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Jan 16, 2009

No-Cost Resources for PR Pros: Top 10 Email Newsletters, 6 Content-Rich Sites, Popular Blogs

SUMMARY: Much has changed in public relations since MarketingSherpa first published “25 Best Free Online Resources for PR Professionals” in 2002. So, it’s time for an update.

Here are the Top 10 email newsletters you might want to subscribe to, six content-rich sites and links to some well-read blogs. Our list includes:
-Newsletters on crisis communications, tips and strategies
-Resources on measuring PR campaigns
-Site that’s a social media platform
-Useful sites for job seekers
Top 10 Email Newsletters

Hundreds of free email newsletters are published by a variety of sources, including press release distribution sites, PR firms, and vendors. We’ve weeded through them to bring you some of the best out there.

1. Job of the Week (JOTW)

Sign up: Enter your email address in the subscription box. It’s in the right-hand column under “Every Monday!”
Ned Lundquist’s blog/newsletter provides basic details about new jobs in the PR and communications field. It has a cult following of about 10,000 readers. Details include job title, company and location. The blog is updated once per week.

Note: If you are interested in other online PR-related job resources, check out MarketingSherpa’s job guide:

2. The Skinny on PR

Sign up: Fill out the registration form.
PR News’ bi-weekly email newsletter provides links to their online content, including useful tip sheets on simplifying CSR reports, optimizing press releases for search engine rankings, and measuring media impressions in the blogosphere. It also previews upcoming webinars (paid), reports (paid), job listings, and forums (paid).

3. The Navigator

Sign up: Fill out the registration form.
Cision’s (formerly Bacon’s) weekly email newsletter provides links to in-depth articles from industry leaders, the latest media news, and profiles of top media contacts.

Note: Cision also provides free white papers for PR pros on topics ranging from leveraging social media in communications strategies to managing a 24/7 global media environment. Check it out:

4. Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

Sign up: Subscribe to the RSS feeds.
PRSA turned their homepage into a social media platform. PR professionals can subscribe to three RSS feeds: One links to PR Tactics and The Strategist Online (free online articles); one feed links to upcoming events, including free webinars for PR professionals, and one links to news from PRSA.

5. Practical P.R.

Sign up: Click “Subscribe to Newsletter” in the top right corner of the homepage.
Margie Zable Fisher is an author, PR coach, and president of Zable Fisher Public Relations. But she also churns out weekly email newsletters filled with useful PR tactics. Her target is small businesses that need low-cost PR tools, but her tactics are useful for any PR pro on a budget.

6. The Measurement Standard

Sign up: Fill out the registration form. Check box marked “Newsletter” to receive The Measurement Standard newsletter.
KDPaine & Partners is a consultancy firm that also creates incredibly useful email newsletters dedicated to educating PR professionals about how to measure the effects of campaigns. The newsletter provides links to articles on topics, such as measuring conversations on MySpace and Facebook and establishing the ROI of social media.

Note: KDPaine & Partners also has a free measurement resources section that provides a detailed list of measurement vendors, research reports, case studies, buyer’s guides, helpful links, etc. (You must register to gain access.):

7. NewsBios

Sign up: Enter your email address in the box under “Sign up for our E-Briefing” in the top left-hand corner of the homepage.
TJFR Group, a publishing company that sells PR pros detailed profiles of influential journalists, offers a "light" version newsletter. It’s a teaser to buy stuff, but there is enough useful info to make the newsletter worth signing up for, if you are a media relations specialist.

8. Help A Reporter Out (HARO)

Sign up: Fill out the form. Click “Subscribe.”
Peter Shankman is an author, entrepreneur and founder and CEO of The Geek Factory Inc., a boutique marketing and PR strategy firm. But, on the side, he created a little thing called “Help A Reporter Out.” HARO is daily, sometimes three-times-a-day email newsletter outlining requests for sources/experts on specific topics from journalists. These requests include the name of the journalist and his or her email address, so that if you have a source/expert for him or her, you can email it directly. It’s a useful newsletter for all PR pros with clients who are experts in any number of fields. The biggest challenge is scanning all the requests to see if there’s one that might apply to your company or client. And your company or client must be relevant to the request. Shankman looks unfavorably on spamming the journalists with irrelevant sources/experts.

Note: You should create a separate folder in your inbox for these emails to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed. These emails come frequently.

