Here at Voxus, we recently made the switch to Propel, a CRM tool for PR professionals (they call it “PRM”) that allows users to be more efficient when building and tracking PR campaigns.

We all know that pitching can be a daunting task. If you’re doing your job right, each media outlet and the reporter needs to be researched and vetted as an appropriate target for pitches. It can take hours to research reporters and determine if they’re applicable to the topic at hand. A throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-hope-something-sticks technique might be fast, but it isn’t effective, and reporters will be less interested in your story in the future, even when that story applies. So, what’s the best way to pitch a reporter? Here are three ways Propel has changed the way I pitch:

1.     The initial building of the media list
Propel allows a PR pro to view reporters all in one place. Each reporter, editor, or contributor is tagged with additional information about what they cover. For instance, a reporter could be tagged to signify they cover cloud computing, or finance and funding, or transportation logistics. From there, you can see the individual reporter’s recent articles to determine if they’re the right target for your pitch. The search capabilities Propel offers significantly cut down the amount of research needed—meaning that finding reporters goes from 30 minutes of research to 5-10 minutes.

2.     No more manual pitching or bad mail merge
Manual pitching can take forever. For instance, if you are working off a master list, sending out essentially the same email repeatedly can take the better part of an afternoon. If you’re familiar with mail merge, you are likely already aware of its efficiency. But it also has its downfalls. Using Propel, I can send out the pitch or press release to as many targets as I need to in a matter of minutes. I’m even able to customize greetings for reporters I know personally and have worked with in the past. Propel gives me the ability to continue cultivating media relationships without compromising other tasks that need to be achieved on a deadline.

3.     Success metrics
PR is notoriously difficult to measure, and there are a lot of different ways to approach the challenge. We’ve even written an eBook about Measurement that Matters. One common but time-consuming approach is to try to manually correlate between media stories and increases in site traffic. Propel automates that process and provides simple reports that allow you to quickly assess ROI. Want to understand the success of a particular campaign to see what’s working? It’s just a few clicks away.

Propel is an incredibly useful tool for any PR professional. It cuts the time it takes to build media lists and send out pitches, not to mention the ability to better target publications and reporters who are most likely to cover your story or product announcement. Which in turn means a more efficient and effective PR program and leads to creating better relationships with media. For more information, check out all the services Propel has to offer here.