Booking a PR tool to ride
Entrepreneur Joanna Drabent tells the story of Prowly, an integrated campaign management and workflow tool for PR teams.
By Joanna Drabent
Prowly’s beginnings are typical of a tech startup. It developed from my own need as a practitioner: a tool for my own PR agency, something that would allow me to create functional, up-to-date press releases, manage contacts, optimise media distribution and deliver better results each day.
The PR industry can be resistant to innovation. To overcome our scepticism we created a bold campaign of our own to launch the product.
We offered a free taxi service to PR practitioners in Warsaw. During the trip, we would talk about our tool. It’s how we won over the local market. In time brands like IKEA, Spotify, or Hill+Knowlton Strategies started using Prowly.
Thanks to our genuine communication efforts the local PR industry became fond of our brand. But we knew it wouldn’t be enough - we needed some solid arguments to prove that besides being cool we had a product that can help modernise PR workflow.
Social sells: Prowly Magazine community
From the outset we felt as if every conversation with a prospect was like a recruitment interview rather than a discussion about a tool. We took this as a signal that the PR business needed some solid education. We switched our creative PR efforts for educational activities. It’s how Prowly Magazine was born - our educational community.
We organise webinars and produce e-books; we also allow our clients to promote their expertise. Today, Prowly Magazine is sort of a mini-publishing house, with a big part of our team committed to it. It’s thanks to these actions that we were able to get the attention of and finally land such brands as Vimeo in the US or Cadbury, which is managed by Plato Communications in South Africa, and many more.
Modernising PR workflow
Prowly’s task is to help PR pros become independent in creating visually attractive press releases and brand newsrooms, and, in the process of managing contacts and distributing content, give them superpowers in the form of analytical data, which allows them to deliver better results every day.
Prowly is accessible to both PR pros and journalists. Using our press offices, our clients can be certain that the content they deliver to journalists is accessible and easy to make use of. Using the CRM, they know what and when this should be delivered to specific journos, which allows them to avoid spamming their inboxes.
Partial automation of the process provides better control over the global quality of our operations. Because without automation there isn’t much control to begin with.
There’s always work to be done. We keep testing different methods of sales and marketing, but, most importantly, we do the research and talk to our clients, because their suggestions are the key to further improvement. There is still a long way to go, but we know which path leads further ahead.
About Joanna Drabent
Joanna is the CEO and co-founder of Prowly PR Software. She’s mum of a two-year old, and a kiteboarding, filming and digital enthusiast. She’s listed by Forbes and Hundert as one of the top Startup Female Founders in Europe.