Is the software you bought to make your life easier actually making it worse?

Discovery phase: Our brief

Ever invested in a highly recommended project management tool that was intended to make end to end (E2E) management of projects smooth and seamless? But ended up creating more speedbumps than you started with?

RevPR is a fast-paced, Birmingham-based PR Company, creating newsworthy content in the form of press articles, blogs, videos and stories for journalists and news organisations. 

They were growing fast with an expanding client base. With so much business coming through their ‘virtual’ doors, it was becoming harder to keep constant track of client projects from the initial prospect enquiry to the monthly production of PR stories, including blogs, case studies, press articles and interviews.  

They were using Pipedrive for their prospect leads and managing customer relations and had also invested in the popular project management tool, Monday and ‘homeschooled’ themselves in using it.  

Monday is flexible and user-friendly, but it’s got a myriad of different functionalities that probably could be useful if only people had time to navigate through them and sort out the really useful stuff. Sally Anne Butter, RevPR’s Managing Director is probably only half-joking when she says that her team only used about 0.5% of the functionality. 

 Magnetar put the time in upfront to fully understand how the PR business works and in particular wants to work in the future before designing a bespoke IT solution.  This ‘discovery’ phase highlights the bottlenecks and creates customised automation to streamline production. Creating a digital strategy that supports all aspects of your business is absolutely vital – it’s putting intelligence behind IT. Tools alone can’t transform a business. 

Design phase: our solution

Every RevPR client has a monthly PR activity calendar which may contain blogs and radio ads one month, case studies and social media stories the next. It’s a moveable feast, requiring careful and highly responsive management. 

Magnetar replaced Pipeline with Hubspot’s free software and wrote coding interfaces with Google Cloud functions, Integromat and Zapier to really drive the automation forward. This bespoke coding means that new clients in Hubspot are handed over to Monday, automatically on contract signing. With 2 clicks, Sally Anne can auto-populate tasks for her team. It makes for a really consistent client experience as well as reducing the margin for error or things getting forgotten in a hectic environment. 

No two PR stories or activities are exactly alike – and Magnetar’s customised solution allows for flexibility where necessary and standardisation where it’s critical. And if somebody is off, any of the publicists can see exactly what stage a job is at without an elaborate handover. Overdue tasks are immediately flagged and PR crises averted! 

And the results: putting intelligence behind your IT 

PR is a deadline-driven environment – the IT system needs to keep pace with incoming tasks and clients. For Sally Anne and her team, the new IT ecosystem has freed them up to expand. “Since we went live, we’ve added 10 new clients in the first two months and are able to prioritise and produce their PR content so much more quickly. It’s cut down email traffic between staff members and duplication of effort across the business. 

“I need to have a complete overview of all tasks at any given moment. Magnetar’s customised solution has given me that capability.” Data analysis of business performance is so much easier, bottlenecks spotted earlier, client experience improved. 

For Lewis and Raf “The reward for us comes when we implement a digital system we’ve designed especially to fit the unique culture of a company. When we see it making life easier and business more profitable, that’s our kickback!”

Date: February 9, 2021

Author: Magnetar IT

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