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Vocus White Paper




Enhancing Collaboration between In-House
and Agency Teams
Vocus White Paper                                                                                                         ...
Vocus White Paper                                                                                                         ...
Vocus White Paper                                                                                                         ...
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Enhancing collaboration between in house and agency teams

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Enhancing collaboration between in house and agency teams

  1. 1. Vocus White Paper Enhancing Collaboration between In-House and Agency Teams
  2. 2. Vocus White Paper 1 Enhancing Collaboration between In-House and Agency Teams Enhancing Collaboration between In-House and Agency Teams The public relations challenges for many of today’s mid-size to larger companies lie in the numbers: multiple offices, numerous countries and time zones, possibly dozens of business units and product lines, a 24/7 news cycle, and most likely, one or more PR agencies to help manage it all. To enhance internal efforts, many leading companies engage multiple PR agencies to focus on different products, objectives or geographies. However, with so much concurrent activity – both by staff and agency reps – staying in-sync proves challenging. Frequent calls, emails and meetings to learn the status of an activity or project takes valuable time away from building real media relationships and results. Likewise, each agency may have its own media lists, news monitoring services and reporting formats. Without a way to tie teams together, internal PR staff and the agencies that serve them become less efficient and ef- fective – ultimately detracting from their results. How do companies ensure that in-house and agency PR teams execute a consistent global message and don’t duplicate ef- forts? And how do they measure their efforts in a uniform way in order to improve results? A number of leading, global companies successfully merge their internal and external teams with Vocus on-demand software for public relations management. The software centralizes activities, media lists, collateral, news monitoring, project manage- ment and reporting, ensuring all team members stay abreast of everything in real time. Here’s how some companies meet this challenge, enabling disparate teams to work as one: “Each of our agencies knows some- A Centralized, Current Source thing we don’t and makes us better as Michelin Group, the world’s largest tire maker, has numerous a whole.” brands outfitting everything from motorcycles to heavy ma- - Lynn Mann, Director of Public chinery. Its North America division, with 23,000 employees and 19 manufacturing facilities, spans the U.S., Canada and Relations, Michelin North America Mexico. Because Michelin has so many brands and business divisions, it engages 15 PR agencies to help meet its many objectives. “Each of our agencies knows something we don’t and makes us better as a whole,” said Lynn Mann, director of public rela- tions for Michelin North America. Before using Vocus, Michelin’s internal and agency PR teams struggled to stay informed about what each was doing, who was contacting whom, and the resulting coverage. Agencies managed their own lists, and created their own clip books and reports. This made for disjointed, duplicate activity and extra work for in-house staff to assimilate everything from various vendors. To address these issues Michelin implemented Vocus, which in-house staff and all 15 agencies now use to manage Michelin projects. In the Vocus system, users across North America leverage the same media lists; input every activity; see the current status of a contact or project; access consistent versions of press releases, bios and collateral; monitor coverage; and see results in a consistent format. As a result, Michelin has dramatically reduced the amount of duplicate tasks while improving the effectiveness of their PR campaigns. “It saves us a tremendous amount of time,” Mann said. “Everyone can see what’s in the database and it’s totally searchable by country, category or as a whole.” Likewise, Vocus was the solution for Arbitron, an international media and marketing research firm. Because the outside PR agency has access to the same information as the in-house PR staff, both teams have current details about projects at all times, a common Web-based database of media contacts, shared contact records, and access to the same collateral at anytime, from anywhere. “If you’ve got a PR firm, you need a software application like Vocus so you can all be on the same page and all use the same lists,” said Thom Mocarsky, vice president, Communications, Arbitron. “Before, it was a nightmare trying to coordinate lists and activities with our firm.”
  3. 3. Vocus White Paper 2 Enhancing Collaboration between In-House and Agency Teams Collaborative Project Management Bausch & Lomb, “the eye health company,” likewise had similar PR challenges, with dozens of brands, various audiences, multiple PR teams and product sales in 100 countries. With approximately 15 major trade shows and dozens of others each year, the company needed to develop an easily accessible repository of planned activities and events. Tasked with the initia- tive, Tor Constantino, director of public relations, Bausch & Lomb, turned to Vocus. Project management capabilities in Vocus allow users to code activities by project or event, and access all the necessary materials to support those projects. Bausch & Lomb stores media briefings, podium presentations, continuing education sessions, on-site sponsorships, booth designs, creative briefs, “We found that the project tab and re- hotel and travel spec sheets, and more. It’s one location for everything related to a project or event. porting capability helped us put a nice process and protocol in place for this “We found that the project tab and reporting capability repository.” helped us put a nice process and protocol in place for this repository,” Constantino said. “We are able to capture a - Tor Constantino, Director of Public Re- wide range of activities that may be taking place at a trade lations, Bausch & Lomb show.” This was particularly valuable for the company’s 20-city PureVision dinner tour, which as Constantino describes is “like plan- ning 20 weddings.” His team had to coordinate invitations, venues, RSVPs, food, programs