How to get the most out of Prowly: A step-by-step guide

First things first: thanks for choosing Prowly! 

Now, you might be wondering what exactly you can do with our PR software to use it to the maximum. If that’s the case, you definitely came to the right place.

Here’s what you can do with Prowly, and how to get the most out of it.

Overview


What can you do with Prowly? 

With Prowly, you can manage media relations in one place. This includes finding relevant media contacts, creating interactive press releases & targeted media lists, sending personalized email pitches, as well as maintaining journalist-friendly newsrooms. But that’s not everything. 

1. Set up a newsroom.

If you’re serious about media relations, creating an online newsroom can give you a head start. It’s a perfect place for all important information about your business that might interest journalists, including press releases, reports, branded content, and contact details of your PR team. Especially if you ask your media contacts first about the type of stories they’re likely to cover. 

Make sure you address their needs & interests, set up your newsroom accordingly, and invite all your contacts to follow it. You can adjust the look to make it more coherent with your brand and keep it organized with dedicated tabs that will be visible in the main menu bar (like many of our customers do). 

Speaking of visibility, it’s also worth mentioning that your newsroom, along with all press releases and stories published in Prowly, can be optimized for search engines. This way, they can be found by journalists more easily and become a source of quality traffic to your website.

2. Add a press kit.

Once you create your newsroom, you should also consider adding a press kit to it. The media kit is usually a go-to place for all-purpose informational materials on your brand/company, easily accessible from the navigation bar. By having all important details “on display”, journalists don’t have to email you back and forth (which ultimately increases the chances of getting coverage).    

To make the most of it, you might want to create thematic folders in your press kit and add different visuals, documents, and videos (hosted on YouTube or Vimeo) to it. Keep in mind that the first material you add to a folder will be displayed on its cover—but you can adjust their order and change the names in the settings panel of the press kit.

3. Create a press release (or two).  

Press releases are one of the easiest ways to get your news noticed and engage with journalists. With Prowly, you can create visual press releases, send them to relevant contacts, and publish them in your newsroom.

But let’s focus on press release writing for now. Especially since it gets really straightforward with Prowly’s intuitive interface and simple drag & drop editor.

There are plenty of elements you can have in your press release to stand out from the crowd—including headers, quotes, lists, tables, and visuals. Thanks to easy asset library management, you’re able to keep all images and files that you include in your press releases perfectly organized. 

After adding multiple elements to your press release, you can manage them all using a set of tools located on the left side of the Story Creator. In fact, you can always change the type of any text element (i.e. quickly turn a paragraph into a quote or a heading), and reorganize everything easily—even after you’ve published or sent out your press release. This also means that you can make adjustments whenever you feel like your content is not performing as well as it could be. 

Another handy feature you can leverage at this stage is team collaboration. After granting them access to Prowly, you can work on your PR content together with other team members or simply send it for review to your clients. What helps, in this case, are different statuses that you can set for your press releases: Draft, Ready, Scheduled, Published. 

For example, if you’re done writing but you’re waiting for feedback, you can set the status to Ready. Then, whoever is in charge of reviewing your press release, will be able to make changes, plan the publication (Scheduled) or immediately publish the reviewed content (Published). Neat, isn’t it?

Now, it’s time to engage the media. But first…

4. Import your media lists. 

If you work in PR, your media database is essentially your secret weapon. To use it to the fullest, import all your media contacts to Prowly (you can download a database template here). We have a dedicated spot for it, called Contacts—a CRM created for PR practitioners.

audience_1.png

This way, you can keep all contact details in one place—including added notes and history of your interactions with journalists. With the column configurator, you are also able to select what contact data you want to see in the main view.

5. Discover new media opportunities.

Building a well-organized database with quality contacts is the first step in developing relationships with the press and getting your news in front of the right people. If you don’t have relevant contacts in your database yet, you should definitely use Prowly’s Media Discovery.

With Prowly, you can access a media database with over 1 million contacts and search for the right people to pitch your news to. Just specify the location, and type the keyword you’d like to focus on the most (i.e. “fashion” or “lifestyle”). Once you find what you’re looking for, you can easily add the new contacts to your account. 

Remember that Media Discovery is not a magic tool that will do all the work for you. It’s a great solution for creating an initial media contacts list, but you should still do your research, segment your contacts, and try to establish relationships before you pitch your story to relevant sources. 

6. Organize all your contacts.

As already mentioned, having quality contacts in your CRM is a great first step. To get the most out of it, you have to organize your contacts properly

The only obligatory field in each contact card in Prowly is the email address but you should definitely try adding more information to your contacts and group them based on these details. To make this process easier, you can add tags to your contacts. Ask yourself how important the relationship is, how strong it is, where are they located, when was the last time you connected, or any other information you may find useful when reaching out, and add your tags accordingly.

