Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Power of Free Tools

The soft economy the last few years have made free tools more important than ever for public relations practitioners who are trying to stretch their budgets.  Three speakers at the April Professional Development Luncheon demonstrated the power of free tools and explained how to do more with less. 

Debi Pfitzenmaier, blogger and chief bottle washer at Pfitz PR, looked at tools in several categories, including some for organization, online business and PR and some photo tools, too.   

You can see her presentation here.   
In true social media fashion, Pfitzenmaier curated an online list of favorites from the assembled group.  Review and bookmark the list from here.  

Ronee Andersen, reference librarian, gave a live demo to the group on using some of the free databases at the San Antonio Public Library.  Two are worth noting.  

Business Decision is a consumer market database which offers users competitive intelligence, including something called tapestry segmentation, which is similar to developing buyer personas.  

Reference USA is another market research tool which can reveal competitors’ strength, credit ratings, home ownership, home building trends and more for zip codes in Bexar County.

“The old days of having to visit a library are gone,” says Anderson. “You can visit the library from the comfort of your home.”  Both databases are available to all San Antonio Public Library cardholders.   

The library also offers a Jobs and Small Business Center, according to Beth Graham, public relations manager for the San Antonio Public Library. 

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