Posted by Tom Foremski - October 20, 2011
Sébastien Willems (left) and Bart Verhulst from PressPage
I met with PressPage earlier this week, a Dutch based startup that offers a quick and effective way for companies to transform their newsroom into a social media hub for journalists and customers.
I spoke with Bart Verhulst, CEO and with Sébastien Willems, chief developer, who said that an inspiration for their service was my five year old post Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! -- a surprisingly influential 4am rant about how to improve the press release for the digital newsroom.
Today, the majority of online corporate newsrooms offer very little in terms of social media features, they haven't changed much since the early days of the Internet. Some still use PDFs to publish their news releases.
PressPage offers templates that quickly convert newsroom content into a format that integrates photos from Flickr, Tweets, video, Facebook, and more. The newsroom can also act as a social media monitoring dashboard because it captures content from many streams and brings it back to one page. In this respect it is similar to the MobyNow platform. [Please see: A Media Platform For Fractured Media...]
PressPage comes with a set of tools that allow clients to quickly change the position of various modules and page elements with simple clicks and drags.
"We want the newsroom to be a place where the CEO can be inspired by all the social media that we bring together around a company's news," said Mr Verhulst.
PressPage has a bunch of templates and features ready to go and requiring very little to set up. It will also build custom features.
"We don't charge for custom features if it is something that can be used by other customers. We will give customers a six month lead for their custom feature then roll it out to others," said Mr Willems.
PressPage makes use of the customer's web site design in presenting the enhanced newsroom, so that it fits in seamlessly with the site's content.
The company has won some high profile clients in the US, which it will announce shortly. It plans to establish a US office later this year.
Its strategy is to work with PR agencies. "Many agencies don't have the skills to build web sites and integrate social media channels. We can provide them with the technology platform, while the agencies can provide related services such as staff to curate the content from the social media streams," said Mr Verhulst.
PressPage says that its services can help PR firms to generate additional revenue streams. While most Silicon Valley tech PR firms report that business is booming the nature of their business is changing and they need a certain amount of web site development expertise to compete with larger PR firms that have a portfolio of digital media services.
With PressPage, PR firms don't need to add specialist staff and can quickly deploy the newsroom technology with their clients.
Mr Verhulst adds that there is no vendor lock-in with PressPage, and that clients will have quick access to new features as the world of social media continues to change and grow.
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Here is a demo: