PressFriendly launched last year to help startups do a better job of pitching tech reporters and editors. And the company still offers startup-focused services, but it’s also launching a set of tools for PR agencies, which CEO Joel Andren pitched as “Salesforce for PR.”
Andren said that when PressFriendly works with startups, it provides them with a mix of technology (including a pitch builder and media list builder) and consulting. As time went on, however, he realized that PR agencies were using the software, too, so he decided to create a set of tools designed around their needs.
PressFriendly’s agency software includes the ability to upload your own contact list or upload a pitch and get recommendations for relevant reporters. Then you can send pitches, track whether those pitches have been opened or not (and no, not with those annoying read receipts), take notes on different reporters and share your results with team members.
Andren pointed to that last feature as one of the highlights, because it allows individual account managers to “instantaneously” generate a report when their boss asks, “How did the outreach go?” rather than having to dig through Outlook or Excel.
Helping existing PR agencies might not sound quite as exciting as cutting out the middleman and working directly with startups, but Andren said, “I see agencies and in-house PR as continuing to be strong and continuing to have a really important role. We’ve worked with a lot of startups I can tell you a lot of them need additional counsel.” The challenge for those agencies, he added, is that “they’re working with the worst software in the world.”
Working with agencies also provides a bigger business opportunity because they will hopefully use the product “on a daily basis,” while startups “come in and do PR for three months and then they do something else.”
PressFriendly has been testing its new software with a few agencies so far. Andren said most of the early early adoption has come from the tech PR world, but he’s hoping this appeals to PR firms in other industries as well.