publishing has grown, so too has the ability to include multimedia content along with a release. No longer are releases relegated to just static text, rather releases can include pictures – a 1,000 words – and video. In fact, primary research by PRWeb indicates releases that include multimedia can increase time on page by as much as 30 seconds – which is an amazing period of time on the web.
 
Debate over the press release
Within public relations circles, press releases can ignite a fiery debate. PR pros tend to have pretty strong views over whether it should be called a press release, a news release or a media release, for example.
 
The advent of social media has entered a new term into the lexicon: social media release, which came with a new prescription for formatting. The new format earned a lot of buzz a few years ago, but hasn’t seemed to gain traction beyond that initial burst.
 
Using the words media or news instead of press, critics say, is a more accurate reflection of a modern document. The word press literally means print, as in the printing press, and since the modern reporter may use a variety of mediums aside from the printed form news or media are better choices.
 
However, it could also be argued that since releases are not just for the media anymore, none of these adjectives work. It might be that just release, or web release or PRWeb release work equally as well.
 
Outside of PR circles, what we call it matters less to us, except for using a common term that our customers and prospects understand. As a result, we tend to use the phrases press releases and news releases interchangeably on PRWeb’s own publishing platforms. In fact, we use a mix deliberately in order to capture relevant search traffic.
 
What are the most important factors of a press release?
There are a lot of resources on PRWeb’s learning center, including a press release grader for our customers. However, the most important factors boil down to a handful of fundamentals:
 
1. Focus on good, clean writing. Writing with clarity and for readability tops the list. There’s a lot of advice online about writing for press releases, such as how formal or informal the document should read, but time and time again, releases that perform well are written so the reader can understand.
 
2. Headlines and subheads matter. Headlines for press releases, just like the headline of a blog post, or the subject line of an email should draw a reader in and invite them to read more. A common question is should we write headlines for search engines or people? The answer: people. People are the intended audiences, search engines are just one means to help them find your content. If it makes sense in context, sure add your key words to the headline, but don’t write a headline just to fit in your key words.
 
3. Hyperlinks. A well optimized release will hyperlink key words. For PRWeb, we might hyperlink phrases like “news release” or “press release” and link back to our home page at www.prweb.com.
Additional recommended resources:
 

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Want More Exposure For Your Small Business?

Don’t Sell. Write and Share Useful Information about Your Products and Services.

Apples & Oranges Small Business Marketing
Make Your Business A Target for new clients

 1.      Analyze your product or service. Get your facts straight by doing a little research. Assemble your information and data from multiple sources such as; recent marketing reports, eval­uations, surveys, clients, and existing copy. For best results, examine your products and services first-hand from a consumer’s point of view. Define the purpose and nature of the product and enumerate all the benefits that would be of interest to a prospective consumer.

2.  “Position” your product or service. How is it different from, or superior to your
competition? What do you offer that the competition doesn’t? Positioning is critical if you want to develop a successful marketing strategy in a competitive situation.

3.       Assess your audience. Always direct and compose your copy to the needs and tastes of your readers and potential clients. Are they everyday consumers? Upscale young professionals or executives in your field?  Find out by checking the demographics of   mailing lists, online  publications and media outlets in which you will share or post information about your company.

4.       Plan your strategy. Decide how much copy will be necessary to convey the mes­sage. (As a rule of thumb, the length of your copy should vary in direct propor­tion to your company’s investment in the product. But not always. If your product is simple and its virtues self-evident, you don’t have much explaining to do. Other points worth considering: Do you want to develop a focal point or a running theme? Do you want to present a line of related products? Be sure to coordinate your plans with staff, designers, illustrators etc., so that you’re both working with the same concept in mind.

5.       Review & Track Results. Most importantly, an easy to implement tracking strategy is critical. Review your articles, blog posts, copy, content and news releases that generated more responses. Keep track of sales, inquires, new mailing list sign-ups, Facebook likes and Twitter followers generated from your efforts. Whatever is working…do more of it. Only publish content that will be effective and useful to your readers.

Tip: Time is money. Save time by finding new ways to automate your systems and strategy. This will free up more time to help you improve your products and services, implement new ideas, as well as generate strategies to attract new clients.

Golden rule to follow: Ask yourself…if I were reading this post, would I find this useful to my small business? Don’t forget that what you write and publish is a representation of your company and your skills. If writing is not one of your strong points, consider hiring a professional on a part-time basis to take on this time consuming and tedious task for you.  Consistency is the key to generate results overtime.

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 Contact Us:  888-371-4718 | Email: info@applesandorangespr.com | Web: www.applesandorangespr.com

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Press Release Distribution: How to Choose a Newswire Service

The news release has been edited, proofread and approved…now it’s time to issue the release “over the wire.” What wire service should you use? How much will it cost? Who receives the press release? Understanding what you need and what your options are will enable you to make the best choice.

