Looking for PR Contact Management System
September 29, 2011 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Is there an off-the-shelf tool my small company can use to manage our PR contact list, our outreach efforts, and the results we've gotten (i.e. product reviews and articles)?

We could build something from scratch but I'd rather use an an existing solution if there's one that will work. This needs to be a shared application, accessible from multiple locations. We don't mind paying for it.

The first part of what we need is pretty close to being a CRM system:
  • Contact list management with standard fields including modern fields like Twitter name, number of followers, etc.
  • Contact history tracking, where we can record conversations, pitches, etc, all tagged by date.
  • Hits, i.e. reviews and articles written by these people about our products.
  • Followup flag, so we know who we need to get back to.
  • Preferably additional/custom fields that we can set and search for.
We'd like to have all of the above tagged by Product and Product Line as well. This will allow us to search for All Reviews of Product X, or All Bloggers Who Have Reviewed Product Y.

Arbitrary tags would be helpful, to let us search for things like Everyone Who Participated in This Twitter Party.

We'd like to be able to view this data in tabular format as well as in some format that's better at displaying significant blocks of text. So, for example, if I look at Everyone Who Has Reviewed X I could see it as a table, but if I look at Mommy Blogger Y, her info (including the rave review she wrote about our product) will show up nicely laid out.

We're currently using a Google spreadsheet for this, which works about as well as spreadsheets work when what you really want is a relational DB (i.e. not very well).

I've looked at Highrise which my company uses for other purposes, and found its interface to be impenetrable. Do I just need to look at it harder or longer? Is there something else that is easier to use or better suited to our purposes? It needs to be very easy to enter new info, otherwise I'm afraid that won't get done.
posted by alms to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
There are tons of other CRMs, from OnePage to Sugar. I don't have a specific suggestion, because my favourite CRM won't work for you, but Highrise isn't the only gig in town. Which is good, because a number of us feel about it the way you do.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:44 PM on September 29, 2011

We're trying to use Podio to do almost exactly what you're describing. While it's not meant for PR right out of the box, I can see how it could be with some more tweaking. it's taking a good bit of (layman) customization and it's still not quite where we want it to be, but I'm hoping it will eventually get there.
posted by polexa at 1:49 PM on September 29, 2011

I've been pretty happy with CapsuleCRM. I don't think it meets the "tabular layout" requirement though.
posted by yoga at 4:31 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Take a look at batchbook (aka the social crm). Should be able to handle most of your requirements, including some pretty awesome tagging and custom fields options. They've also got some innovative features that will help you follow your contacts' streams on twitter, blogs with rss feeds, linkedin streams, etc.

They've also got regularly scheduled, interactive introductory webcasts, and I've found their support team to be very helpful.
posted by syzygy at 6:10 PM on September 29, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all these suggestions. I've spent a little time at batchbook, and it looks like it could work. I'm surprised there's not a canned solution specifically for this purpose, though, as there are so many people who need to manage PR and Social PR contacts.
posted by alms at 8:02 AM on September 30, 2011

Response by poster: I'm still open to more suggestions, by the way.
posted by alms at 8:58 AM on September 30, 2011

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