Highrise is contact-management software. Features include the ability to save and organize notes and email conversations for up to 30,000 contacts, share information with teams, schedule tasks related to contacts, and more.
Price ranges from $24 per month for up to 6 users (includes 5 GB storage and 5,000 contacts) to $99 per month for up to 40 users (includes 30 GB of storage and 30,000 contacts).
Nicole Yelland, director of marketing and communications at Livio, has been using Highrise for about two and a half years.
How do you use it?
You log on to a page that shows all information related to the latest activity you have had with contacts.
When you are building your contact list, there are fields to enter a reporter's contact information including their address so you know their time zone, their social media links, and a notes field. If you BCC Highrise when you email a reporter, those emails are included within the contact information for that reporter.
There's also section where you can assign tasks to yourself or other people in your company. For example, I can assign my CEO a task for a media interview so he knows when the call is scheduled and has access to all of that reporter's information. Highrise also sends email alerts to people who are assigned tasks.
If there's a problem, the Highrise team is really responsive when I reach out on Twitter and Facebook. They also post updates on the social networks if the system is down for some reason. They're really fast at posting and at fixing any sort of problem.
How does it serve your business needs?
Livio is a second-phase startup with 20 people. We work with car manufacturers and app developers to get apps into cars with Livio Connect.
I use Highrise for PR but we also use it for business development and for engineering. Everyone in the company has a to-do list that they assign themselves in Highrise. Our CEO is a list guy and it gives him peace of mind because he can go in and see what we are all doing.
We don't use a PR agency, so I manage everything and Highrise really helps me stay on top of what is happening. It is a lifesaver for any small PR and marketing department.
When I started at Livio, I was trying to build my media contacts and relationships. I started with zero contacts in the database. Today I have more than 3,400 and I have a relationship with each one.
Highrise shows me all the tasks I have assigned to myself for the day. It also lets me know if a task is overdue – for myself or for my staff or interns. It's great to know what everyone is doing and what is overdue. It gives everyone a sense of urgency and it makes us accountable.
Reporters change jobs so often and it's important to keep up with them. Highrise helps me keep contact information fresh. For example, it helped me keep track of a reporter who moved from PCWorld to Mashable. This guy is really smart and he's given me great tips on things he's seen in the tech industry that I've provided as industry trends when pitching other people and that makes me more valuable as a PR person.
If there is a photo online associated with a reporter, Highrise crawls the Web, finds the picture, and automatically includes it as an icon in the reporter's contact information. It's so helpful to know what a reporter looks like if you are set to meet them in person or if you happen to run into them. Last spring, while on vacation I ran into a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Even though I'd never met him in person, I knew who he was because his picture is in Highrise. So we chatted and later met up when we did a media tour in New York. It was a nice offline intersection that wouldn't have happened without Highrise.
When I go to trade shows, I'll meet new contacts or run into current contacts. I jot down a note about our interaction, input that information into Highrise and assign myself a related task if necessary.
There's also a free app for android and iPhone, and that's really a lifesaver on media tours. If I'm stuck in traffic and running late for a desk side in New York, I can go to the app, find the reporter's information, and call them. All of their information is right at my fingertips.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from and IT standpoint?
What are the main benefits?
Having context for each of my contacts, including their personal interests, what they write about, what they used to write about, where I met them, and more helps me be the type of PR person I want to be.
For example, a reporter I work with told me Hurricane Sandy wiped out his employer's servers and he was working from home from his own email. I put a reminder in Highrise of which email I can use and to check in periodically and see how things are going with the storm recovery. I really do like interacting with reporters and I hate treating them like faceless, nameless strangers.
Being able to assign tasks to colleagues. We have summer PR interns, who we treat like entry level staff. I don't have to brief them much on reporter outreach because they can click on a reporter's name in Highrise and see every pitch I've sent and the history of all my conversations with that reporter. Maybe they can repurpose a pitch that's right there or use stats I've sent in previous pitches.
What are the main drawbacks?
As with any CRM system, you have to put in some data entry work to get it going.
You have to have a good Internet signal or phone signal to access it.
What would you like to see improved / added?
I love it the way it is and recommend it to all my PR friends.
Vocus, Salesforce.com, Thomson Reuters, and Cision offer contact management tools.
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