Practicing DevOps with Your Public Relations Agency: Tips for a Successful Relationship

Let’s face it – in today’s digital world, you are probably working for an organization that runs on software in some way. Even if you aren’t working directly with the software part of your business, there is a chance that you have heard the term “DevOps” buzzing around over the past several years. Not ringing any bells? DevOps, while many may dispute a concrete definition, is a term used in the software delivery industry to describe the symbiotic relationship between (you guessed it!) teams of developers and operations. With DevOps, tools, people and process are united to break down silos, thus increasing the rate and quality of software delivery at scale. At Catapult, we work with several clients who provide leading DevOps solutions and services, which is what got our wheels turning around this subject. So, what does DevOps have to do with public relations?

In theory – not much. But, when it comes to working with your public relations agency, some of the principles can certainly be applied. If you want to work successfully with your PR agency to capture market share and lead your industry, follow these three DevOps-y themes:

  • Collaboration: It’s highly beneficial for organizations to collaborate with their public relations team on all action items, but particularly throughout the entire content creation process – from input to publication. A 10-15 minute call focused on your responses to an industry trend, or explaining the key messaging in a press release, will help us create much more valuable content for you and the publications we are pitching. Plus, input cuts down review cycle times since what is drafted is based on your words, not ones that we created for you that may require much more massaging. In the end, collaboration on all content – whether it is blogs, press releases, or social media – ensures that messaging and themes are consistent across the airwaves and between you (Dev, perhaps?) and your agency (Ops).
  • Transparency: This one might sound obvious, but it is imperative that we know as much about your company as possible. What are your business goals? What companies are you working with? What projects or product updates are you currently working on? In other words, don’t hold anything back that you can afford to share! The more that we know, the more we can help build your long-term PR strategy and share it with the industry – along with all the latest and greatest news about you. Even if there is a project or customer under NDA, keeping us in the light about what you are up to will help us define the ways you are helping the industry advance. After all, we are here to help prove to the industry that you are a leader, innovator, on the cutting edge – so, the more we know, the more we can help build that story which in turn will help you capture market share.
  • Unified Process: We get it – every organization has their own way of writing subject lines in emails, naming different versions of content and a multitude of other stylistic or communication preferences. Let’s sync-up! If the best way your team works is via a Slack channel versus email, then onboard the appropriate team members at your PR agency so that we can keep the communication flowing. Prefer to review content on a Google Doc or SharePoint over Word attachments? Easy fix. This all may seem like simple, trivial tasks, but it can make a world of difference to streamline these processes to improve collaboration and reduce any bottlenecks in getting content approved, briefings scheduled, or anything else coming down the PR pipeline.

Applying these DevOps principles will help improve the quality of your content and increase its time to market. Beat your competitors to the chase, lead your industry and capture market share by establishing a symbiotic relationship with your PR firm.