Four PRstacks to modernize your communication workflow


The PRofessionals speaker, Fred Vincx, blogs for us about PR tools

Remember when you were mesmerized by your first iPhone? How shiny this new device was! All the apps you could install! No doubt your iPhone home screen was quickly the focus of your attention. But it probably wasn’t long before the choice of apps available to you became confusing. Which apps would be most relevant? Which ones would make the most difference to your life? Soon there were countless articles listing the top apps to put on your home screen.

As a PR professional, you have a tremendous number of tools at your disposal. For example, our crowd-sourced project PRstack has already listed over 250 PR tools, and we have created guides for 50 of these tools. But just as with iPhone apps, having too much choice is not always a good thing.

So how do we get that unwieldy list of 250+ tools down to something, well, a little more wieldy? A good start is to look at which tools have already made it to the metaphorical home screen of many PR pros.

PR is a diverse business. What tools do in-house teams use? PR freelancers? Big agencies? That’s why I started asking different teams about their tools and how they string them together.

I used the popular PESO model (Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned Media) to structure the list of tools. It’s becoming the standard model for PR teams to use to create an overview of all the media channels they use. Each stack is bound to be very different (although it may also be an interesting exercise to look for similarities).

Let’s get started! Here’s the PRstack of my own PR software team at Prezly.

As expected from a team of builders, you’ll find that Prezly’s PRstack is heavy in the owned media section. We use many tools to pull website visitors through the conversion funnel. We try to grab their attention via content, and amplify that attention via social media tools. We use tools to build a relationship with our website and social media visitors, and are active in converting them to become clients. Once we have happy clients on board, our aim is to turn them into ambassadors.

Discover all the tools: Prezly, Coverage Books, Google Analytics, Mention, Slack, HeyUpdate, Trello,, Facebook ads, Buffer, Sniply, Feedly, BuzzSumo, Intercom, Google Calendar, Delighted, WordPress, Woopra, OnPage, Optin Monster, Fullstory,, and Visual Website Optimizer.

The PRstack PESO model of other teams will be very different.

I invited freelancers, in-house teams, and agencies to share their PRstack. Here is the feedback from three teams: Outsource Communications, Coverage Book, and Aura PR.


Outsource Communications

Outsource is a PR team from Brussels, Belgium, spearheaded by Gert Asselman. It has about 15 people on the payroll.



Theirs is a well balanced stack, spanning all media. Outsource works according to the PESO model. So it’s no surprise that they also provide services and use tools in newer areas like Paid and Shared media.

All the tools: Prezly, Google alerts, MediaMetrics, Hootsuite, Linkedin Pulse, IFTTT, Slack, Storify, Trello, Engagor, Buffer, Feedly, WordPress, Attavist, Mailchimp,, Unbounce, and Hemingway app


Coverage Books

The team at Coverage Books also makes PR tools. Their tool has been taking over the PR world since its launch last year. It simplifies the process of creating Powerpoint or PDF Coverage books.

Just like the Prezly stack, their PRstack is heavy in the Owned media department.

All the tools: BuzzSumo, Mention, Promoter, Slack, MailChimp, Camtasia, Google Docs, Intercom, Sprintly, FirstOfficer, Heroku, Quaderno, Stripe, Google Analytics, Perfect Audience, and Google Adwords.

Aura PR

Aura PR is the brainchild of Laura Sutherland and a leading agency in modern PR. Laura also has developed The PRofessionals, the first public relations festival in Scotland. Laura and I know each other because she also contributed to the PRstack project. Laura is a prolific blogger and social media influencer, and her toolkit reflects this. She has plenty of tools for planning, crafting, and managing social media stories.


All the tools: Coverage Books, Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, Buffer, Feedly, Sniply,  WordPress, Google Calendar, Slideshare, Mailchimp,, OnPage, BuzzSumo, and  Hemingway app


Zude PR

David Sawyer from Zude PR is in a different category altogether. David is a senior communications director that runs his own digital PR agency. I knew that he used a lot of tools, but when I asked him about his PRstack, little did I know that David would get back to me with a list of 101 tools. This stack is too big to plot on a PESO model, so I invited David to dedicate a separate post to it: 101 essential Public Relations tools for 2016.

Look for holes in your stack

Even with only four examples, it’s already been valuable to compare the stacks. You can clearly see the diversity of tools used day-to-day in the industry.

Mapping the tools on a PESO model also gives a simple overview that shows clearly where proper tooling may be lacking.For example, if you are wanting to up your social media game, or possibly establish a bigger paid media presence, the PESO PRstack model shows whether or not you are using the most appropriate tools for that purpose.

The PESO model is best combined with the PRstack database of tools. Once you have identified gaps in your workflow, head over to to find tools to modernize how you work.

If you’re looking to dive deeper in this subject, I recommend reading my guide on modernizing PR workflow.

What’s your stack?

The more examples we have, the easier it becomes to mix and match tools for our PRstacks.

What does your setup look like? You can use this Google Drawing of my PRstack at Prezly as a starting point. Or maybe you are curious to get to know the stack of a team that you know? If so, nominate them to share their PRstack with us.

Frederik Vincx designs PR software (Prezly, PRstack), leads PR innovation workshops, and presents and publishes what he’s learning along the way.