A confession

A few words from Jesse Wynants, CEO & Founder of Prezly

I have a confession to make: Prezly became a PR tool completely by accident. Much like with our latest feature releases, Prezly’s existence was shaped by the hands of our users as much as our own.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me rewind a sec – or specifically, 12 years. I was working at an advertising agency, and I quickly found that announcing advertising campaigns to the press… wasn’t pretty.

Every campaign we sent out was a nightmare to track. Multimedia was hosted on FTP servers no journalist could ever access, and the slightest attachment would have the email bounce. Working as a team on the same list of contacts? Impossible.

So, we decided to build something better.

Over four years, Gijs and I spent most of our evenings and weekends building Prezly: a tool to make it easy to share multimedia ad campaigns with the press. We thought the ad people would love it.

Instead, it was PR teams that signed up and started to use it to pitch their stories.

I still remember turning to my cofounder with a dawning realisation some years in: “Gijs, I think we might be PR software.”

“Gijs, I think we might be PR software.”

Identity crisis over, we knew what/who/why Prezly was. Or so we thought.

Only… it happened again.

Five years ago, we got a call from a client. “Hey, I’m trying to have inline images in my text but the editor doesn’t let me. Can you fix it?”

“Sure, but why would you want it to do that? That’s not how press releases should be structured.”

“No, I know. I’m making a blog.”

She wasn’t the only one. Feature requests started flying in with use cases for everything from investor reports to cultural magazines, all published through Prezly.

When COVID-19 hit, we saw these use cases escalate. People started hosting live streams in their newsrooms and publishing entire museum collections as stories. And all the while, requests came flying in for new features that would support these new publications.

So we began to build.

We bolstered the story editor. We launched newsroom themes that worked better for different scenarios – some that are perfect for newsrooms (Bea), while others work beautifully for online magazines (Lena) or blogs (Marcel). We made it so that you could run your internal comms using campaigns and newsrooms published behind your company login. We invested time into documenting everything and making it all open source.

But, why am I telling you this?

It’s simple – I’m asking you to try using Prezly beyond PR.

If there’s a project you’ve been wanting to launch, an internal knowledge base you’d love to build, or a creative blog you’ve been meaning to set up – do it in Prezly.

The newsroom preview feature we just launched makes it really simple to try out new setups, commitment-free. You can do it right here.

Oh, and please let us know when you do! We’d be more than happy to support you in developing those different use cases, and I personally would love to see what you create.

And as for PR? Don’t worry, we aren’t leaving it behind; it will always be in Prezly’s bones. In fact, we feel that the best way we can support PR teams is by building a broader toolbox.

We've always believed that great PR is about authentic storytelling. And to that end, Prezly has never been better.

Wishing you a great week,

Jesse, Founder of Prezly

 

Jesse Wynants

Jesse Wynants

Founder, Prezly

Published 27 September 2022