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New Section: Coworking Resources

coworking-resources-list

I’ve recently added a new section full of coworking resources for all you looking for coworking information to launch your own coworking space, write an article, or doing some academic research for a paper. I’ve ordered them in 9 different categories:

  1. Coworking Books & Readings
  2. Tools for Coworking Spaces
  3. Community Building Resources for Coworking Spaces
  4. Coworking Statistics, Surveys, Research and Studies
  5. Coworking Associations and Organizations
  6. Coworking Conferences
  7. Coworking Finance Resources
  8. Coworking News, Magazines and Podcasts
  9. Coworking Checklists

In each one of this coworking categories is organized by themeyou will find a selection of selected relevant links. If you have any link you think should be added, please contact me.

Repository of Helpful Coworking Links

Jim Carey typing like a mad man gif

I got tired of looking for links in my bookmarks and with Google and not having a central repository. I know that there are a lot of people having the same issues, so I decided to create and maintain these lists of coworking resources:

The link to the “list of lists” with these lists and all that may be included in the future is: https://coworkinghandbook.com/resources/

They have a lot of good links and references in them, but they are not perfect. If there’s anything that you think should be included please let me know :) If you think that they are useful, share them !

Presentation of the first translation: Het Coworking Handboek

I never got to write this post when I should, so I decided to do it a bit later as if it had been written that same day. It is not that I’ve been thinking about it all this time: I thought I had done it and just realized I hadn’t. Why didn’t I write it? Keep reading and you will understand :) Posted on August 11, 2016

Today has been an amazing day. You could say that two of my babies have seen the light on this very day. Early this morning, my son Alex was born :)

ramon-alex-rafael-20151217

And just a few hours latter I had to run from the hospital to Betacowork for the presentation to the media of the first translation of my book The Coworking Handbook: Het Coworking Handboek.

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Paul Bosmans and Ramon Suarez

Thanks to Paul Bosmans and Pulse Foundation we have been able to finance the translation of the handbook to Dutch and will soon also launch the French translation (scheduled for September).

Thankfully I did not have to do most of the talking, after the little sleep and stress that I carry over from last night I am not in peak performance. Luckily Paul picked up and made an introduction explaining the project and why the Pulse Foundation supported it. The reason is simple: they want to promote coworking as a resource to leverage to promote entrepreneurship in Belgium. It is not just that they understand it from a theoretical point of view. Paul created the foundation and is running it as a coworker at Betacowork Coworking Brussels. He is an entrepreneur that helps entrepreneurs and promotes entrepreneurship.

Another person present that is very important for the book is Helena Vansynghel, the translator who also happens to be a betacoworker. She works for Betacowork doing the translations to Dutch of the site and a selection of posts. If you want to work with somebody that is good, that you can depend on and that can really manage a project, Helena is your woman.

At Betacowork, we try first to work with our coworkers for all the work that we can’t do ourselves. Pascal van Den Driessche is in charge of the cover design of the handbook, and he has also created the logo of Betacowork and done a lot more work for us. Katia Xenophontos and Pierre Leonard will take care of the translation to French.

It is not by chance that so many things happen among the betacoworkers, or among coworkers in any other coworking space: we talk a lot, we share a lot, we know a lot about each other and about our businesses. This translation came to life thanks to an invitation by Paul to attend the presentation of the annual report of Pulse Foundation. There he explained what were the main areas that the foundation wanted to work on to promote entrepreneurship in Belgium, and among them was coworking! This is one of those serendipity moments that happen so often at coworking spaces. I immediately thought of a few ideas that could help Pulse Foundation promote coworking in the country, and among them was to translate the handbook to the main languages of Belgium: Dutch and French.

If you want to get your copy of Het Coworking Handboek, just click on the cover :)

het-coworking-handboek-cover

And if you want to translate the book or can get the money to pay for the translation, contact me!

How to Leverage Automation for Better Coworking PR

It’s Fred at Prezly, back again for one last post about using PR to promote your coworking space. From creating press releases to sending pitch emails to managing relationships with local influencers, we’ve covered a lot of ground on how to bootstrap your way to PR success.

If this sounds like a lot of work, you’ll be relieved to learn that today’s blog post is all about automation.

Eight reasons to love PR automation

PR is ultimately a human-powered industry. Robots and computers can’t forge relationships, build trust, or tell great stories about how coworking has transformed the world of work. That said, there are plenty of repetitive PR tasks that we’re more than happy to automate.

