PR Tools This PR Pro Can’t Live Without

 PR Tools This PR Pro Can’t Live Without
Meghan Ely

PR Tools This PR Pro Can’t Live Without. When you’re balancing floor plans, color palettes, vendors and design schemes, it can be difficult to find time to incorporate public relations into your day-to-day routine. Of course, we all know how vital PR is to growing your business and bringing in more prospects. The question is: How can we prioritize PR without sacrificing valuable time?

Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about streamlining public relations and keeping things as efficient as possible. Although I’ve tried more programs and apps than I can keep track of, there are a handful that I’ve grown to love and have become seamlessly integrated into regular operations.

Let’s take a look at some of my favorites:

HARO and SourceBottle
In short, these two programs are lifesavers
. Rather than having to scour the Internet for press leads, HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and SourceBottle connect you directly with the press contacts. Essentially, reporters work with these programs to provide the topics that they’re working on and, with a free account, you can receive a digest of available topics to share your expertise on. It doesn’t get simpler than that!

Believe it or not, Twitter isn’t just for trending hashtags and sharing your lunch
. Twitter Lists are a feature that is often overlooked, but tremendously useful. I create lists for different sets of media contacts so I can catch up all in one place, without being distracted by the likes of cat videos and the latest Kardashian scoop. It puts all of the people you need to keep up with in one place. Making it much easier for you to stay on top of press leads.

Two Bright Lights
Many wedding pros may be familiar with Two Bright Lights.  But don’t always take advantage of its features.
In addition to organizing galleries for real weddings and styled shoots, it allows you not only to submit to publications but also to check press requests from multiple outlets.

DropBox and Google Drive
Gone are the days of losing that media list you worked so hard on or the email template that has been ever so helpful
. DropBox and Google Drive are equally useful cloud-based storage programs that allow you to access your files from any device, whether you’re at the coffee shop or on the subway.

This is especially great for the wedding pros in the crowd. As we all know real wedding submissions require input about the Big Day fro the happy couple.

This is best done with insight from your clients, but interviewing them personally isn’t always feasible. Enter Wufoo–a simple-to-use form builder that allows you to create a questionnaire for couples to complete at their convenience. Voila! We’ve also found numerous other ways to use Wufoo to streamline our day-to-day. Including but not limited to prospective inquiries and follow-up surveys. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a program that you’ve never used before. You may just find out it’s the perfect solution!

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 

Photo by Aaron Watson Photography

50 big ideas for 2017

50 big ideas for 2017

Let’s be honest: We’re ready for 2016 to end. After a year of polarizing politics, devastating natural disasters and a growing number of global refugees as wars wage on, we want to hope that bigger—and possibly better—things lay ahead in the new year.

To get a sense of what’s next, LinkedIn editors reached out to some of our most prescient writers—our Top Voices, Influencers and members of our Next Wave list—as well as other people who inspire us to find out what they’re predicting in the coming year.

Their responses are encouraging, humorous and sobering. Some are ambitious, possibly overly so: We’ll finally fix the internet, ridding it of trolls and anonymity. Others are specific and practical: Instagram will debut clickable links. Surely, not all of these ideas will materialize, but the vision and sentiment behind them is worth reading—and working towards. If it takes five years instead of one, for example, to transplant the first pig kidney into a human, we’ll take it.

So, without further ado, here are the 50 big ideas for 2017:

1. The IPO market snaps back.

Seems like this year saw the fewest number of companies make their debut on stock exchanges since 2009, according to Jay R. Ritter, a professor at University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. Due to the broad post-election rally — the S&P 500 is up 5 percent — should make companies a lot more willing to sell their shares. The big test: Snap Inc., the parent of Snapchat, said to have confidentially filed its papers for a $25 billion IPO as early as March. Furthermore if it’s successful, it could clear the way for other high-profile unicorns, like Airbnb, to follow. Ritter’s also watching the energy industry, rebounding from the glut in oil prices. Where he’s less optimistic: biotech. While those companies drove IPOs in the past couple of years, the Valeant-induced scrutiny on drug prices “kind of choked off the enthusiasm,” he says.

2. Social media gets held accountable…

Especially relevant “It’s unclear just how much the outcome of this presidential election was impacted by the fake news controversy surrounding Facebook and Twitter. What is clear, however, is that social media companies will be held more accountable for the content posted to their sites. And in 2017 they will have to find the sweet spot between free speech and censorship,”. Predicts Mahesh Vellanki, an investor at Redpoint Ventures. Read his full prediction here.

3. Media isn’t let off the hook either!

With that said 2016 featured the rise and ravages of fake news. And the coming new year will bring a radical rethinking of where we get our information. And how, predicts Top Voice and best-selling author Ryan Holiday. “The sudden awareness of fake news, the endless political scandals and conflict. Fatigue with polarization will mean that people are going to ask themselves: Why am I consuming all this?” says Holiday.

Therefore For the rest of this article