Every Author who writes a nonfiction book has specific goals in mind for their book. Maybe they want to make money, get more clients, find speaking engagements, or have an impact on a particular target audience.
But here’s the hard truth: if you want to achieve your overall objectives for your book, you can’t just publish the book and wipe your hands of all other responsibilities.
You have to actively market your book and spread the word about your ideas and skills.
One of the fastest ways to build that Author brand awareness is to get media coverage that will reach your target market.
Some Authors hire PR pros to manage their media relations—but for most Authors, this isn’t necessary.
There are plenty of PR tools that will help you find media opportunities on your own.
Below, you’ll find a list of the best public relations tools you can use to boost your media outreach. I’ll explain what these tools are, how they work, and provide pricing information.
What are PR Tools?
Public relations tools are tools that help you find media professionals and influencers who might be interested in what you have to say.
These tools might connect you with people who want a quote for an article or who want to feature you for a profile, interview, or article.
There are 2 main types of publicity: earned media and paid media.
Earned media is media coverage you earn through promotional efforts. For example, when you send a pitch to a media outlet and they decide to feature your book.
Paid media is exactly what it sounds like. You pay an influencer, media outlet, or other organization to promote you and your book.
Some Authors rely entirely on earned media, while others are comfortable investing in paid advertising. Your choice will be dependent on your goals, target audience, and budget.
We’ve broken these tools into several categories below:
- General PR tools that help you find appropriate media outlets, make media contacts, and get media mentions.
- PR tools that connect you with influencers.
- PR tools designed to help you find podcasts.
The 28 Best Public Relations Tools for Finding Media Opportunities
General PR Tools
Cision is a media database designed to help users find media contacts, optimize their messaging for the right media, track their audience reach, and measure outcomes.
Cision is an industry standard for PR professionals and marketers. It’s a powerful, multi-purpose tool that can help you:
- develop a media marketing strategy
- follow through with media monitoring once you’ve pitched
It does have a couple of drawbacks: its information is sometimes outdated, and there aren’t many podcast contacts.
The pricing for Cision depends on which products and services you need. You can fill out a questionnaire on their website to start designing a tailored package.
2. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a free email subscription list.
Reporters indicate what kinds of information or experts they need. If you’re a good fit, you can contact them directly.
This is an easy, free way to break into media outlets you wouldn’t otherwise get into. It also shows your target audience that you’re a credible source.
If you play your cards right, you can establish long-term relationships with individual journalists. This can lead to additional coverage in the future.
Try to understand what they need from you before you reply. It helps to read some sound-bites in their other articles to get a feel for the kinds of quotes they need and publish.
ProfNet is another PR tool that connects journalists to expert sources.
Once you subscribe, you can set up your preferences to indicate your areas of expertise. When media opportunities arise that match those preferences, they’ll contact you.
ProfNet is a subsidiary of Cision, and unlike HARO, ProfNet is a paid service.
Pricing operates on a sliding scale. It depends on the number of users, type of organization, and number of industry categories you choose.
Don’t rule out your most basic digital marketing resources. Google is still the search engine to rule them all, and it can help you find powerful leads.
Use Google to find media outlets and media professionals who focus on your specific topic. Look for articles, podcasts, radio shows, news stories, blogs, and other media relevant to your target audience.
Here’s a word to the wise: the more targeted you are, the better.
Yes, Dr. Phil might have featured one engineer on his show several years back—but that doesn’t mean your engineering expertise will be a good fit for his program.
When you wrote your book, you narrowed in on a specific target audience. Any media outlets you pitch should also speak directly to that audience.
Remember, the riches are in the niches.
When you find promising leads, look for their preferred submission guidelines and contact information. Some might prefer email pitches, while others want traditional press releases. Some podcasts also have application forms on their website that you can use to apply for the show.
Whatever the preferred submission criteria are, follow them. You always want to start off on the right foot. That means following directions and not annoying your chosen journalist, producer, or other media contact.
LinkedIn is a useful social media platform for finding media coverage.
Many media professionals have LinkedIn profiles that include their email address or preferred contact information. You can also contact them directly through LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is also helpful if there is an event, podcast, or media outlet that you’re trying to reach, but you don’t know who the correct point of contact is. Searching the site can provide some answers.
Twitter is a commonly overlooked PR tool. People think of it only as a social media site, but it’s also a great platform for finding media contacts.
Search hashtags by industry or topic to see if any publications or reporters are working in your field.
When you find them, don’t leap straight into a pitch. Build the relationship over time. Comment on their articles, ask questions, and try to attract their attention organically.
For PR opportunities, Instagram works very much like Twitter.
Many influencers use Instagram as their primary platform, and you can contact them directly through their IG profile.
You can search through hashtags to find influencers in your field. It’s also a useful way to find bloggers with large followings.