and every detail of each event. Using Vocus ensured that everyone had access to the most current information and materials to plan and execute each event effectively. “It helped us keep projects on track and keep our sanity,” he said. Benchmarking and Measurement Before ramping up agencies on Vocus, Michelin received regular reports from all 15 firms. They arrived in different formats, and measured activities and results for various timeframes and in differing ways. “It wasn’t an apples to apples comparison,” Mann said. “We had to bring consensus to measurement so we could truly see brand to brand, business unit to business unit, what works and what doesn’t.” Because every activity and all coverage are housed in Vocus, Michelin no longer needs separate reports from various agen- cies. The company taps into powerful reporting in the software to measure activities against results for any timeframe by busi- ness unit, brand, geography, project and even by agency. “It’s the perfect answer to the question, ‘What have you done for me lately?’” Mann said. “It’s a great way to start putting our agencies on equal footing, giving them hard targets to strive for, and holding them accountable in very transparent ways.” The software also supports rapid creation and distribution of Michelin’s Daily Press Review, which summarizes daily coverage, with links to each article or clip. Before, a staff member manually collected clips and pulled together the report. Now, it takes just minutes to create and send to a large list of North American contacts. Agency Effectiveness Corporations aren’t the only ones who can benefit from Vocus. Agencies use Vocus to serve their clients in a more organized, efficient and results-oriented manner. They can focus on media relationships and pitches, rather than administrative busy work or updating others. Enhanced communication between agencies and their clients strengthens the partnership. Z!ng Public Relations, a small public relations agency located in California’s Silicon Valley, juggles hundreds of contacts and publications across numerous industries to ultimately make the right pitch at the right time and land valuable coverage for clients. As a small firm, Z!ng looks for every opportunity to streamline its efforts so it can devote more time to getting results for clients. Vocus has proven essential to allowing Z!ng to drive results for clients while keeping costs down. With an integrated media database and detailed contact management, Z!ng spends less time searching for information – giving the firm essential time to devote to keeping clients in the news. Z!ng can locate all details about a specific contact in seconds, build targeted lists in minutes, and create client reports in half an hour, instead of half a day.
  4. 4. Vocus White Paper 3 Enhancing Collaboration between In-House and Agency Teams “It’s the efficiency of having everything centralized in one location. It’s addictive,” Tim Cox, Principal of Z!ng Public Relations said. “It means we can focus on the more important things and not worry so much about silly busy work, but focus on doing what clients pay us to do – using our experience and understanding of PR to get results. That’s a major benefit.” Lower PR Costs While some may question the use of both PR software and outside agencies, Mann stresses that the software automates a number of activities – like reporting – reducing the company’s costs. The company also eliminated redundant agency services. Previously, many of its agencies had their own separate news monitoring services. Now, the online PR software provides the company’s only North American news monitoring service. “Vocus saves us money, so it was an easy sell to management,” Mann said. “We have seen a tremendous savings by moving to a more automated system. I’m a proud disciple of the software because it makes my life easier and delivers visible savings to the company’s bottom line.” Vocus PR – On-demand Software for Public Rela- tions Management All of the organizations mentioned above use Vocus, an integrated, on-demand software suite for public relations “It’s the efficiency of having every- management. By automating and centralizing PR functions, thing centralized in one location. It’s Vocus saves PR teams and their agencies significant time, addictive.” enhances media relations activities and ensures a consistent global message. The Vocus solution includes the Vocus Pre- - Tim Cox, Principal, Z!ng Public mium Media Database, the most up-to-date, comprehensive Relations source of media contacts, editorial calendars, journalist pro- files, pitching tips and publicity opportunities in the industry. Additionally, the software enables you to manage media relationships; launch interactive email campaigns; easily collect and manage clips; organize projects and news; store files, documents and other collateral; and keep your online newsroom con- tinuously updated. By tracking all activity and clips, Vocus also empowers you to analyze media coverage relative to your own and agencies’ efforts. As a result, you have real-time feedback on the effectiveness of PR campaigns, and early intelligence on trends unfolding in the press. Now also available from Vocus, PRWeb services give you access to the best industry tools for positioning and distributing your press releases online. PRWeb guarantees your news is distributed through a vast social media network that reaches millions of consumers and media outlets daily, enabling you to reach a whole new audience. About Vocus Vocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: VOCS) is a leading provider of on-demand software for public relations management. Our web-based software suite helps organizations of all sizes to fundamentally change the way they communicate with both the media and the public, optimizing their public relations and increasing their ability to measure its impact. Our on-demand software addresses the critical functions of public relations including media relations, news distribution and news monitoring. We deliver our solu- tions over the Internet using a secure, scalable application and system architecture, which allows our customers to eliminate expensive up-front hardware and software costs and to quickly deploy and adopt our on-demand software. Vocus is used by over 1,700 organizations worldwide and is available in five languages. Vocus is based in Lanham, MD with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information please visit www.vocus.com or call 800.345.5572.

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