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The iPhone office: 25+ apps for working in public relations on the move

The iPhone office: 25+ apps for working in public relations on the move

I’m travelling lots in my new role at Ketchum and thinking about what I pack, and almost as importantly, what I don’t.

Technology helps. The functionality and single-focused purpose of apps means that unless you’re editing a document, image or video, you can increasingly get by without a PC.

An iPad or iPhone and the 25+ apps outlined here are the basic tools needed to run a communications team or public relations agency. In fact you could run almost any organisation using this set-up.

I’ve listed Apple versions as I’m an iPhone user but other flavours are obviously available.

Social networks

Each of the networks has its own app to varying levels of sophistication. Mobile usage is overtaking desktop. Facebook and Twitter are favourites. LinkedIn is resurgent thanks to a well-designed app.

Writing

Evernote has replaced Notes (bundled with iOS) and Pages for writing for me. The integration and synchronisation with other devices is excellent and the web clipping Chrome plug-in is a secret weapon.

Publishing

Editing and writing long-form on a mobile device is tricky but content management systems are growing up. Tumblr and WordPress set the standard.

Photo-editing

There can be no excuses for shoddy images thanks to the preset functions of apps such as Instagram and Photoshop Express. Wordswag is a favourite for annotating images.

Communication

Apple iMessage and FaceTime (both bundled with iOS) are great for iPhone users. SnapChat is a good alternative. Skype remains a favourite for avoiding costly call charges. And for everything else there’s email.

Connectivity

International roaming charges are a big issue. Yes, I’ve had a monthly bill the size of a mortgage repayment on a small family house. Seek out Wi-Fi wherever possible. Speedtest will troubleshoot internet connectivity. My Data Manager keeps on top of data and roaming usage.

Storage

There are lots of cloud based storage apps for accessing files on the move. Box, DropBox and Google Drive are all popular. Switch on two-factor authentication for added security.

Presentations

Presentation apps aside, saving slides as JPEGs and uploading them to your device is rock solid. Using a device to present is very natural because the device can be passed around.

Media

Feedly for RSS feeds. Espresso from The Economist for a daily shot of what’s important. Podcasts (bundled with iOS) and SoundCloud for audio. Econsultancy, DigiDay, and others, via email. Movie rentals for downtime via iTunes.

Monitoring

Sprout Social remains my favourite app for monitoring and engaging with multiple social media streams. Mention is great for basic reputation monitoring and Google Analytics for web usage data.

Recording

The Voice Memos app preloaded on the iPhone is a good general purpose recording app that turns your iPhone into a Dictaphone. There are plenty of more sophisticated alternatives if required.

Travel

TripAdvisor provides suggestions of where to go, Google Maps help you get there and I’m amassing a small library of public transport and online travel apps as I visit different places.

Back-up

Back-up your device to a cloud-based service. It’ll cost around £10 per month but will ensure that you’re up and running in quick order in the event of an accident or loss.

I’m going to write a #DesertIslandApp blog post of people’s favourite apps over the weekend. I’d love to include you. What’s the app that you can’t live without?

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Stephen Waddington

Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University.

37 Comments

  1. The offline TripAdvisor city bundles are great, saves on the roaming. More city tourist boards are realising these are a good idea and coming up with their own, for obvious reasons.

  2. I’d add WhatsApp for communications (Google+ Hangout beats Skype for video conferences).

    Also Yelp app is a great travel app too, especially if you are looking for a nice restaurant whilst away on business!

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