Sourcewell successfully reboots their brand along with their newsroom
A few years ago, National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), a government agency centered around serving the community, arrived at the conclusion they had outgrown their brand name. Setting out to rebrand their organization, they left behind NJPA and introduced Sourcewell, along with a new and revitalized way of relating to the public they serve.
What’s in a name?
For all organizations, rebranding can be a daunting experience. Poorly executed rebrands have the potential to alienate loyal customers and members – just look at the stir caused by IHOP’s (fake, as it turns out) name change to IHOB.
But Sourcewell’s decision was backed by years of research that demonstrated they had outgrown their old name, and a new name would be required to usher in a new chapter for the organization. This would be tricky for the PR team – the name NJPA had built up a certain level of social and institutional credit over the years.
But Chelsea Ornelas, Public Relations Specialist at Sourcewell, explains that it was a vital undertaking in order to “stand out in a sea sameness” that plagued their field.
We needed something that was easier to remember. Easier to say. We wanted to move away from just being an acronym to a name that meant something and explained who we are, and what we do. Something that allowed us to grow.
New name, new PR direction
The rebrand has allowed the Sourcewell PR team to adopt a new approach to how they relate to their community.
Under the name NJPA, the Sourcewell team found it difficult to communicate the service-oriented nature of their organization. Their members consist largely of public entities, including education institutions, cities, counties, states, and other government associations. With such a broad purview, relating to members on a personal level was becoming increasingly important.
“I think Sourcewell is more personable, and more relatable. And that’s the tone we have been taking with our social media and our content. Not that we changed our voice a ton, but we are definitely trying to focus on telling the stories and successes of our members, being more personable, speaking in plain language and terms that people understand and can understand what we do and how we can serve them.”
Rebranding their newsroom
A major part of the organization’s rebrand included redesigning their digital presence, including their online newsroom, which is powered by the PressPage platform.
Once the plans were locked in place, Chelsea says she approached Heather, her Customer Success Manager at PressPage, to discuss options for redesigning their existing NJPA newsroom.
“I spoke to Heather two months before our go live and she said, ‘No worries. Our team can definitely do that.’ And it was technical stuff, so I was able to connect the techies and then back away. From what I understand, it was very smooth.”
“Our new site wasn’t live until June 6, but as we were building it, we were able to share pieces and framing with PressPage, and they matched our new website and made it happen. I think one of the first pieces that was done and ready, that our website team felt good about, was our newsroom.”
Cleaner, modern, a simpler look was what we were after and what was achieved. I think everything from the colors to the fonts, spacing… it just turned out beautifully, and it really reflects the change and rebrand that we were going for.
Working with the PressPage platform
Alongside the public facing newsroom, PressPage has enabled the Sourcewell team to adopt a modern, agile PR workflow.
Chelsea describes the laborious publication process she endured when she was first hired.
“It was a pretty clunky process. We were writing our press releases in Word, turning them into PDFs, and uploading them to our site. So not very shareable or engaging. And if I found an error, it was a whole 5-10 minute process of fixing the error in the PDF. It was clunky and cumbersome, and it wasn’t image friendly and obviously had nothing for video.”
With PressPage, the Sourcewell PR team is now able to manage their content directly within the platform. “I just log in, fix the error and it’s all done in real time.”
Moving to PressPage
The original decision to move to PressPage was done after months of careful planning and research. From sales to the onboarding, Chelsea recalls a positive experience moving her newsroom to PressPage in 2017.
“When we started looking for an interactive user-friendly solution, PressPage floated to the top of options for us. My initial contact was great, and the sales rep that I spoke with asked questions and listened to what I had in mind. He showed me example pages of other PressPage clients, and really listened to what we were looking for and got to know our organization and our needs.”
Once signed, the onboarding matched the promise of the early sales process for Sourcewell. “The training was great– it was quick. I think that first initial training was an hour on the platform. It was so intuitive and easy for me to figure out. And in those first few weeks, if I had a question or if it wasn't looking the way I wanted it to, PressPage was very responsive to my emails and phone calls.”
Communications needs are different with every organization and we understand that. We really want to get to know our client's needs for their audiences first before we go into the site build. It is vitally important that we deliver a great site and platform for both external and internal audiences.
For Sourcewell’s PR team, working with the PressPage solution has certainly improved their PR workflow and overall results.
On the workflow side, the Sourcewell team has become more agile.
“One of the things we did recently was share a video of a town that was in jeopardy of losing its clinic. Through working with us, they were able to save that clinic and save their citizens from having to drive an hour to get healthcare. The video was done, and it was so quick to upload it and put together the story on our newsroom.”
“And that’s just one example. I think we’ve had about a dozen pieces of content that we’ve posted in the last month and it’s just quick and easy.”
The results of the newsroom speak for themselves. As Chelsea highlights:
“We’ve moved our newsroom location to a more prominent place within our website, so we’ve seen a huge increase in traffic. And we’ve seen a big uptick in people finding us through Google.”
Re-energized and looking forward
Chelsea explains that Sourcewell’s organizational rebrand has re-energized their PR team. “We see the potential, and we get excited about the different avenues it can take us. We already have great feedback from our members, our vendors and partner organizations. We’re re-energized, and we’re excited to see where this takes us.”
For Sourcewell’s team, the newsroom rebrand certainly reflects their new identity. “Cleaner, modern, a simpler look was what we were after and what was achieved. I think everything from the colors to the fonts, spacing… it just turned out beautifully, and it really reflects the change and rebrand that we were going for.”
PressPage provides a SaaS PR platform with additional services for creation of advanced social newsrooms, virtual press centers and online media hubs. It enables brands to publish and distribute rich content, and provides direct insights into the results. PressPage empowers PR professionals by adding efficiency and effectiveness to their daily work routine.