Keep on top of your current pitching activity, ensure timely follow-up, and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Before Propel, keeping track of pitch statuses was a manual and time-consuming process. Now that you are using Propel, keeping track of pitches is done for you automatically. Open your sent folder and we'll see how this works.
Gmail sent folder
Just by looking at the emails in your sent folder, you can see which emails are connected to pitches, which account each pitch is connected to, and whether a pitch was opened and how many times (Gmail only).
Tracking Pitches Using the Propel Sidebar
Open any email sent using Propel and the Propel sidebar will open. The sidebar also appears for incoming email responses to emails you send using Propel.
Propel sidebar in Gmail
Propel sidebar in Outlook
The sidebar allows you to:
- View the number of times an email was opened – great for focusing your follow-ups on journalists who have engaged the most with your email
- Add/delete/update a follow-up time (Gmail only) – make sure you follow-up with journalists who don't respond to your initial pitch
- View or add new contacts notes – keep track of what each journalist's preferences are, and record new pertinent information immediately after a journalist responds
- View contact statistics – did the journalists not respond? Do we see that they never respond? Let's take them off of all of our media lists, as it's not worth taking the time to pitch them
- Update pitch statuses and publish articles – see the next section for more details
By taking advantage of these features, the Propel sidebar allows you to manage your pitching cycle entirely from within your email client. Stay on top of things without having to interrupt your normal workflow!
Updating Pitch Statuses
PR professionals keep track of pitch statuses in many different ways. Some maintain spreadsheets, some use an external CRM, and yet others try to remember everything in their head. With Propel, you keep track of your pitch statuses directly from your email.
Propel has the following default statuses:
- Unopened – all pitches automatically receive this status after being sent
- Opened – as soon as a journalist opens your pitch, the pitch automatically transitions to this status
- Responded – as soon as a journalist response to your pitch, the pitch automatically transitions to this status
- Materials/Interview – after a journalist has expressed interest, move the pitch to this status
- Article Secured – this status is used to indicate that the journalist has agreed to publish the article, but the article has not yet gone live
- Article Published – transition the pitch to this status after your article has been published and you have a URL. See more about publishing articles below
- Not Interested – if a reporter is not interested in your pitch, use this status. Later on, when you review your pitch history with this reporter, you'll easily be able to see which pitches did not interest them
Use the pitch status dropdown in the Propel sidebar to update pitch status.
Publishing an Article
The goal of all pitching activity is always to get as many articles published as possible. Propel allows you to track your published articles and to create automated reports based upon this activity.
Publishing an article is easy. In Gmail, you can use the Published Article button. Alternatively, in either Gmail or Outlook, select Article Published from the pitch status dropdown on the Propel sidebar. As soon as you transition the status to Article Published, you will see a pop-up allowing you to enter the article details.
Publishing an article in Gmail
Enter the article URL and published date. We can usually pull the title and media outlet for you automatically. When finished, click the submit button. Congratulations! You've just published an article, and it will appear in all of your pitching reports.
Note: If the published article appears in broadcast media, you may not have a URL. In this case, just enter the website for the broadcast media outlet.
Reviewing Pitch Progress Using the Story Funnel
We just learned how to use pitch statuses to easily track pitch progress directly from Gmail or Outlook. The Propel story funnel allows you to view the status of all pitches for a particular campaign or account all at once. This gives you a bird’s eye view of a campaign's progress, and allows you to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
To access the story funnel, return to the Propel web app and go to Monitor -> Story Funnel.
Propel story funnel
The Propel story funnel is a Kanban board that allows you to:
- Filter by pitch/account and user (user filter available for managers and admins only)
- Access several different pitching related reports
- Update statuses and publish articles using drag-and-drop
- View and add pitch related notes
Just as the Propel sidebar in Gmail or Outlook allows you to manage all activity for a single pitch, the Propel story funnel allows you to manage the activities for all pitches in your campaign.
Viewing Contact Pitching History
You spend a lot of your time leaving notes on contacts and updating pitch statuses. Propel automatically catalogs each of these activities under a contact's profile. To view the full history for any of your contacts, open the contact profile. If you are still on the story funnel, you can do this by clicking on a reporter's name.
A contact’s profile has tons of information on it. Past pitching activity is visible from the Pitches tab, while notes are visible from the Notes tab. When building your media lists, make sure to take advantage of all the information available to you about your history with your contacts.