The Coworking Growth Hockey Stick

If there where any doubts about the impact coworking is having, Google Trends shows us how coworking interest is growing in the world. Growth is accelerating and we are beginning to see the famous hockey stick shape that investors like so much and that may have helped some people raise a lot of money, in these searches and also in coworking usage stats.

Google Trends Web Search interest coworking co working Worldwide 2004 present

The other things that stand out in this trends search are that:

  • The biggest interest and growth is in continental Europe, with Spain crushing it. We all had anecdotal evidence of this at the coworking conferences (namely at Coworking Spain). This shows how the word has become a must in a country that started getting into coworking well after pioneering Germany.

regional-interest-coworking-trends

  • The standard spelling is clearly coworking, without a dash. With all the initiatives that have taken place to make sure that people understand that it is coworking that should be used for the industry, it is strange to see the spelling with a dash coming back every so often. This may be because some people are still trusting the auto correct features of their word processors too much (and journalists their antiquated style guides), or because most of the growth is happening in non-native English speaking countries. As you can see the co-working spelling is used mainly in the USA and the UK, but amazingly France leads the chart, which reinforces the interest on coworking in the country.

regional-interest-co-working-trends

There’s a wealth of other information in Google Trends about coworking: go check it out!

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 !

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.

How to Send Pitch Emails that Get Results

It’s not enough to create a press release; you have to pitch it effectively, too. With that in mind, let’s talk about the pitch email, one of the most powerful tools in your proverbial PR toolbox.

It’s Fred with Prezly, back again with some fresh PR tips to help you promote your coworking space. Hopefully after my first two posts, you’re feeling pretty well-equipped to start creating social media press releases  and visual content.

But it’s not enough to create a press release; you have to pitch it effectively, too. With that in mind, let’s talk about the pitch email, one of the most powerful tools in your proverbial PR toolbox.

Right Email + Right Audience

There are two parts to a successful pitch email – your target audience, and the email itself. While it might be tempting to email your entire database, your childhood friends, and maybe a distant cousin or two every time you have something new to say about your coworking space, don’t do it.

In the PR industry, we call that S.O.S. (sending out stuff), and it’s never a good idea. Instead, send a highly targeted email to specific influencers for whom your press release is relevant. For coworking spaces, this might include influential members of the local tech and freelance community. You’ll get better response rates, and your contacts will thank you for not spamming them with irrelevant emails.

The Anatomy of a Great Pitch Email

A well-crafted pitch email can quickly and effectively open new doors, strengthen media relationships, and increase your exposure. A bad pitch email, on the other hand, can alienate influencers and permanently damage your credibility.

So what distinguishes a great pitch email from one that fails to get results? Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward. Let’s walk through the anatomy of a great pitch email, piece by piece:

  • A Specific From Line: Your From line is probably the first thing your reader sees. It should clearly and concisely communicate who you are as the sender. I typically use the From line “Frederik from Prezly”, which tells you who the email is coming from, as well as which company I work for… all before you even open my email.
  • An Irresistible Subject Line: Your subject line should be relevant, timely, and evoke just a little bit of mystery. Include a tidbit about your story that relates to your influencer’s interests and inspires enough curiosity to make them want more. Example: “New study: Everything we thought we knew about the freelance economy is wrong.”  Here’s a great list of best practices for subject lines, drawn from MailChimp’s analysis of over 200 million emails.
  • A Brief, Relevant Introduction: Start your email with a 2-3 sentence introduction that states who you are and why you’re reaching out. Tie your message to something personal that you know about them, which shows that you’ve done your research and understand what they care about. Example: “I saw your tweet about freelancers and thought you might like to learn the surprising results of a new study.”
  • A Compelling Value Proposition: Once you’ve made your introduction, get to your point quickly. Remember that in order to get a response, you need to demonstrate value for your contacts. Ask yourself, how will a journalist benefit by covering your story? Always keep your pitch about them and how they stand to gain, not about you. Example: “Your latest article about the freelance economy got a lot of buzz. Sharing the results of this study would be a great follow-up for your readers.”
  • Supporting Multimedia Previews: Don’t just tell influencers and journalists about your story. Your pitch email should also include previews of all the multimedia assets in your social media press release. Don’t send attachments or links. They’ll take forever to download and lack the visual impact of an embedded preview. Instead, use a tool that automatically generates media previews in your pitch emails.
  • A Clear Next Step: Make it as easy as possible for your contact to follow up with you. Include all of your contact information (phone number, email, Twitter, Skype, etc.), and suggest a clear next step. Example: “I’d love to answer any questions you have about the study I sent you last week. Can we talk for 15 minutes tomorrow or Friday?”

Don’t Forget About Tracking

It’s tempting to send pitch emails from Gmail or Outlook, but what you gain in speed, you lose in trackability. Use a tool that allows you to track opens, clicks, and responses to your pitch emails. You can also A/B test subject lines and messages to see what works best.

Prezly can help you with all of the above and more. If you own or manage a coworking space, your first 3 months of Prezly are free – no strings attached! Just sign up for the free trial on our website, then email us with the name of your coworking space.

Till next time.