PR specialist adopts Synergist for agency management
JBP PR was established in 1984 and has become one the UK’s leading independent PR agencies. The award-winning agency currently employs 30 specialists, in four centres, London, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff; their philosophy is based on four core values that shape the way the agency supports its people, its clients and the communities in which they operate: Hands on personal relationships, broad commercial understanding; a can do attitude to provide real solutions to client challenges, and a professional approach to all business activity based on respect, integrity and accountability.
The experienced team offers expertise in PR, reputation management, parliamentary affairs, property and planning, localism, stakeholder communication, B2B PR, consumer PR, corporate PR, media training and communications strategy.
Such a complex business approach requires an appropriate management system to ensure accuracy, work tracking, scheduling, campaign progress and reporting for the business and its many clients.
Time consuming and complex systems
Liam Herbert is the Director in charge of operations for the company. “When we started the business it was reasonably practical to rely on spread sheet based reporting for time management and accounting, however, this soon proved to be both time consuming and complex to operate, with a great deal of management time being taken to format documents to get appropriate reports on the business, and to generate the necessary invoices and progress documents required.”
One package met requirements
Liam said, “We made the decision to invest in a full agency management system and reviewed a number of possible off-the-shelf solutions. Only one package met all our requirements and appeared to cater for the more specific needs of the PR industry. This was Synergist from Express Systems.”
Liam then revealed, “Following comprehensive software demonstrations we took the decision to install Synergist throughout the agency. As with all new systems there was an element of time taken for bedding-in and a few minor training issues, but we were soon up and running efficiently and beginning to reap some genuine benefits from the system. Following the straightforward installation and data transfer, Express Systems trained up a number of internal super-users to provide instant help and support, but we always had the online and phone support of the company should we hit a problem or snag.”
Accurate, consistent information
Liam went on to say, “Since installation we have been able to pull together consistently accurate information for job reporting, which has resulted in far better control of both our time and resources. Forecasting has become much easier and the resultant management information considerably more accurate than ever before. Synergist has enabled us to identify spending in areas where we previously lacked information, such as new business activity. The system has highlighted and helped prevent over-servicing on certain accounts, and we have found that management reports and invoicing are far more consistent and simpler to generate at month end, enabling more effective planning and resource management.”
Increased commercial awareness
Liam concluded, “Synergist has had another excellent benefit. It has placed account administration control in the hands of those people that directly manage the business. This has had the highly beneficial effect of raising commercial awareness among the client management team.”
Practical to use
Liam summarised, “Good agency systems are critical to ensure you maintain, control and create consistent, comparable records, which can help identify issues before they become problems. As with all systems Synergist relies on good data entry. Fortunately the time management and job control screens are easy to assimilate and very practical to use on a daily basis, though inevitably there were a few detractors at the outset! However, even they soon saw the benefit when job scheduling and resource management became so much easier. I would certainly recommend Synergist to other PR companies, as it has a level of flexibility and capability that is unmatched by other systems on the market.”
For further information on how Synergist can make an impact on your business please contact us .