You can then group & filter them as you wish: thematically, by tags you’ve created, media type, media reach, or even by the level of industry specialization and your liking for particular journalists. This should help you choose the right audience for your pitches and personalize your messages afterward. 

To navigate through all your contacts easier and quicker, you can use the advanced search that can help you find journalists, lists, saved filters, or tags from the very same window. Plus, if you need to update or add some information for many journalists, you can easily do it at once. Here’s how.

Don’t forget to monitor and update your media lists on a regular basis. Reach out to your contacts from time to time, not only when you have a story to pitch. 

7. Choose relevant recipients. 

Once you have all your contacts under control, it should be easier for you to choose relevant recipients of your email pitches. Start by choosing New Email and set its internal name. Now, here’s when the magic happens: 

In the Select Recipients tab, click on Add recipients. You can then choose any Contacts, Groups, Segments, or Filters in the respective tabs. This essentially means that you can distribute your pitch to predefined groups and segments that you’ve created earlier in the CRM. 

And the best part? Prowly enables very flexible recipient selection. With the same personalized email, you can easily target different lists and filters. Not to mention that Prowly’s smart suggestions will help you optimize your recipients list before launching an email distribution in order to protect the sender’s reputation and increase delivery rates. 

To double-check what the final recipient list looks like in detail, you just need to move from Select Recipients to the Verify Recipients tab. Here’s also where you can exclude particular journalists from receiving your message.

8. Write a good email pitch. 

Even though journalists prefer to receive email pitches, the majority of top tier publishers find between 50 and 500 pitches per week in their inboxes. To cut through the clutter, you have to tailor your email pitch to its recipients—especially since email personalization tends to bring much better results in general. 

When creating your email pitch in Prowly, you can personalize your message to resonate with your audience (even when you send it to hundreds or thousands of contacts from your CRM). 

There are different personalization tokens to choose from—each one represents a contact property, which is why we highly encourage you to keep your contacts database updated and filled with as much information as possible. You can use these details to create slightly different email pitches depending on your relationship with specific recipients, their location, or specialization. 

Apart from the classic, plain-text message with a link to your press release, you are also able to attach files that can be downloaded by the recipients upon clicking, add images or CTA buttons, as well as embed an entire press release you’ve created in Prowly (or its summary) into the body of your email. 

Want to add preview text? No problem. The preview text of the email is a direct extension of the subject line and can definitely impact recipient engagement. You can find it below the subject line (just click the Edit button, fill the Preview text field in the newly opened window and then Save the changes). 

9. Send emails. 

Before you send your email pitch, make sure you reviewed all the settings, put some thought into the email title, and chose the correct recipients from your media list.

All set? You can send a test email, send the mailing immediately, or schedule it for some other time.

10. Leverage analytics.

After you’ve sent your emails, you can start tracking results—including open rates, click rates, and bounced messages. Just click on your mailing headline from the mailings list. 

What results are satisfactory? Have a look at these benchmarks:

Average email benchmarks
for all industries
Campaign MonitorMailchimpHubspot
Open rate17.8%21.3%20.9%
Click rate2.6%2.6%7.8%
Bounce rate0.7%0.4%0.6% 


Take into account that assessing the effectiveness of your PR efforts based on the results of one mailing is practically impossible. Use the insights found in Prowly to optimize your email pitches and plan your PR outreach accordingly.

You can also use data on the performance of your email pitches to enhance your standard PR reports. Here’s a useful template for you to leverage.

11. Follow-up.

As already mentioned, a single email pitch most likely won’t be enough to get you coverage. It’s important to follow-up, which you can do with Prowly as well. Go to the Detailed statistics screen (you can find it in the Pitch module, once you click on your email campaign) to plan the next steps.

In Detailed statistics, you’ll find recipient lists together with the statuses assigned to the emails that you’ve sent. These statuses are: open (eye icon), click (mouse icon), and bounce (warning sign icon).

Don’t just send a follow-up email to everyone. By checking who opened your previous email or clicked on the links, it should be easier for you to choose the recipients and tailor the message to them—especially since you’re also able to see the exact time of the most recent action.


For better results, keep using Prowly for your daily PR activities 

Keep in mind that relationships with the media aren’t built overnight. With Prowly, you can not only manage media relations from one place but get better at it in the long run. 

Use the available features to save hours on everyday PR tasks, measure your effectiveness, and foster long-term media relationships. We’re here for you, every step of the way.

Need more inspiration? See how our clients made the most of Prowly: