Free PR Tools
Here are some tools from a post I did a while back (2009) for Market Buzz when social media was not quite as ubiquitous a phenomenon it is today, but some of the tools are quite valid still except they're still quite US-centric. Sometimes as small businesses, we can be overwhelmed with all the little costs that can add up to a fairly, hefty sum. I pay for the Hootsuite pro version, Google Apps and Dropbox, because this means my business life does not rely on a piece of hardware. But here are the freebies: Google Alerts I still use Google Alerts quite a bit and though its quite hit & miss sometimes, in the main, I get an email alert when any entry that gets indexed on Google, mentions our client’s name, your name, or any keyword that may form a part of your press release or media statement. Why is this important? Well, you would almost instantly know whether the news release you sent out was covered on online news sites. In the Middle East, it takes a little longer to make that list, but it still works.
Twellow Use Twellow to find reporters who cover your industry. Twellow is a search engine that searches Twitter account entries. You can run a keyword search by keyword “reporter” to find anyone who has included that keyword in their Twitter profile (bio, name). You can also search by News & Media categories to help you identify reporters. Once you find the reporter, you can then build a relationship with them before pitching your stories.You could, in the Middle East, use CisionPoint.
PitchEngine PitchEngine makes it possible for PR pros, brands, and agencies to build and share digital, social media releases with their contacts for free. The website takes press release to the next level, eliminating the need for antiquated email attachments, word documents, image CDs, and more. The site also offers customised newsrooms for your clients (at a separate cost), wherein it will host a full archive of PitchEngine SMRs for your clients’ corporate website and share them with their database of media users.
PitchEngine makes it easy for you to incorporate PR assets such as video, audio and images directly into your press release and share it with your media contacts via email and cut-and-paste links or post it directly to Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, and so on. You can create an account for free. Your Press releases will be hosted for free for 30 days and you can purchase a subscription to create a permanent media newsroom.
You could, in the Middle East, use CisionPoint instead. It's a paid service but they do sell their database for specific categories if you don't want to go for the full database. As well as offer the option of a newsroom, distribute releases, etc.