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How PR pros are using text replacement tools to save time

By Lindsey Chastain

Streamline the pitching process and other workflows with smarter tools.


A man using a text replacement tool on a document.In the fast-paced world of public relations, every second counts. Finding ways to maximize efficiency while maintaining high-quality work is essential, which is why text replacement has emerged as an invaluable time-saving tool for PR pros pitching media.





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Text replacement, or text expansion, allows you to create shortcuts for frequently used words or phrases. For example, you could set "sig" to auto-expand into your full professional signature or "femtech" to insert your standard description of that emerging space. 


When you type the shortcut and hit space, tab, or enter, your expanded text appears automatically. This saves you from retyping or copying and pasting common passages repeatedly.



With text replacement, you can create an expanding library of pre-written content specifically tailored for pitching media contacts; it’s like a media dictionary for your company to enable quick and effective communication. Over time, analyze reporter responses and coverage to identify high-performing passages and turn those into new shorthand snippets to improve your approach continuously.  


Immediately respond at volume with consistent, high-quality messaging to leverage your custom dictionary of pre-approved content.


What are the top uses of text replacement in media relations?


1. Pitch Templates 

Text replacement lets you insert full templates in seconds. Instead of starting emails from scratch, develop templates that include key details like reporter names, outlet information, story framing, and preferred interview times.


2. Canned Responses 

Create shortcuts for answers to any follow-up questions or requests for more information and add them to emails as needed rather than formulating wordy replies each time.


3. Pitch List Categorization

Tag each media contact with shortcuts like [Tech], [Health], and [Fashion], easily filtering your lists to target niche topics.


4. Signature 

Save time by manually adding your contact information, headshot, and social media links. 


5. Boilerplate Backgrounders 

Expand into full descriptions of your product, executives, awards, mission, and other standard details.


6. Common Phrases 

Insert frequently used terminology and sentences that explain technical concepts simply and accurately. 


Tips for effective text replacement and top programs to use

  1. Keep your shortcuts intuitive and memorable. For example, "femt" expands into "femtech" rather than a confusing, random string of letters.
  2. Color code and categorize shortcuts for easier usage. Designate prefixes like [Contact], [Boiling], and [Response] to distinguish between types fast.
  3. Analyze expanding lengthy blocks of texts. If they exceed three sentences, consider condensing to improve readability. 

Nearly all email service and PR software platforms support some form of text replacement built-in. For example, Gmail allows you to create text substitution rules called "canned responses." Many standalone tools also exist. Some top options include:

  • TextExpander
  • PhraseExpress
  • Espanso
  • aText

Most provide cross-device functionality, allowing you to sync shortcuts across your desktop, tablet, and mobile and maintain velocity no matter where you work.


Accelerate pitching with smarter workflows.

Text replacement is revolutionizing PR pitching by maximizing the unique human strengths of creativity and strategy while eliminating redundant typing tasks. Adding this tool to your media relations tech stack helps increase touchpoints and free up capacity.


The time savings add up to hours each week that can be reinvested into building better media relationships –– something no automated tool can entirely replace. In other words, it works smarter and faster to drive more coverage that matters. That’s an investment with proven returns.


For more information about how we can elevate your PR strategy, contact us today or book a one-on-one consultation.


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Topics: PR tips, copy editing

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