March 20, 2002

25 Best Free Online Resources for PR Professionals

SUMMARY: There are probably 1,000 Web sites having something to do with PR. We have combed through them to bring you the most useful, free links for PR pros and corporate communicators. Includes: Useful links for job searchers; How to find out what PR firm your competition uses; Best free newsletters on crisis communications, measuring PR campaigns, and media relations; Best email discussion groups to post questions on.
MarketingSherpa's editors have combed through the hundreds of online resources for PR and corporate communications professionals to bring you a handy links list to the best.

We did not include vendors (because they cost money), articles of limited value, or associations (because you probably already know about them) -- just the useful stuff:

Useful email newsletters

There are dozens of free newsletters on PR-related topics, most of them published by PR firms and vendors to the field. We have weeded through them to bring you a few of the very best:

Job of the Week (JOTW)
This free newsletter detailing new PR and corporate communications job openings has been a runaway success since Edward Lundquist launched it about a year ago. You can check out past issues online. To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:

Archives at:

Note: if you are interested in other PR-related online job resources, check out our Jobs Guide at:

The Gauge
In tough times, PR budgets are often the first to get cut because the CFO does not see a clear link between expenditures and sales growth. Delahaye has been publishing Case Studies, guidelines and tips on PR measurement since the late '80s. Definitely worth signing up for if you need to measure your success, or defend your budget.

XPressPress i-PR Newsletter
Published monthly, this newsletter is a useful source for best-of hotlinks to recent articles published elsewhere on PR, and useful sites for PR pros to know about. Also includes a handful of queries from journalists seeking sources (but not nearly as many as listed by paid services PR Newswire's Profnet or MediaMap.),21

MediaMap's MediaWatch & Expert in PR
If you need to track journalist job moves to improve your media relations database, this newsletter is a great free alternative to paid services. Includes business and consumer journalists. Also includes general how-to articles on PR from a variety of consultants and MediaMap staff.

BrandIllumination's Newsletter
If you are trying to influence analysts at firms like Gartner, Forrester, Jupiter, etc., who the press frequently quote as sources in stories about your industry, then the Brand Illumination Newsletter is for you. Every few weeks you will get a new article explaining how to improve your analyst relations. To subscribe, send a blank email to

TJFR, a publishing company that sells PR pros detailed profiles of influential journalists, now offers a "lite" version newsletter for free at this new Web site. Although it is a teaser to buy stuff, there is enough useful info to make the free newsletter worth signing up for if you are a media relations specialist.

Crisis Manager
Product recalls, sudden CEO departures, false rumors affecting your stock, client defections … crisis communications is a critical part of every PR pro's skill set, but many folks do not take the time to learn about it until it is too late. This free twice-monthly newsletter is a quick, yet useful read. Plus, check out the article archives for 'Biggest Mistakes' article.

Media Insider Digest
This free weekly from PR Newswire & Profnet does have some useful media relations tips and journalist profiles, but it is most useful for its calendar of professional events across America. Includes scheduled speaker names and other useful data. A definite for PR networkers.

John Kremer's Book Marketing Tip
Book publicity expert John Kremer includes loads of useful journalist names and phone numbers in each issue of this weekly. Do you have a book to promote? This is a must-read.

Email Discussion Groups

This discussion group, run by professional association PRSA, is our favorite resource for questions about PR tactics, firm management, service selection, etc. Every few days a member tosses out a question, and everyone chips in to give advice, useful links and experienced answers. Lightly moderated (to keep it spam-free). Averages about 10 email messages a day. Well worth it.

Every Tuesday and Friday, the moderator of this group sends an update with the latest best-of postings, often including how-to Q&As. Members of this group are more likely to be on the client-side, or consultants-trying-to-impress-you than the PPConline list. Check out a sample issue.

PR Bytes
Supposedly for high tech PR folks, but we have seen general PR messages here too:

PR Forum
One of the oldest and most famous groups. To subscribe, send a message reading "subscribe PRFORUM firstname lastname" to

Young PR Pros
This list is specifically for PR pros during the first 10 years of their career. A great place to troll for entry-level talent if you are hiring.

Generally useful sites & tools

PR insiders have relied on O'Dwyers print edition to bring them insider agency and firm news for decades. The publication's Web site includes daily news (especially new client wins), jobs postings, a services/vendor guide, and useful tools such as the ability to look up a client's PR firm -- so you can see which PR firm your competition uses.

PR Salary Check-Up
Are you making the right salary? This useful tool is designed for American PR and corporate communications pros (but we bet it would be fun for other folks too).

Guide to Internet Monitoring & Clipping
This exceptionally valuable white paper, sponsored by online monitoring service CyberAlert, is the best backgrounder we have seen on the whole issue of how to track what people are saying about your company or brand online. Includes useful screen shots, hotlinks and Case Studies. A must-read.

Billed as "The After Hours Place for PR Pros"(SM), this site includes useful articles, sometimes-provocative commentary, and very fun design that makes you feel like being a PR pro is not so bad after all. A great place to visit on Friday afternoons when you're feeling a bit tired.

If you are considering getting a degree in PR or teaching it at the university-level, this site has some very useful links for you (despite the frighteningly huge font size on secondary pages).

Pitch Power: Courting the Journalist
This five-part article by PR pro Peter Fuller is chock full of no-nonsense advice and handy examples on how to pitch stories to the press. Only parts 1-3 are published yet, so bookmark the site after you read them and remember to return in a month or two.,3029,10123_940801,00.html

Holmes Report
Although this used to be a dud site, the folks at Holmes Group have improved it a lot so if you have not visited recently it is worth another shot. Now includes a commentary Weblog and a database of the "best PR firms to work for."

Le File
Written by our favorite crotchety expert, William Dupuy, this site is a must-read destination for investor relations pros, and corporate communications execs working for large public companies. Features useful tips and biting commentary on how to manage your Web presence.

The Journalist's Toolbox & Journalist Express
If you want journalists to quote you as an expert, or use your site as an informational source for stories, then you need to put yourself in their path by asking these sites to link to you. These two sites are the most used by journalists as links resources for experts, factoids and background.

Not For Attribution
If you are the middle person between a CEO and the media, this book is guaranteed to make you laugh. It is not free (it's the only thing on this list that is not) but it is so darn fun we just had to include it.

Know of another, really useful, free resource we should like to? Tell us about it at

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