Here are five really important but boring PR tasks that are better left to robots, and the tools you’ll need to automate them:

 

  • Track email responses with Yesware. If you send a lot of pitch emails, use Yesware to keep track of responses. Yesware is a Gmail and Outlook add-on that lets you monitor opens, clicks, and responses for every email you send to influencers. You can even automate your outreach with editable templates that pre-load in your inbox, so you don’t have to cut-and-paste every pitch.
  • Customize an email response with Rapportive. Rapportive is a simple Gmail add-on that shows you important social media data from every person who emails you. You can then tailor your reply based on the sender’s location, their recent tweets, and other online activity.
  • Enrich your influencer list with social data from FullContact. If you have a list of email addresses but no social profiles, use FullContact to quickly, easily, and automatically enrich your data. Just enter an email address or Twitter handle, and FullContact’s API gives you a list of associated social profiles. You can also sync contacts from all your address books, fix duplicates, and correct formatting errors in your database.
  • Nurture influencers with the help of Contactually. Contactually sends you automatic reminders to contact influencers whom you haven’t reached out to in awhile. Use it to periodically nurture your influencer list with useful links and articles, even when you don’t have big news to share. You’ll build credibility, show them you care, and increase your chances of getting coverage when you need it.
  • Publish and pitch social media press releases with Prezly. Prezly is the glue that will hold all your other PR efforts together. Prezly gives you everything you need to create and distribute beautiful, mobile-friendly social media press releases, send pitch emails with media previews, manage your contact database, and track email response rates.

Embrace automation, and it will set you free

When it comes to repetitive PR tasks, automation = liberation. Anything that lets you spend more time getting creative and less time in Excel hell is a beautiful thing. Jokes aside, automating the boring stuff means you’re free to focus on telling great stories, strategizing campaigns, and building strong influencer relationships. That’s the best stuff, by far.

If you liked this short PR crash course, I hope you’ll give Prezly a try. As I’ve mentioned before, coworking space owners and managers can use our software free for 3 months. Just sign up for the free trial on our website, then email us with the name of your coworking space.

If you have any remaining questions, please feel free to find me on LinkedIn. I’d be happy to help in any way I can.

How a Good CRM Can Help You Improve Your Coworking Media Relationships

PR is about building strong relationships. You need a good Customer Relationship Management system to help you manage communications and keep track of important information about your contacts.

Hi everyone, it’s Fred at Prezly with a few more PR tips to help you promote your coworking space. So far, we’ve covered social media press releases, creating great visual content, and sending effective pitch emails. These are basic building blocks for any PR campaign, and they’re really important.

But ultimately, PR isn’t about creating press releases or sending emails. It’s about building strong relationships. Luckily, you don’t need to be a master networker to do this well. You do, however, need a good CRM, or Customer Relationship Management system, to help you manage communications of your coworking space and keep track of important information about your contacts. I know that Ramon, the author of the coworking handbook, just spent a long time choosing a CRM. He might chip in in the comments with recommendations for a CRM.

Knowledge is power (and power is a good CRM)

When it comes to forging great media relationships, knowledge is power. The more data you can gather and store about your media contacts, the more power you have to understand what they care about, remember past conversations, and recall important details. All of these data points will help you build trust and create stronger relationships.

Of course, lots of data can quickly become difficult to manage, especially if you use Excel to keep track of your contacts. There’s no shame in relying on a spreadsheet for this purpose. Most PR people do. Keep in mind, though, that Excel is designed to make calculations and graphs, not help you manage a database. That’s where a CRM comes in. A CRM is much more than a glorified Excel spreadsheet. Among its many advantages, a CRM can help you:

  • Document emails, phone calls, and even social media conversations with every influencer. Many CRMs will even let you send pitch emails directly from the platform.
  • Search for contacts by name, communication history, beat, PR campaign, or any number of tags that are important to your business.
  • Measure the impact of your efforts with thorough reporting on response rates and new PR opportunities generated.
  • Share knowledge across your company by keeping it in a universally accessible platform, rather than a spreadsheet saved to your hard drive.

Getting started with CRM

CRM systems range from simple and relatively cheap to sophisticated and very expensive. Whatever CRM you use, don’t sweat your choice too much. The important thing is getting a system in place to help you manage your data. This allows you to focus on the human side of PR: creating and cultivating great media relationships.