9. Crisis Manager

Sign up: Enter your email address in the box in the lower right-hand corner of the homepage. Click “Join.”
Bernstein Crisis Management Inc. is a consultancy firm that helps companies with crisis management issues. Their president, Jonathan Bernstein, also organizes a twice-monthly email newsletter providing useful tips about PR crisis management issues.

10. Institute for PR Mailing list

Sign up: Enter your email address and name. Click “Subscribe.”
The Institute for Public Relations is a nonprofit that acts as a bridge between academia and the profession. It supports PR research and the application of the research in the field. Signing up for this newsletter could be useful to PR professionals interested in having access to that kind of research.

Note: To see the research that’s already been conducted, check out:

6 Useful Sites and Tools

These websites provide information and tools for PR professionals. This is not a comprehensive list, but these sites are notable for content and usefulness.

1. O’Dwyers

PR insiders have relied on O'Dwyers print edition to bring them insider agency and firm news for decades. The publication's website 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 that you could see which PR firm your competition uses.

2. Free Salary Check-Up

Are you making as much as others in your field? This useful tool is designed for American PR and corporate communications pros (but we bet it would be fun for other folks, too). Find out where you stand relative to your colleagues.

3. CornerBarPR

Billed as "The Sassy Source for PR Pros"(SM), this site includes useful articles, sometime provocative commentary, and a very fun design. A great place to visit on Friday afternoons when you're feeling a bit tired.

Note: Try the “Contacts on Tap” free trial. It provides access to 65,000 media contacts, including names, titles, publications, and email addresses for 15 days.

4. The Holmes Report

Dubbed as “News and Intelligence for Public Relations Professionals,” this site contains the latest news and case histories on the PR field. Non-members get total access to the information on the site. But you must fill out the registration form. Under “Billing Preference,” click “Check” to submit the form and gain access.

Note: The Holmes Report does come in newsletter form. Sign up for the free version by filling out the registration form (also the form for gaining access to the site):

5. Online Public Relations

This site compiles and categorizes the most comprehensive list of PR-related links that we’ve ever seen. It was developed by James Horton, principal at Robert Marston and Associates Inc., a New York-based public relations firm. His goal in creating this free resource was to “help public relations and marketing professionals serve clients better, faster, and less expensively,” according to the site.

6. PR News Digital PR Report

Digital PR Report provides quick-reading case studies, how-to articles, research about online PR tactics and strategies. You must fill out a registration form to gain access.

Useful Blog Feeds

There are thousands of blogs about public relations. Here are a few you might want to add to your RSS reader (if you don’t already have them).

A Shel of My Former Self

A View on PR from Silicon Valley

Andy Lark’s Blog

Bad Pitch Blog

Beyond the Hype

BlinnPR Report

Corporate PR

D S Simon Vlog Views

Digital PR Blog


Engage PR

The Flack

The Holmes Report Blog

Ishmael's Corner

KDPaine’s PR Measurement Blog

Micro Persuasion

The NewPR Wiki

PR 2.0

PR News Blog

PR Squared

Rich Edelman’s 6 A.M.

Seth Godin’s blog

See Also:

Comments about this Article

Jan 16, 2009 - J Brandeis of JBLH Communications says:
I'd like to add three other services which are free to sign up: TalentZoo - - jobs and articles for those in PR marketing, advertising NeedPRNow - - a division of JBLH Communications, NeedPRNow is a free matchmaking service between US-based PR consultants and small biz clients PitchEngine - - PR for the social web

Jan 19, 2009 - Pete Kennedy of Growthink says:
Web Ink Now - - by David Meerman Scott is also an excellent blog/resource.

Jan 20, 2009 - dax brady of RPM says:
For the most part these newsletters really do rock! My only thought is the conversion forms that they are using could quite possibly be the worst examples of conversion forms. All of them need to be tightened up. 12 fields? That just doesn't make any sense.

Jan 21, 2009 - Chuck Katz of Creditfacts says:
Major omission - Bill Stoller's Publicity Insider Update Ezine With over 45,000 subscribers, this publication provides pitching tips, Partyline media contacts & success stories. In fact, I found out about Bill's publication from MarketingSherpa - it's listed in your "Thanks for Subscribing" page!

Jan 22, 2009 - Margie Zable Fisher of Zable Fisher PR says:
Thanks for the shout-out! I've been putting this out for 7 years. Glad you think it's worthwhile!

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