List of Online and Social Media Tools
By Kellye Crane – Solo PR Pro
Kami Huyse – Communication Overtones
Popular Social Networks
1. Google Profile - Create your own Web presence in 5 minutes. Start here, and then add links to
your sites and Outposts as you build them for increased visibility and SEO.
2. LinkedIn – The top business networking site, which can serve as a central, full-featured Outpost
for those without a presence elsewhere.
3. Twitter – A key communications tool and important Outpost that displays your bio, picture and
4. Facebook – Increasingly important business networking and information sharing tool that can
serve as a valuable Outpost for both you and your clients.
5. Delicious – Social bookmarking site that allows you to create special categories to share links
with others. Create a category of bookmarks on research and other links related to one of your
clients – offer a host of information to the media and others on one page.
6. Slideshare - Upload and share PowerPoint presentations and Word documents (publicly or
privately) and embed the links in other Outposts like blogs, LinkedIn, etc.
7. YouTube – One of the most highly-trafficked sites on the Internet today. Post your own videos
here for an SEO-rich Outpost.
8. Flickr – In addition to providing another Outpost for your PR practice, this is an excellent tool to
provide images to bloggers and other media on behalf of your clients.
9. Backtype - A conversational search engine that indexes comments from blogs. Good
research/monitoring tool, as well as an Outpost where all of your blog comments are compiled in
one place for public reference.
10. Ning – Launch your own social network. Ning offers more than 50 different themes as well as
the option to completely control the CSS of a Ning Network.
Research and Measurement
1. Groundswell Social Technographics Profile Tool – Free, interactive tool to help you
understand the social computing behaviors of your targeted demographic.
2. Twitter-Friends – To see your relevant network and some stats about your tweeting behavior
compared to other Twitter users.
3. Tweetmeme Analytics – Checks the RT spread of a tweet. Costs $50/month per domain. You
can also get an unlimited account for an undisclosed price.
4. Blogpulse – Maps out trends by keyword, can be usedc to roughly benchmark mentions against
competitors. A bit rough because it doesn’t map sentiment.
5. Google Analytics – Free program to check the analytics of your web or blogsite.
6. Compete, Quantcast and Alexa – Analytics that show traffic, trends and demographics
(Quantcast) for websites and some blogs
7. HootSuite and Bit.ly – URL shortening services that also include analytics, number of clicks,
etc. HootSuite also has a number of other features like scheduled tweets and management tools.
8. Alltop – Great moderated list of blogs by topic. A good place to start your research on influential
9. Post Rank – Find the most popular blog posts on a particular site, makes it quick and easy to do
in-depth research on a blog that goes beneath the surface.
1. GoDaddy – Offers an easy and reliable means to register a low-cost domain name, which you
can then use for your email address. There may be cheaper registrars out there, but some are
not entirely trustworthy.
2. Hostgator and Laughing Squid – Low-cost – but robust – hosting solution.
3. Wordpress or Wordpress Hosted – Increasingly the best platform for blogging, can also be a
great way to build your own easy-to-manage Web site.
4. Blogger – Another blogging platform that serves as the top alternative to Wordpress.
5. Thesis – Widely viewed as one of the easiest Wordpress blogging themes to use.
1. Help a reporter out (HARO) – One of the easiest ways to get story leads also happens to be
free. Just sign up and you’ll receive an email (usually twice daily) of press queries organized by
industry/interest for easy scanning.
2. Media on Twitter – Robust database of Twitter user names for media and analyst contacts,
freely available and updatable.
3. Muck Rack – Organizes journalists on Twitter by beat and sources (media outlet). You can read
journalist tweet in real time at their site. Also has a paid press release distribution service.
4. BuzzStream - A media tracking, relationship management, and collaboration tool that
automates mundane tasks like finding and saving profile and contact information through a one-
5. Matchpoint - Search application that identifies the most appropriate and influential reporters
and bloggers for a specific story pitch, includes contact information.
6. AP Stylebook Ask the Editor – Can’t find your Stylebook? This online Q&A is searchable, and
you can often find the answers to your style questions here.
7. PitchEngine and PRXBuilder – Both of these tools help you to build and host a Social Media
Free and Paid Monitoring
1. Google Alerts – Setup Google to automatically email you with new news – including blogs, if
you’d like – about search terms you designate.
2. Twitter Search (formerly Summize) – You don’t have to be on Twitter to find out what’s being
said about you or your clients. Searches on this site can even be subscribed to via RSS feed.
