PR Secrets from PR Firms in DC and Around the World
As part of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) we frequently attend meetings with member agencies from around the world and discuss trends and best practices. In one of our recent meetings in Kyoto, Japan, members shared various websites and apps that they use day-in and day-out to help perform better and retain clients. Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll dive in to these technologies and detail how they work and the problems they solve.
This week our focus is on websites that can help agencies and others behind the scenes. Specifically, we’re going to point out some of our PRGN members’ favorite customer relationship, time recording and video conferencing companies.
Customer Relationship Management: amoCRM
AmoCRM was developed to transform first-time contacts into leads and help to maintain an organized lead database. This software tracks your performance, so that you will always have the whole picture of your progress, and maximize you and your teams’ potential. It’s cloud-based, so there is no need to download or install anything directly on your computer.
Users appreciate amoCRM’s usability. Stating that unlike most complex and overdone CRM systems, amoCRM brings information management down to a few-clicks, and keeps track of notes and contact details. The interface is similar to popular social networks, so navigation is a breeze.
The system works anywhere, and is available in English and Spanish.
Price: $15/month per user, Advanced plan: $25/month per user, Enterprise plan: $45/month per user
Time Recording: Timely
Timely says it “turns your calendar into a time tracker” – from the looks of it, it does just that. Timely is different because it combines scheduling and time tracking. You can plan out your days, then start logging your time simultaneously. If you need to move things around, Timely’s drag-and-drop feature allows you to move time blocks effortlessly.
As the timer runs for each time block, you can clearly see how much time you’ve logged versus what you planned. Timely’s Memory feature can automatically log your activity via a desktop app; it can lay out your scheduled activity next to your actual activity in a neat timeline enabling you to confirm, edit, and analyze your daily time logs.
Price: From $7/month for single user; and $14/month per user for teams
PRGN members shared different video conferencing technologies, two of which stand out.
Cisco’s WebEx This video conferencing software provides features such as screen sharing, meeting recordings and multiple presenters for events. One of the more interesting aspects is its Meeting Center, which automatically detects background sounds like typing, sirens and dogs barking and will prompt the culprit to mute their microphone to help keep the meeting focused.
WebEx Meetings has four packages that offer the same essential features, including HD voice, video conferencing, screen sharing and recording. The key difference in the packages is the scalability of participants. The cost is per host, or the person who can start a meeting. Costs escalate when users add more meeting hosts. More costs accumulate when customers buy a toll-free plan for people dialing into meetings. Lastly, companies that want to record and store videos on WebEx will pay a storage cost.
Marco Polo bills itself as the “video walkie talkie.” It has a video chat app to send quick messages back and forth. Akin to Snapchat, Marco Polo traffics in messages that are only a few seconds long. Unlike Snapchat, however, the app saves your videos so you can have a running conversation. This could be useful to quickly show how to do something, like correct a timesheet, or other routine tasks.
Marco Polo is intended for quick back-and-forth messages, not long-winded voicemails. It’s free to download, but be careful: according to a few online reviews, the app eats up a lot of data.
We know there are many programs out there to choose from, so week by week we aim to help your various business decisions a little easier.
Xenophon Strategies is the Washington, DC member of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) which has 50 Top PR Firms in Washington, DC and around the globe.
– By: Maura Hunter – Senior Associate | MHunter@xenophonstrategies.com