[Guest Post] Top 5 Tools Agency Owners Must Embrace for the Digital Future

A Guest Post by Nicole Rodrigues, CEO & Founder, NRPR Group

Nicole RodriguesAnyone else remember when advertising, marketing, and public relations functioned like the dinner plate of a picky nine-year-old? When each of the above occupied its designated plate space with very little to zero overlap. Advertising agencies created ads for multiple outlets, public relations handled media inquiries and proactively sought after coverage, marketing agencies did a variety of things, but generally focused on brand identity and creative attention-garnering activities. Of course, there’s plenty more each did, but you get the gist.

Since the dawn of improved business technology, Internet, blogs and social networking, this once organized triad has morphed from easily separated and definable, into a messy dinner plate where the potatoes definitely touch the peas! So, in a business landscape where an app or life-hack for even the smallest of tasks exists, where does one turn for the newest and smartest marketing and public relation resources?

As a contemporary PR practitioner in the new, digital age, I don’t know where I’d be without the following tools that many advertisers and marketers are already adopting:

1) “Unlock to Share” Plugin

Lets play executive for a second. You’re the founder of a rapidly growing small agency with a respectable, but still emerging web-based presence across standard social media platforms. You’re ready to take the company to the next level, but are unsure how to advance from triple digit likes to real time dialogue. The Unlock to Share Plugin is a simple plugin that “unlocks” additional content for your visitors after they share it across Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. For example, if you own an agency and you have great video content and helpful how-to’s, you can make it so visitors must share a specific post from your site across their social platforms to access your full range of content on your site. This keeps the user engaged and also increases you social media visibility.

2) Instagram

What if I told you that Mark Zuckerberg’s little startup turned eleven years old this month? Although Facebook still reigns as the world’s most popular social networking site, is there anything less cool than having your parents like your gym selfie? However, since being acquired by Facebook for a cool $1 Billion dollars in 2012, Instagram has now morphed into the most preeminent photo and video-sharing app in the world. Maintaining a carefully curated Instagram account allows a business, large or small, to creatively interact with their audience in a way that’s virtually free. You and your clients should be taking advantage of this new, free way to market yourself and interact with media.

3) Fiverr

The best thing about having interns is that they will simply do what you ask for relatively cheap. However, when those interns graduate or move on professionally, you’re often left with too many tasks and not enough help. Introducing Fiverr, an online service catering to creative professionals where outsourcing your most monotonous busy work is only $5 and a click away. Whether the task is online marketing, graphics and design, writing and translation or a simple advertisement, Fiverr is a fast, safe and efficient way to get it done when it needs to get done.

4) SnapChat

Before you gawk at the notion that an app frequented by middle school students can be a useful marketing tool, hear me out. What sets Snapchat apart is the time sensitive nature of its content. Users can personalize the duration for which their pictures are visible. In one to ten seconds, a company can go head-to-head with societies’ ever shrinking attention spans and announce new clients, showcase their sales and distribute promo codes, and ultimately pull back the curtain to give clients and followers a behind the scenes view of your company.

5) Rapportive

A business associate once told me in confidence, “Great networking is like stalking, but instead of hiding in someone’s bushes, you hide behind your computer screen.” While I would never trust this individual with a pair of high-powered binoculars, they do make a very valid point. It often takes time and a lot of energy to find the proper contact info for people you want to network with, until now. Rapportive is a new information consolidating widget that displays a contact’s LinkedIn and Twitter info within your Gmail browser window, saving you time and providing the vital information to get in touch with them on multiple platforms, quickly.

Nicole Rodrigues is the CEO and founder of NRPR Group. She’s a seasoned publicist and social media marketing pro with more than 14 years under her belt. She’s developed and executed strategic campaigns for some of the biggest names in business such as Yahoo!, Dolby, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Playstation, Hulu, M-GO, Toon Hero, Demand Media, MobiTV, and the Oakland Raiders. You can connect with her on TwitterInstagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.