Why choose Presspage over a home-grown workflow?
Making workflows flow smoother and work smarter
People who look at how data flows within organizations have a term: “straight-through processing”. It’s an ideal state where information moves smoothly between the applications and activities it’s supposed to, without needing manual interventions like reformatting or rekeying. In other words, all the delays and blockages in a workflow are removed – keeping the process effective and efficient.
Traditionally STP applies to “hard” data like financials and stock levels. But what’s less well known is that all business processes benefit from the approach, however warm and fuzzy they seem. Human resources. Customer strategy. Market research. And yes, even your corporate comms and PR.
Why? Because ultimately, all business processes are workflows.
From a strategy deck to your latest customer success story, all processes involve information moving from one place to another, being transformed by your people’s skills and then sent somewhere else. For another team, it might be accounting data or product reqs. For PR and comms teams, it’s the story you want to tell, who you want to tell it to, and how it reaches your target audience. The data differs. But it’s still a workflow.
However, there’s one issue. In a high-touch, soft-skills environment like PR, keeping those workflows performing is more complex. Which is why so many PR professionals try to build a solution from scratch, devoting IT and PR resources to creating custom software in-house. Very often, that steals time and energy from your real job.
So what’s the answer?
There’s a solution prebuilt by people who understand corporate comms, as customizable as you want, for your unique situation. But before we look at it, let’s go through the pitfalls of building an in-house solution – with notes on how Presspage could save you time and money.
1. Because your pain points need a platform, not a prison
A PR job can feel like herding cats: getting consistently positive outputs out of bright, buzzy people often following their own ideas and ways of getting things done. Sure, it makes the department an exciting place to work. But it also leads to inefficiencies as tasks get duplicated, processes multiply, and messaging sounds inconsistent since nobody’s sure who’s doing what.
The trick isn’t to squash people into standard boxes, exerting control they’ll resent. It’s to make sure those different people share the same platform, where they can create, distribute, connect, and analyze the results of every PR piece, across every channel. The right platform doesn’t seek to crush creativity; it’s an enabler of it, giving everyone the same effective set of tools to work with.
Here’s the kicker: getting that “platform effect” when building in-house is very, very hard. Why? Because the nature of platforms – Microsoft Windows is a platform, Android and iOS are platforms – is that high costs of development are amortized across the millions of people using them. And building a custom solution in-house won’t amortize anything. After all, if you wanted an operating system for your phones, you wouldn’t develop a “YouOS” internally.
But by adopting a platform developed elsewhere, and customizing it to your needs, you’ll enjoy all the same benefits. Your own private space for your all diverse PR workflows, perfectly matched to your requirements … with someone else doing the heavy lifting of software dev.
That’s our Takeout 1: adopt platform thinking for the win. A platform like Presspage. An integrated newsroom for sharing stories, sending emails out, bringing data in, and managing asset libraries and media connections for your whole team. Platforms make the pain go away.
2. Because all software solutions require ongoing development
Anyone in IT will tell you it’s rarely the initial cost of a system that matters. What drags down the effectiveness of any application is the ongoing support and maintenance costs of keeping it up to date.
(The average corporate website is a good example. Many are littered with press releases two years old, abandoned blog series, long-gone events signups, and the like. And a website is a comparatively simple software project.)
Attempt to immortalize your PR processes in software in-house, and two things will happen. First, you’ll encounter pushback, as people trained in corporate communications find themselves forced to become software testers, business analysts, even software developers. Second, the software will soon start showing its age, as improvement projects get delayed and the IT department resents the extra effort your custom solution forces them to put in.
(And that’s before you count the poor outcomes of people doing work they’re not experts in. Your team may be brilliant at peppering the trade press with positive coverage, but could they precisely describe the processes that led to it?)
When this happens, the way people behave is entirely predictable: they reject the system, and find ways to circumvent it. Which puts you back to the situation you had before: communications anarchy. So that’s our second takeout about building in-house: the ongoing costs can be huge. And not just in dollars.
3. Because the right solution should focus on communications needs, not general marketing needs
Another caveat of building in-house. In most businesses of size, communications is one cog in a larger marketing machine – and chances are your colleagues in other marketing functions are already using solutions designed for them. Meaning you’ll be under pressure to reuse applications developed for marketing, without considering your unique needs..
Many companies do this. And they sort-of work. But they’re not ideal. Why? Because they’re not built with your workflow in mind.
They’re not ideal because a platform approach favors communications processes, which are different to other marketing functions. Where their job is to sell, yours is to persuade, inform, and build. When they blast a message to millions, you’re looking to build relationships with a select group of journalists. Overwhelmingly, these other solutions will feel like you’re wearing the wrong shoes.
So there’s another takeaway thought: look around and see who’s done it. You’ll find very few examples of successful PR platforms built with another department’s goals in mind, however closely you work together. Instead, look for an outsourced solution that’s designed ground-up for you.
4. Because the ideal solution already exists – ready to work for you
If you believe in basic economic principles like doing what you’re best at (and buying in what you’re not) you’re our kind of person. At Presspage, we focus on understanding the workflows that work best for PR and corporate comms, and making them work for you. Of course, every communications department is different. But there’s a core set of processes that lead to success, and that’s the platform we offer.
Not a “content cave” but a full-featured Digital Newsroom, connected to your media contacts via seamless integration with email lists and databases. An asset library, acting as custodian of your brand assets and ensuring every communication sings in the same key. Customer Relationship Management for your PR needs, keeping the conversation with each contact in context. And comprehensive social media management, letting you talk to your market on the channels they prefer to be on. All equipped with automated workflows, guiding your team in their daily work so their results stay efficient and effective without making them feel over-controlled.
That’s our final takeout: don’t reinvent the wheel. There’s a solution out there designed specifically for today’s corporate communications team. So: ready to learn more?
CONCLUSION: See how Presspage saves the hassle of building in-house
If the above got your head nodding in agreement, it’s time to talk more about Presspage’s integrated PR workflow platform. A great first step would be to add your name to our distribution list: take thirty seconds to do it here. Or why not book a chat with a Presspage expert right now? We’d love to talk.