Social media tools for PR professionals

March 10, 2009

ToolsInitially, I wanted to write exclusively about HARO (Help a Reporter Out), developed by Peter Shankman. However, after doing some research, I discovered several brilliant social media tools for PR professionals. The following is a list of tools I think every PR student/pro should use. My inspiration for this post comes from Sarah Evans’ original post on Mashable, titled 10 of the Best Social Media Tools for PR Professionals and Journalists.

HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

HARO, developed by Peter Shankman, is an e-mail mailing list. Once you sign up, you will receive three e-mails per day, which include 30 to 50 queries per e-mail. The topics of the queries include Health, Business and Finance, Entertainment, Technology, and Travel. If you find a query that you have information about, you e-mail the reporter directly. If the information is valid and interesting, the reporter may get in touch with you for further information. This is a great place for PR professionals to receive direct queries from reporters and it’s free!


PitchEngine is a social media news release building and sharing network. PitchEngine allows PR professionals to easily distribute information and communicate news. Social media news releases are the future of traditional news releases. PitchEngine provides journalists and PR professionals with a variety of Web 2.0 tools. PitchEngine eliminates the need for email attachments, word documents, and image CDs. Movies, pictures, and other Web 2.0 gadgets can easily be uploaded to the social media release. PitchEngine also allows reporters to subscribe to releases via RSS. looks at how journalists use social media networks and tools to improve beat reporting. The site defines beat blogging as a blog that sticks to a well-defined beat of coverage area. The beat blog presents a regular stream of reporting and commentary in a specific area the beat covers. describes themselves as a “best practices” site.

Sarah Evans describes as a source to build a strong pitch distribution list. The site highlights the latest trends and tools and how they can help reporters do a better job tracking their beat.

Media People Using Twitter

Media People Using Twitter is a Wiki site that includes a list of some influential journalists that use Twitter. The journalists also are nicely categorized by geographic location.

Additional resources:

Developing Social Media Workshops for Journalists

How Journalists Can Leverage Social Media


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