Pilot PMR builds ‘Stack’ to automate and beautify earned media reporting

Pilot PMR
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The challenge of quantifying and communicating the results of earned media campaigns has led strategy and design agency Pilot PMR to create its own reporting software tool.

A 13-year-old firm based in Toronto, Pilot PMR has given the product its own brand, Stack, and offered a detailed look at the process of developing it from paper sketches to a JavaScript-based analytics system and dashboard, which took the better part of a year.

Stack is designed to automate functions such as tallying cost per impression of earned media coverage, workflow tracking of stories and what they mean for campaigns, and auto-generated with visualizations that surface the most important insights of any campaign.

“Transparency is incredibly important, and at the end of a six-month, three-month or 12-month campaign, delivering a whack of numbers is just not an effective approach,” David Doze, president and CEO of Pilot PMR, told B2B News Network. “Clients don’t want to pay for administrative tasks, they want to pay for the work that we’re expected to do. Building reports takes a long time.”

Stack will integrate with Media Ratings Points (MRP) and other third-party measurement and analytics tools, Doze said. Getting value from Stack, however, is really about bringing to life data a firm like Pilot PMR already has, but in a more dynamic and accelerated way.

“Normally a brand hires a comms agency to do an earned media campaign, and afterward they get a PowerPoint deck and basically dead documents with basically screen caps coverage,” Doze said. “Juniors are sometimes spending days or weeks on the slides. That’s the state of the art, even in the big firms.”

Besides its logo and other creative assets, Pilot PMR will be doing some external marketing to drive awareness about the product, a first for the firm. Doze isn’t yet sure, however, if Stack will be something offered out through other agencies.

“The initial goal is to use it exclusively with our clients. If we were to offer it on a vendor relationship basis, that might require us to provide a level of support that we’d need to examine further,” he said.

Whether or not it is formally “sold” as a product or not, however, Doze said Stack represents a way for Pilot PMR to distinguish itself in an extremely crowded marketplace of agencies.

“We have a very multi-disciplinary team here,” he said. “As we were seeing workflow issues and generally having conversations about the challenges, there was a sense of, ‘We can solve this.’ Even in terms of the logo and the branding — it’s a great way to showcase what we can do.”

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Shane Schick

Shane Schick

Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.