The questions are inevitable and they come when we strategists least expect them – “What’s the reach of that Facebook campaign?” Or, “What’s the status of that infographic?” To those we represent, the questions are vital. The answers, and our ability to deliver them quickly, can equate to trust, reputation and whether we’ll land the next project.
Staying ahead of the competition means rapid access to information and rapid ability to curate information. If your team is moving at the speed of light but your technology is bumping along, it’s time to start downloading. Here’s a collection of my favorite apps for public relations practitioners and strategists.
Analytics for iPad
Nothing describes results or reach of an online campaign better than statistics. And not a day goes by when I’m not using Analytics for iPad. The app offers up Google Analytics reports – even real-time web traffic – in an easy-to-use interface supporting multiple domains and subdomains. View all of your clients’ web properties without the burden of separate login credentials. I use the free version, but you can pay to unlock additional features.
If only the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was right in its description of public relations practitioners: “Long workdays are common, as is overtime.” And then, add 12 hours, right? Nothing is more time-munching tedious than manually entering contact information. So, let Linkedin do it for you. Snap a photo of a business card and Cardmunch compares it to the Linkedin database to auto-populate your phone’s address book. Contact not on Linkedin? Then the card’s image is transferred to a real person who enters the information for you. And it’s free. Update: Linkedin is converting from Cardmunch to Evernote and is no longer supporting Cardmunch.
Managing multiple projects with several team members can be tough, but with RedBooth, access to tasks is literally a few clicks away – meaning fast access to project status and roadblock identification. The app is great for real-time status reporting and tracking, but building complete projects is easier using the web-based cloud interface. The free version allows document storage and Google Drive integration, but limits projects to five, and storage to 5 GB.
After LogMeIn’s recent PR failure, with the free computer mirroring service giving users just days to pay or else, TeamViewer has emerged as a popular replacement – and with more features. TeamViewer allows you to access and control any number of PC’s or Mac’s remotely. It permits access to the file you forgot to push to the cloud or (with a nod toward the real purpose of the app) allows multiple collaborators in different locations. TeamViewer is free for personal use and the app reminds you of this after each use. Commercial users are expected to pay for a subscription.
Facebook Pages Manager
Alright, you have Twitter and Hootsuite to manage those 140-character messages. Enter Facebook Pages Manager for the rest. Post new photos, monitor the brand conversation, and respond to private messages or public posts. The app comes with the ability to enable push notifications, but if your Facebook pages are highly trafficked, the interruptions might be too frequent. The app is free and allows you to manage all of your Facebook pages in one place.
If you’re of the type who keeps a tablet and a pen on the nightstand just in case that ‘a-ha’ moment comes between the 9-minute snooze intervals – and you’ll forget it if you don’t write it down – Evernote is for you. The app allows you to save content from virtually anywhere online. Save notes, web pages, even snap photos and arrange them for easy access later in the app or on the web. The free app allows you to make voice recordings, which just might negate the need for that bedside pen and paper.
The title about sums it up. DocsToGo is literally a way to view and edit documents while you’re on the move. And it’s a must-have app if you’re juggling multiple cloud storage accounts among multiple clients. With one-time authentication per cloud account, DocsToGo offers access to Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, SugarSync and iCloud. The free version allows editing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.
Adobe Photoshop Express
If the photo you snapped isn’t quite ready for Facebook or Twitter, but needs to be ready quickly, Adobe Photoshop Express can help. Quickly rotate and crop images while adjusting color. Add in one of the app’s basic photo effects, and that lackluster image is ready to sell. This free app even allows you to send images to Walgreens for printing.