As the new year gets under way, I thought it might be useful to take a look at some of the people and resources that have been positively impacting my working life over the last few months and which will give you a kick start in 2014.
I’d dearly love your input too, so please leave a comment at the end with any additions you feel would benefit others reading this.
So without further ado, here goes…
6 PR Tools to Simplify Your Life
Releas’d: launched midway through 2013 but still in early development, Releas’d is an incredibly simply and intuitive way to create one-off web pages that can be used for interactive news releases, event invitations, reports, creds, case studies and more. It’s a tool that the PR industry has been crying out for for years.
InkyBee: blogger outreach made simple. Having tried several blogger outreach tools in the past, InkyBee is, for me, easily the best. It enables you to discover topic-related blogs, create and track campaigns and evaluate results.
Agorapulse: there are many Facebook Page management systems out there, but Agorapulse is the one that stands out for me in terms of simplicity and effectiveness. With multiple applications, statistics for reporting, CRM processes and moderation, it’s a great and reasonably priced all-rounder.
Pixlr: online photo editing software has always been a bit hit and miss, with nothing ever really coming close to Photoshop. But Pixlr is now a realistic challenger. And it’s free. For editing images wherever you are it’s worth a look, especially if you don’t have access to Photoshop.
Feed.ly: there was much ado about nothing when Google ditched Reader last year. I’d been using feed.ly for some time before then and others I’ve recommended it to since have never looked back. It works beautifully well (and seamlessly syncs) on both mobile and web, and is a must-have for tracking RSS and topic feeds.
Brandwatch: I appreciate that not every PR agency can afford to buy in a paid-for social media monitoring tool. But if you can, you could do a lot, lot worse than Brandwatch. It’s formed the backbone of many of BOTTLE’s campaigns in the last year, providing insightful data for campaign planning or management or evaluation.
5 People You Simply Need to Know on Twitter
Emily Leary: also known these days as @amummytoo, Emily is one of the most knowledgeable and approachable people on the web. Digital consultant by day, she’s highly respected for her work with the likes of BT and E.On. But arguably it’s her ‘mummy blogger by night’ creds that really show how good she is. Inside of 18 months since launching her blog, she’s hit the top 10s of most UK parent blogger charts, she’s been nominated for awards, she’s been on online chat shows and is a regular on the parent blogger speaking circuit. And she’s quite possibly the most helpful person on the web. Go follow and make friends.
Danny Brown: if you work in marketing, you probably already know of Danny Brown through his award-winning blog. Or you may have read his 2013 book, Influence Marketing. Danny’s someone who says it as it is, and for that deserves massive respect and is worthy of your time. I recently culled the list of blogs I’m subscribed to, but Danny’s is one of the few that I retained. A must-follow for anyone who seeks continuous improvement.
Gini Dietrich: I’ve had a running battle with Mrs Dietrich for about three years now. In a good way. Both she and I were too busy to lock horns in 2013, but I feel worse for that. Gini knows her PR stuff like very few others in the world and is someone whose opinion you simply have to respect (even if you…well, I…don’t agree with it all the time). If you work in or around PR and social media, you’d be a fool not to follow and get to know her.
Gabrielle Laine-Peters: I wrote back in October of my respect for Gabrielle and, without wishing to repeat that post, she’s someone who truly understands the social mindset. A voracious reader and tweeter, she’s someone who supplies a constant stream of interesting articles and nuggets on varying topics. She’s also generous with her time, opinions and conversations, and is someone you know you could rely upon.
Danny Whatmough: Danny’s someone who I’ve known for a few years and who has gone from strength to strength over the last year or so. Now working at Ketchum UK and chairman of the PRCA Digital Group, he knows his digital beans and is highly respected. If you work in PR and are based in the UK, Danny’s someone you should know.
5 Mobile Apps that Will Rock Your World
Zite: a lot is made of Flipboard, but for me, Zite is the de-facto news app I use every single day. Others such as Circa and Pulse show a lot of promise, but something about Zite’s layout and programmability, and the content it pulls in, makes it more efficient and useful than any other news/interests app I’ve tried.
MightyText: this Android only app provides a seamless link between mobile and desktop. It runs on the background of your device and enables you to text using your desktop screen and keyboard while your mobile is in your pocket or bag. Simple, but hugely effective.
Wunderlist: not a new app by any means, but as far as productivity management goes Wunderlist is a gem. Create multiple to-do lists and reminders, sync between mobile and web, collaborate with others – it really does help make life simpler.
BufferApp: you may already be familiar with Buffer, but if not check it out. Buffer enables you to schedule posts for multiple Twitter profiles, Facebook profiles and Pages, LinkedIn profiles, Pages and Groups and Google+ Pages according to a pre-set pattern with just a couple of clicks on your mobile. Also syncs with the web version to save huge amounts of time.
SwiftKey: I only discovered SwiftKey at the back end of the year, but it’s transformed the keyboard on my HTC One. It’s not just the speed with which you can enter text that counts, but the way SwiftKey intelligently predicts the next word you may use that makes this so impressive. Takes a little get used to initially, but it cuts typing time down by over 50%.
3 Slices of Top Notch Bedtime Reading
Newsjacking: Published in April last year by the authors of the Urgent Genius blog, Newsjacking is a great reference book of real-time advertising case studies from around the world. Beautifully presented and easy to flip through, it’s almost a coffee table book for geeks. If you’re seeking inspiration to cut through the real-time dross that’s emerged over the last few months, Newsjacking is a great guide to what can be achieved with data, insight and creativity.
Groundswell: this is not a new book. In fact, in social media terms it’s positively old, first published in 2008. Even the revised version (2011) could now be considered dated. But such is the trend it describes that it’s still hugely relevant and a book that everyone working in PR, social media and marketing should read and understand the implications of. If you haven’t read it yet, make a point of doing so soon. And if you have, read it again!
SpinSucks: I don’t know whether this is a good book or not as it’s yet to be published! But from the pen of Gini Dietrich, founder of the wonderful SpinSucks blog, it’s a book I’m very much looking forward to reading when it’s released in February. And if you work in PR or social media, you should be too.
1 Campaign You Should Know About
Pompeii Live: there’s no such thing as the perfect marketing campaign, but the British Museum’s Pompeii Live from last year is an example that many could learn from. Devised to promote an exhibition, the campaign fused elements of social media, real-time marketing and PR with an engrossing multimedia approach that paid huge benefits for the British Museum. Understanding how this worked and what went into it opens up all sorts of creative avenues, and if more campaigns like this emerge in 2014, we’ll all be better off for it.
That’s it for now. I hope you find the above useful, and please do leave your own recommendations and additions in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and I wish you and yours a wonderful 2014.
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Posted by Paul Sutton