16 Must-Have PR Agency Tools that I Can't Live WithoutJan 22, 2024
I started my entrepreneurial journey over 18 years ago, going from lawyer to solopreneur to thriving agency owner and CEO. I know firsthand that there are SO many moving parts you need to have a handle on when you run an agency. Through that time, I’ve found tons of digital agency tools, platforms, and programs that make running a business wayyyy easier.
Whether I’m creating content, building PR strategies for my clients, or just chatting with my team, these tools let me work on high-impact projects, generate BIG results, and help me be my niche’s go-to expert.
My 16 Must-Have Agency Tools
Having the right programs and platforms in your toolkit is essential for thriving as an agency owner. Let’s dive into the 16 agency tools I can’t live without!
Prowly has been a game-changer for my agency! It’s an all-in-one platform to assist you with everything a PR pro needs. Inside Prowly, you get access to media monitoring tools, an online newsroom for each client, a media database with thousands of contacts, and more!
I primarily recommend Prowly for small and mid-size agencies, but anyone and everyone can benefit from this program — my team uses it every day!
Chances are you’ve used Slack before! It’s a really popular messaging platform in the corporate world, but it’s super beneficial for small businesses, too! On Slack, you can send text messages, share files, and record video and audio memos to share with your team. You can message people 1-on-1 or create channels to chat with multiple team members.
Slack is miles better than email, especially with team members you talk to a lot. It keeps your conversations organized and easily searchable!
#3: Talk-to-Text and Reminders
These agency tools are already programmed into your phone, so you better take advantage of them! I like to use talk-to-text when I’m on the go and don’t have time to type out a long text message or email. I hit the little microphone button, carefully state my message (including punctuation!), and hit send. Talk-to-text is shockingly accurate and maintains the correct spelling of words and names you commonly use.
Reminders and Siri are major time management hacks for me. You can ask Siri to remind you of anything, like an upcoming appointment, a call you have to make, or something you need to add to your grocery list. Passing all these small things over to Siri keeps them out of your head so you can better focus on your agency’s high-impact projects. Bonus: they’ll free up calendar space for important meetings and deep work time!
Grammarly is probably my most-used Chrome extension (and one of my most-used agency tools). It’s an AI-powered spelling and grammar checker that you can bring everywhere you go online — super helpful when you’re writing emails or working in Google Docs! Grammarly catches spelling mistakes, fixes grammar errors, and even suggests wording changes to make your writing more concise and keep your tone consistent.
If you’ve ever made social media content for your clients or tried out a new aesthetic for your agency, you’ve probably used Canva! Canva is an intuitive photo-editing software that lets you create basically any type of graphic you could imagine.
They have tons of free drag-and-drop templates to help you get started, plus stickers, images, fonts, and more. Canva is my go-to agency tool for creating client proposals, press clips, and client one-pages. You can even save your agency’s brand colors, fonts, and logo to make all your editing a breeze!
AirTable is like the next step up from Google Sheets. It acts as a shareable database for your team but with even more functionality than Sheets or Excel.
In AirTable, you can organize and store information, automate your workflow, and create databases to keep track of project progress. This is one of the newest additions to my agency toolkit, and it’s been incredibly helpful in collaborating with clients and team members on social media content planning.
This one is all thanks to my Integrator, Miranda! She uses Indeed for all of our team hires. On Indeed, you can post jobs, vet resumes, and send skills tests to potential hires to ensure they’re the right fit for the job. Miranda has had great luck finding quality team members for positions like graphic designer, copywriter, virtual assistant, and more!
She’s even created additional resources for how to find and hire team members on Indeed inside The Agency Accelerator!
#8: QuickBooks Online
PR pros are creatives, not necessarily numbers people (me included!). To help me keep my agency’s finances in check, I use QuickBooks Online. I lean on QuickBooks to keep track of client invoicing and do bookkeeping for my agency. I’ll log each month’s revenue and expenses in my account so I can easily get my monthly and yearly totals.
Prepping for tax time is super easy with QuickBooks, and they even have a bank transfer feature to help clients avoid credit card fees when paying their monthly retainer!
If you ever need to record your screen for a client or team member, then Screencastify is the agency tool for you! I use Screencastify to record live trainings, create content inside The Pitch Lab and The Agency Accelerator, and share videos with my clients. Screencastify integrates directly with Google Drive, so it’s super easy to save and share your content.
#10: Google Workspace
Google Workspace is the #1 necessity in my agency and the most important of all my agency tools. It’s where we house ALL of our files (including documents, photos, and spreadsheets) and includes Gmail and Google Analytics.
As an 18-year industry vet, I know Gmail is the best email platform for agencies and team collaboration. I can create professional email addresses for each team member and maintain ownership and oversight over all files and emails.
Google Analytics is the most intimidating agency tool I’ve used, but it’s so worth it! GA helps you track your client’s traffic and engagement to see where their web traffic comes from, how many people engage with a campaign, and more. That data is the key to creating more impactful strategies!
We’re all very familiar with Zoom at this point, and for good reason! It’s an absolutely crucial agency tool for all PR pros. I use Zoom for my meetings with team members and clients. We’re spread out all over the country and Zoom makes it easy to connect face-to-face.
I love that you can easily schedule recurring meetings, too! It makes organizing my team’s weekly and monthly calendars super simple.
Substack has totally shaken up the PR world! Substack is the best platform to get updates from journalists and stay on top of industry trends. With Substack, you can subscribe to different newsletters to hear more from your media contacts and industry news publications.
Substack is free to use, but many users put their premium insider content behind a small subscription fee (which is definitely worth it!). We have a list of our community’s favorite Substacks in The Pitch Lab and our members are always highlighting new, valuable Substacks.
#13: Apple AirPods Pro
Okay, this tool is more in-person than digital, but my AirPods make using my favorite agency tools so much easier. I like to use my AirPods during client and team meetings or any time I’m doing a podcast interview. In my experience, they improve the sound quality and make everything clearer and crisper. Outside of my agency, I use them to listen to my favorite podcasts while walking my dog, Lola!
Asana is Miranda’s project management system of choice for Jeneration Academy. With Asana, you can assign your team members tasks, review workflows and task progress, and ensure all projects are completed on time. Asana makes it easy to keep track of every responsibility, whether it’s a task that can be completed in 10 minutes or a months-long, high-impact team project.
One of our community members, Tamaryn Tobian hosted a jam-packed, actionable masterclass inside The Agency Accelerator all about how she uses Asana in her PR agency!
Data-driven pitches have become increasingly important over the past year, and KWFinder is the best bang-for-your-buck SEO keyword agency tool out there!
KWFinder allows you to research trending keywords in your niche that journalists could use to rank their articles on search engines. You can use this data to write pitches that target specific keywords — and include your keyword data in your pitch! SEO-driven pitches are especially compelling to journalists looking to hit certain KPIs at their outlet and boost affiliate revenue.
BoxFox isn’t exactly an agency tool, but it’s my go-to site for creating thoughtful client gifts! I use BoxFox to send gifts to new clients and create custom gifts around the holidays. Their packaging is so gorgeous! I love curating each custom box to include items I think my clients will enjoy. There are tons of gift options at every price point, so you can create gifts that fit any budget.
As a solopreneur, you might feel like you have to do it all yourself — but you don’t! Choosing the right agency tools will make the day-to-day of running your agency SO much easier. When you rely on your toolkit to simplify your work, you can focus on doing what you do best!