Writing Smarter: 3 Tools for Timely, Thoughtful Content Creation

With four months under our 2023 belt, all those monotonous self-declarations [New Year, New [look at] ME] are but a faint memory. Resolutions? We don’t know them. It’s never too late, however, to reclaim agency over our time. And while organizations across the spectrum use this month to focus on conserving energy, why not apply that idea to journalists’ work as well?

Whether you’re on the Pulitzer track or sashaying toward a midyear spiral — maybe both, but you know me, this is a safe space — these tools can save you time and help refresh your writing process, from intro to conclusion.

Utilize these tools from Cision and PR Newswire to say farewell to the days of deliberating between your deadline and producing a story you’re proud to publish.

1. PR Newswire for Journalists & ProfNet

I’ve spent nearly a decade at PR Newswire and I still start each morning skimming the headlines delivered to my inbox by PR Newswire for Journalists. It’s an invaluable staple in my daily routine that continues to pay dividends.

PR Newswire for Journalists - My News Releases screenshotSigning up for PR Newswire for Journalists carries a plethora of perks to help journalists publish their next article:

  • Access an archive of releases distributed via PR Newswire, including embargoed material, dating back several years, spanning 30+ languages.
  • Customize a newsfeed based on geographic relevance, industry, company name, language, ticker symbol, or keyword(s). Releases that match your selections are posted to your My PR Newswire page automatically and in real-time.
  • Email delivery lets you choose when and how often you receive news releases. You can also choose to receive full text, abstracts, or skimmable headlines.
  • Download images, including corporate logos and photos of celebrities, executives, new products, and events to supplement your visual game for optimal content performance. Videos, audio files, and PDFs are also available.
  • Tailor an embeddable widget that allows you to seamlessly ingest our feeds into your blog, personalized page, or website.

Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

PR Newswire for Journalists members also have access to ProfNet, our database of subject matter experts ready to connect with journalists. Once you register, you’re but a few keystrokes away from securing your next expert source:

  • Submit queries: Finding an expert source isn’t always easy but widening that pool with a simple submission will save you some of that effort.
  • Receive expert alerts: Besides proactively seeking sources via your query submissions, the platform also allows you to sit back and scroll through regular roundups of thought leaders vying for your attention. Expert Alerts feature available experts in a range of industries, including Business/Finance & Technology; Government/Law; Education/Science; Health; Living; and Entertainment.

Getting started with PR Newswire for Journalists is easy. Here are seven steps for creating your targeted newsfeed.


HARO (Help a Reporter Out) has been connecting journalists with expert sources for more than a decade. It’s been used by journalists at the New York Times, Mashable, Reuters, and many more.

The process is simple. Just provide details of the story you’re working on and the type of expert you’re looking to connect with. Sources will reach out with their pitches related to your story and you can connect with those that match your needs.

Get situated by clicking here: Help A Reporter | Journalists.

3. BuzzSumo

From writer’s block to Boolean babble, and mind-bending backlinks, mastering the art of [impactful] storytelling has grown increasingly difficult. Rather than getting lost in these digital nuances, allow me to introduce BuzzSumo — your new best friend.

BuzzSumo Topics gifThis cutting-edge, user-friendly toolkit changed my writing game. It’s a secret weapon, if you will, that will breathe joy back into your writing process.  You’ll need to experience it for yourself, but here are a few features I love and revisit for all content-related projects:

  • Discover: BuzzSumo eliminates the guesswork by generating ideas and related topics with real-world examples to kickstart your creative engines.
  • Research: Rather than venturing down the rabbit hole, let the tool cut through the noise for you and scope out the competition. Find out which stories are being shared, the platforms sparking tangible traction, and the influencers who are sharing them.
  • Satisfy Readers’ Needs: In an age of skepticism and saturation, our target audiences are savvy, sassy, and selective. It’s critical to know what your reader wants. By running a quick search in BuzzSumo, you’ll have access to the questions being asked across thousands of forums, relating to any topic, industry, or brand. Use that knowledge to write content that answers your readers’ questions.
  • Polish & Publish: BuzzSumo will help writers glide across the finish line with time to spare. For example, get the recommended post length based on your topic and specific story. The tool can also provide suggestions for when to publish and where to post for the most engagement.

Click here to start your 30-day trial: Sign up for BuzzSumo.

These tools are all about time management. It’s time we leverage our resources and make a swift return to the passionate flame that inspired us to create. Hopefully, these tools are a good fit to streamline important parts of your writing process.

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Cory Max Montoya is a National Account Director for PR Newswire focused on Agency Relations. When he’s not empowering PR professionals, he can be found on the trail, down the digital rabbit hole, or with his niece, who continues to remind him that life is a gift to be celebrated.

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