Options

The leaders of the newswire market are PR Web, PR Newswire and Business Wire. There have been several start-ups that have tried to enter the market in the past few years, including Market Wire, but for most PR practitioners, PR Newswire (established in 1954) and Business Wire (around since 1961) are the best options. Like comparable brands, the differences are minimal – both provide effective news release distribution and their prices are similar – the decision often comes down to personal preference.

How they work. How is your news delivered?

The wire services use several methods to ensure instantaneous (and simultaneous) delivery of your news release. Satellite, e-mail, fax and proprietary networks deliver your release to targeted media audiences literally at the press of a button. Using the same delivery network, most wires can also distribute photos, video, audio and other multimedia files.

Issuing a news release is as easy as e-mailing the document to the wire service, selecting a distribution option and requesting a distribution time. Plan on allowing one to three hours for the service to format the document before it’s issued. If you have a release approved ahead of time, you can send the release the previous evening, and specify a distribution time for the next morning.

While it’s easy to get a release distributed, it’s also easy to issue a release with a mistake or typo. The wire services do proofread news releases, but the safest bet is to have the right editing/proofreading mechanisms in place before the release is sent to the wire service. Don’t count on the service to catch mistakes.

Each service provides various distribution options targeting specific geographies (Northeast, Latin America, Asia, etc.) as well as industry segments (technology, energy, etc.). For example: If you’re a Massachusetts technology company making a personnel announcement, issuing the release on the technology “corridor” option via Business Wire will save you about $250 – and still get the release to the right people. Adding a New England distribution to the same release will add another $100 to your overall cost. So while you won’t reach the managing editor at the Sacramento Bee…she probably wouldn’t have covered your new VP of Marketing announcement anyway.

If you’ve got your heart set on distributing your announcement throughout the world, $1500 – $6,000 (approximate) will get you full global distribution for a 350 – 600-word release.

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How to write and distribute your press release within 24 hours.

Your news lives online forever, bringing you more business and publicity over time. Also, you can share with hundreds on line via social media. Press releases should be written, published and distributed nationwide at least 1 – 3 times per month.

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Step 1 – Plan and choose the points of your story. (3 – 5 hours)

Make a list of your points. What are points? The what, who, when, why, where of the story to be published within your press release.

For example:

  •     What is the topic of the story?
  •    What makes this story news worthy?
  •     What do you want to communicate? 
  •    What keywords will you use to attract readers and increase SEO results?
  •   What current issues, holidays, or news topics does your story tie in to?
  •  Who is your target audience?
  • What is your goal? What do you want to happen as a result of releasing this story?
  •    When is the best time and date to release your story?
  • I  Keep your release between 450 – 700 words.

 Step 2 – Plan the small moments first. (5 – 12 hours)

Write down the topic, the beginning, the middle and the end of the story.

 For Example: this is a current press release/news story about one of our clients.

 The Topic: BREAKING NEWS: THE FIRST FEMALE RABBI TOBI RUBINSTEIN SCHNEIER, ANNOUNCES HER NEW REALITY TV SHOW AND UPCOMING TELL ALL BOOK.

 The beginning: Tobi Rubinstein Schneier: Mother, Rabbi, Fashion Icon and an International Socialite is set to launch her first reality TV show: The House Of Faith N’ Fashion and her upcoming tell-all-book.

 The Middle: Tobi grew up as the girl from Queens, New York whose creative interpretation of an Orthodox Jewish girl’s wardrobe constantly got her kicked out of her “All Girls Religious Paroquial School.”

 The end: The House Of Faith N’ Fashion debuts during New York Fashion Week on ABC Livewell Network, in September 2012.Visit this link to read the entire release.

Results: The above release mentioned was picked up by numerous outlets including USA Today, Top News Today, Albany Times to name a few, and we received call backs from local newspapers such as NY Post. This news story has received approximately 1,583 reads and 736 people shared this release in the last 10 days.

 Step 3 – Edit & Review (3 – 5 hours)

 Edit, edit and revise. Have your colleagues or business partner read the story and get their opinions.

Step 4 – Distribution & Setup (3 – 5 hours setup, SEO, keyword analysis, adding related photos and media)

 The most important step is to get your release to the masses and in front of your target audience.  On average, distribution costs range from $89 – $500+. For best results, we recommend using a combination of paid and free online press release distribution services.

 Step 5 – Measure results & repeat

After your release is published, check the results from 2 – 30 business days. Repeat the process.  Do not expect the flood gates to open after 1 or 2 releases.  You will see maximum results overtime, by publishing your releases on a consistent schedule.

 Finally, thanks for utilizing this free information. Please open a word document and start to write your release.

  This wills certainly contribute to the success of your business overtime.

 Have additional questions? Please send us an email to info@applesandorangespr.com or call us to request release samples.

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