Tool Time — Planning and Listening

As technology changes the world in which we live, I’m sure you’re – like me – a bit overwhelmed with all the choices. There are so many tools out there that claim to solve your life problems it’s hard to know where to start. I’m going to attempt to capture them in regular posts on this blog. I hope you’ll also tell me about tools you think are great and why so I can feature them too.

Planning is one of the most basic of public relations and communications skills. If you don’t know where you’re going and why, you can’t possibly know when you’ve arrived. Today’s tools include a variety of items that might help you create more concrete plans your client can understand.


Mindmeister is in the class of tools called mind mappers. I’m still not terribly comfortable using these tools but know several friends swear by them. Check it out and learn how to turn your ideas into an organized and visual plan of attack.


This interesting web-based program offers you the ability to get quick feedback from 100 people within an hour of submitting your request for input. Zipinion allows you the opportunity to get opinions on an ad, topic or….

Survey Monkey and SurveyAct

The granddaddy of the online research tools, Survey Monkey is a good way to capture data for free/little money among a target group. I use it to get smart about new clients, as well as to gauge programs for existing ones. SurveyAct is a similar tool with more opportunity to customize your surveys. It’s still in Beta, but looks quite promising.


I’ve just discovered this site where you can insert keywords, hashtags, your brand name or pretty much anything and see the articles about it. It looks as though it will be great for research. Trendspottr is fast and easy but you may have to play around a bit to get the right combination.


I really love this new tool. Newsle sends you clips about people in your Twitter and Facebook database. It’s great because you can stay updated on their activities and know when they are exceptionally newsworthy.

And don’t forget to replace Google Reader with one of the tools reviewed earlier this year before Google turns off this tool July 1.

What tools do you use for planning and monitoring? Add them in the comments here, including links so everyone can benefit. As I come across them, I bookmark tools in my Delicious bookmarks. Check them out under the tag “biz tools.” Today’s tools are also tagged “planning” or “listening.”

Image: Felix via Flickr, CC 2.0

The Barber Group

Gig Harbor, Washington


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