My Top Ten: Rob Bruce, head of PR, Fifth Ring

MY Top Ten invites media practitioners to identify their top ten websites, apps, software tools and gadgets, etc, and here it is the turn of Rob Bruce, who has recently joined Fifth Ring to head up its PR service. Founded in Aberdeen, the agency – which specialises in business-to-business marketing and crisis management – now has offices in Dubai, Houston, Singapore and Inverness.

Rob started his PR career in Aberdeen working for the Wood Group and Weber Shandwick, among others, but relocated to the Central Belt and London where he worked, ‘client side’, with brands such as Tennent’s Lager, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Whyte & Mackay, Dalmore and Jura whisky.

1. Google Drive - software – I’ve had a Gmail account for years and always thought it was just a pretty ordinary email host-type thingy. Until I joined Fifth Ring. They use it instead of Microsoft Office. It took me a while to get my head round how to do stuff, but its clear the mobile office – available anywhere on any device – is well and truly here. Unfortunately!!

2. Slideshare – website – Want to become an expert in pretty much anything? Then visit Slideshare where very generous professionals happily share their wisdom and insight. Free of charge. Totally free. Nada. Nil. Nothing. No charge. Nowt. Zip. As a bona fide Aberdonian, you can imagine… But there is some truly inspirational and useful stuff on there.

3. Evernote – software tool – No explanation required. I don’t use it to its full capacity but for managing to-do lists, saving interesting web content and for noting down random ideas that hit you square in the forehead at 2.30am after six very large whiskies, you cant beat it.

4. Press Reader – website – If you work in international marketing and PR, Press Reader is a great service. You get access to all the key newspapers right across the globe, allowing you to monitor trends and talking points, hijack the local news agenda, find inspiration for creating news in other markets, and establish new, relevant contacts.

And, in its own way, it’s helping to stave off the decline of the newspaper industry by offering a new income stream. Anything that helps monetise good journalism has to be a welcome thing.

5. Shazam – app and computer tool – Arguably not related to work unless, like me, you find solace and inspiration in music. I still get amazed at the Harry Potter-style ‘witchery’ they use to find and tag pretty much any song. And last week, I noticed it started scrolling the lyrics, in time with the music, as it played on the radio. Digital sorcery at its best.

6. Buffer – app – If you’re active on social media, managing multiple accounts, Buffer is hard to beat. Intuitive, easy-to-use and it provides a wee but helpful plug to stop the inevitable drain on your resources caused by the ‘time sink’ that is online engagement.

7. Social Bro – software tool – I love the random, ranty ridiculousness of Twitter on a personal level (@robster38, apologies in advance) but if you use it for business then SocialBro is the service to use.

It will help you target and engage with the right influencers and communities.

8. Fast Company – website – A great resource if you work in the creative sector. In among the sometimes weird, wonderful and downright crazy, there are a few gems that truly inspire and resonate. A great way to keep up to speed with the latest thinking on innovation and leadership.

9. Fifth Ring – website – A blatant plug for the new employer. Go have a look. That is all.

10. The Daily Mash – website – Required reading everyday. Hilarious. Sometimes I wish it was real news.