8 genius hacks for digital PRs

By Lizzy Green
29th March 2022

In the past I have been described by the team as our resident hack-finder, so – from time-saving tricks to tips on sparking creative inspiration – I’ve pulled together my eight favourite hacks that can help make the lives of digital PRs easier.

1. How to find hidden contact emails for journalists

Most journalists have their email addresses available through media databases, but there is always that one crucial email address missing – so here are some of the ways you can try to find it:

  • Check the publication’s website: Often the sites will have bios for their journalists and sometimes their email address will be included.
  • Another route is checking Twitter, firstly, look if the email address is in their Twitter bio, or you can search for their handle and the word “email” (e.g. “@journalist email”) and you can see any previous tweets and replies where they might have shared their email address.
  • A lot of publications have Facebook pages too, and in the about section there could be a useable email address – in my experience this trick is almost always effective with smaller publications.
  • This might not really count as a “hack” but using an email finder extension is the easiest method so if you can get access to one, I would recommend “Hunter” since this one has a good database.
  • Finally, if you already have another journalist’s email at that publication then follow the same email structure for the journalist who you want to contact (e.g. [email protected]) and keep your fingers crossed that works!
2. Using TweetDeck to keep on top of journo requests and hashtags

The #journorequest can sometimes get hectic so I find the best way to stay on top of them is to view them through a TweetDeck.

  • You can add columns to track different hashtags or include keywords to pull through tweets that contain them.
  • Since it can be difficult to keep on top of, this hashtag gets overlooked by many PRs, but if you use TweetDeck then you’ll find a lot of relevant requests that aren’t on media request platforms – so you’ll have a much better chance of securing them!
3. Using pivot tables in excel for speedy data analysis

Excel has so many features and formulas that I’ve only recently started hearing about and they can be used to analyse data for PR campaigns – plus they’re so user friendly!

  • There are so many other great ways to use excel features, so I started following @cheatsheets on TikTok since they show handy tricks. It’s a great way to learn new skills.
  • Pivot tables are one of my new favourite tools to quickly and neatly organise data. It’s a great way to find the total amounts and percentage split in data.
  • If there’s something you want to do with excel, chances are there will always be a way to do it, so give it a google or ask a colleague!
4. How to find syndicated regional results

Getting coverage across a collection of regional publications is amazing, but with so many sites it can be tricky to find all the syndicated coverage you have secured. There are a few different ways you can track your coverage:

  • If you put either the headline or the unique end of the URL in quotation marks when you google it, then the results will show only hits with that exact word or phrase.
  • You should also go to the last page on google and click “repeat the search with the omitted results included” and it will pull everything for you.
  • To narrow it down and stop you from getting completely flooded with other results, I also like to limit the time to the last 24 hours (if that’s when it went live).
5. Utilise your bookmarks

An organised bookmarks bar is a PR’s best friend!

  • Whenever I see a new data source or campaign inspiration, I like to save them to my bookmarks bar immediately, otherwise I know I’ll spend hours looking for them again in a weeks’ time.
  • Keeping it all organised in folders can also be really helpful – I personally have folders for data sources, campaign inspiration, and client specific folders.
6. Use the Nofollow Chrome extension

There are so many handy google chrome extensions, but one of my favourites is the Nofollow chrome extension.

  • It’s useful for identifying follow vs no-follow links really quickly by placing either a red or a green box around the links on the page.
  • This saves so much time trawling through sites trying to find the links.
7. Keep an eye on Netflix’s Coming Soon category

The Coming Soon section on Netflix is not only useful for planning your next binge, but it’s also a great tool to utilise for PR.

  • Popular Netflix shows are always talked about in the media – think Bridgeton, Squid Games, and The Tinder Swindler. These all took the media by storm and were great hooks to jump on for your clients if you timed it right.
  • By keeping an eye on the shows that are coming soon, you can spot a new show or film that will be a hit or the new season of an already popular show.
  • If you’re prepared on the release date, you could be the first to run with a campaign for it.
8. Email yourself TikToks

I can’t be the only one who spends far too much time in the evenings or on weekends scrolling through TikTok for hours – this trick not only validates that time, but now you can also call it productivity!

  • We know that TikTok can be a great place to spark creative ideas and find sources for reactive campaigns, so when you find a TikTok that might be relevant for your clients email it to yourself.
  • This means that when you log on in the morning the creative and inspirational TikToks are right there in your inbox and haven’t been forgotten overnight.
  • You can also do this to help your team members – if you see one that would be relevant to their client then be sure to email it to them too.
  • The same goes for any news articles or social media posts I might see when I’m off the clock.

I hope these tips are useful to you too!

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