Don’t underestimate the power of blogs. Guest blogging can be a highly effective way to increase your brand outreach.
PR Tools for Finding Influencers
If you already know who the leading influencers in your field are, then you may not need these tools.
But if you need some help knowing who’s got your target audience’s attention, these PR tools are designed to help you find the right influencers across a variety of social media platforms.
Some influencers will promote you for free if you really resonate with them or if you can offer a reciprocal exchange—but many require payment.
Izea is a paid influencer marketing tool that offers multiple options for subscribers.
The tool most suitable for finding influencers is their Izeax Discovery tool.
For $149 per month, you can subscribe to Izea’s influencer discovery database. It contains more than 7 million influencers with access to over 870 million pieces of social media content.
Here’s how it works: if you searched the database for yoga influencers, it would pull up all the top yoga influencers and show you how many followers they have, what platforms they use, what percentage of their content is sponsored, and their engagement rate.
Izea also offers a service called Shake that allows you to pay for product placement sponsorships. Depending on your book objectives, this may be a solid public relations option.
Fohr is a public relations tool centered on ambassador marketing.
They’ve built a “self-serve platform” that lets you find more than 100,000 influencers, access their analytics, and find out if they have fake followers.
The platform also gives you influencers’ email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses.
It can provide detailed metrics, including demographic information about their followers, which is helpful for making sure your influencer campaign will reach your target audience. You don’t want to sink money in a PR campaign without knowing you’ll reach the right people.
You can sign up for a 7-day trial or reach out to Fohr through their website to find out about pricing options.
10. Ninja Outreach
Ninja Outreach is a social search engine that helps you find Instagram and YouTube influencers.
Their database contains millions of profiles, which include email addresses for every listed influencer.
Using keywords or geographic filters, you can find business profiles or social media influencers that fit your professional niche.
You can sign up on their website for a free 7-day trial. After that, a flex plan (suitable for most individual Authors) costs $119 per month, and it’s billed yearly.
PR Tools for Finding Podcasts
Podcasts are an incredible marketing tool. They give Authors an opportunity to speak at length about their ideas, and the audience for podcasts is growing steadily, with no signs of stopping.
Better yet, many mainstream podcasts are still fresh enough to be accessible without hiring a PR team. That makes podcasts one of the best places for Authors to invest their PR efforts.
There are a number of PR resources available to help you find and connect with the perfect podcasts.
11. Podcast Guests
Podcast Guests is a service that connects podcasters with experts and guests.
It works like HARO and ProfNet, but instead of print or digital media, it focuses specifically on podcasts.
It’s free to sign up. Then, Podcast Guests will send weekly emails listing guest opportunities. You just have to fill out a form to apply to the relevant podcasts. If it’s a mutual fit, you’ll be a guest on the show.
12. Call for Content
Call for Content is a podcast agency that helps businesses generate revenue through podcasting.
They offer several options, but the most relevant for most Authors’ purposes is their Podcast Booking Agency.
Call for Content will help you refine your message, create a media kit, and find targeted interviews for you. You won’t have to worry about pitching or finding the contacts on your own.
You can contact them for a free consultation.
If you’re really excited about podcasting, you could consider starting your own podcast.
This is definitely not an option for every Author, but it can be an effective way to build your Author platform and create more brand awareness.
Buzzsprout offers tools to help you start up, promote, and track your podcast’s results. They will help you get your podcast listed on top platforms like Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple podcasts.
They also provide audio mastering tools, episode optimization, affiliate marketing, podcast management tools, and transcription services.
They offer monthly plans with a variety of features, ranging from free to $24 per month.
Podhero is a free service that, among other features, allows you to see what podcasts your contacts are listening to.
This can be a helpful way to discover podcasts in your professional niche that speak to your target audience.
PodMatch uses AI to match podcast guests and hosts.
You create a free guest profile, and within minutes, they provide interview matches. Then, you can use the built-in messaging feature to follow up and schedule your interviews.
You get 5 free matches per week, but if you want more, you can pay for an upgraded professional account.
16-28. Podcast Subscription Services or Show Networks
Below is a list of popular show aggregators, networks, or subscription services. Browsing or searching these sites will help you identify podcasts that fit your expertise.
Some subscription sites also allow pitching. So if you find an interesting lead, check their webpage to see if they have a specified protocol for booking.
- Luminary Podcasts
- Maximum Fun
- Audible Original Podcasts
- Stitcher: includes some original content, as well as syndicated programming
- Pandora: includes some original content, as well as syndicated programming
- Health Podcast Network: podcasts about health, care, and wellbeing
- The Rabbit Room: a podcast network focusing on art, music, story, faith, and the ways in which they intersect
- Broadway Podcast Network: podcasts focusing on theatre and the performing arts