3. Addict-o-matic – One-stop site for searching multiple social media channels
4. Meltwater News – Paid media monitoring for much less than some of its bigger competitors.
5. Radian6 – Paid monitoring of social media channels, including forums, comments, blogs and
more. Good for a client projects that need a more robust solution.
6. BuzzStream – Nice lightweight social media monitoring tool that also includes a contact
management system that automates some of the work of researching bloggers. Low cost.
1. Powered Templates - A great source of downloadable PowerPoint templates and backgrounds.
Most require a small fee, but if you’re design challenged it can be well worth it.
2. Compfight - You’ve no doubt heard of the photo sharing site Flickr, but you may not know it
can be a great source of free professional images (for your presentations, blogs, etc). At this
Flickr search tool you can turn the “Creative Commons: Commercial” qualifier on, and it will find
only those images that are usable for commercial purposes (be sure to give the photographer
attribution per their individual terms).
3. iStockphoto – For around $1 per image, this site makes it easy to find just the right image you
need, with no attribution required.
4. Picnik – An amazingly easy online photo editor.
5. crowdSPRING – Have graphic designers create a logo, website or other items for you. Name
your price, you pick the one that you like the best.
1. Google Docs – Offers applications including word processing, spreadsheets and presentations
that you can create and share online, and then edit anytime, from anywhere. You can even
import existing documents for no-cost backup storage.
2. Zoho – Zoho is a suite of 16 productivity and business applications that compete with Google’s
offering. Zoho allows you to not just import existing documents, but also entire folders via the
3. iGoogle – Develop a personalized page of widgets for easy access to your key online resources.
Make it your home page for a productivity boost.
4. When is Good - Simple way to schedule meetings with multiple participants without the email
5. Zamzar - If someone sends you a file that you don’t have the software to open, check here to
see if you can convert it into another format that works for you.
6. You Send It – Circumvent email when sending large files by using this service, which allows you
to just send a link to the download.
7. Jott - Jott’s voice-to-text services allow you to record and capture thoughts, create to-dos, set
reminders, and send emails and text messages – just by calling a special phone number.
Unfortunately, Jott’s free version is now more limited than it once was, but it can still be useful
8. Evernote - Allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device
or platform you find most convenient. The stored information is then accessible and searchable
at any time, from anywhere.
9. Slideshare - The leading site to publicly share your Powerpoint presentations, giving them
greater visibility, and to view presentations of others for inspiration.
10. Toodledo – There are countless Web-based to-do list tools. This one gives you the ability to
group tasks by project and assign priorities. If you have an iPhone, you can also use it to sync
with the Todo application.
11. Delicious - Delicious is a Web-based bookmarking service that allows you to save, manage, tag,
and share Web pages from a centralized source.
1. FreeConference.com - Get your own free dedicated dial-in number and access code to hold
conference calls on demand. Other no-cost and modest fee options available.
2. Skype - With Skype you can make free calls over the internet to other people on Skype for as
long as you like, to wherever you like. It’s free to download, and new services are added all the
3. Backpack - Billed as “an Intranet in 30 Seconds,” Backpack provides a central spot for
organizing your business and sharing information with your team (which, via permissions, can
include clients, vendors, partners, etc.). With integrated to-do lists, files, notes, and a calendar,
Backpack is not free but many swear by it. Basecamp, another file sharing program, is also
owned by the same company.
4. GoToMeeting – This online meeting and conferencing software is another paid service, but one
that allows you to operate in a virtual environment. A competitor to WebEx, it offers secure
screen sharing without having to set up complicated video feeds or Webcams.
5. Dim-Dim – A free (up to 20 participants) online meeting and conferencing system. A competitor
to WebEx and GoToMeeting, it allows participants to join in with just a web browser, no
downloads required except by the moderator.
1. Freshbooks – Fast becoming the solution of choice, Freshbooks offers time tracking and
invoicing that is easy to use and free to try.
2. Survey monkey - All the tools you need to create your own online surveys quickly and easily.
Use it on your clients’ behalf, or create a quick survey to solicit feedback from clients on your
3. Paypal – With economic times being strange as they are, some clients may want to pay you with
their business credit card. This online payment system can offer an easy way for you to accept
these credit card payments.
4. FaxZero – These days, the need to fax is rare. In those unusual instances, this service can be a
good solution if you don’t have a machine and want to avoid a trip to Kinko’s. Note that free
faxes are available, but they will include an ad on the cover page (ad-free versions cost $1.99).