About the Project
“PRNewswire.com is our essential presence on the web, providing millions of people around the world with minute-by-minute updates from tens of thousands of organizations,” says Rod Nicolson, VP User Experience Design and Workflow at PR Newswire. “Our website is very strategic to our business and is key in helping us achieve our mission to help our customers engage opportunity everywhere it exists. To do this effectively, we need our site to perform at every moment—especially during peak traffic periods—and to be flexible enough for us to rapidly respond and innovate to meet the needs of our customers.”
PR Newswire had a dated website with an Oracle backend and CGI scripts. The company hosted and maintained the site, including data centers, backups, and more. The site was reliable, but they spent a lot of time and energy maintaining the system that could be better spent on other projects. And though performance was generally good, if there was a large spike in traffic, PR Newswire had to scramble to adjust in real time to the increased performance needs, further burdening the infrastructure and the IT team.
The process of making even the most trivial change was a multi-step process that included numerous people from throughout the organization, including product management, project management, operations, developers, testers, etc. “Our ability to keep pace with new innovations and customer needs was severely constrained by our website,” says Nicolson.
PR Newswire wanted the ability to update site content more easily as well as improve their time-to-market for new services, and felt it was time to replace the old site technology. The company also wanted to move content ownership into the hands of Marketing and free technical resources to focus on new product development, rather than making small text changes on the site.
“We wanted to be able to deliver high volumes of company announcements at 100% uptime nearly instantaneously, and position ourselves to be the 21st century audience magnet,” says Nicolson. “We had a huge amount of traffic at our site but the visitor experience was outdated—so we set out to find a website solution that would help us achieve our goals.”
As part of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) evaluation, PR Newswire took the top ECM vendors and added Web Content Management (WCM) vendors to the mix, from top-end Documentum to less expensive EZPublish. Each of the top five vendors underwent critical scrutiny, as PR Newswire went through a very thorough checklist and scored the results. At the end of this process, PR Newswire chose Clickability, as it met 91% of PR Newswire’s requirements, including the ability to create personalized visitor experiences, something they felt was only possible with a vendor capable of delivering dynamic content. The remaining 9% on the list of requirements were non-critical wants, rather than essential needs.
PR Newswire appreciated the caliber of the Clickability team, the advanced developer tools and integration capabilities, dynamic content and the scalability and reliability offered by the SaaS delivery model, as well as the high value delivered relative to cost. PR Newswire also appreciated that Clickability could meet their aggressive launch timeline.
With Clickability, users throughout the PR Newswire organization—marketing, editorial, developers, product managers, product owners and more—can now edit, create, and publish content without IT involvement.
Developers are freed from fulfilling requests for simple website content changes, and can now focus on business-critical projects. The company has a dedicated agile team of developers whose sole responsibility is to create new websites and services for PR Newswire customers using Clickability. Taking advantage of the power and flexibility of Clickability’s templating system, developers have launched new products such as Flex Release, a solution for distributing files, video and photos, and added new features to the site, such as website preview. The company has also achieved many incremental gains in user experience and search engine optimization. Clickability’s Velocity templates allow PR Newswire to create and launch many new features in-house. And when PR Newswire developers have more complex projects, they collaborate with Clickability’s Professional Services team.
“We met all our original goals. We deliver high volumes of content with no downtime, and we have near-instantaneous dynamic publishing—it’s precisely what we were looking for.” – Rod Nicolson, VP User Experience Design and Workflow, PR Newswire
About PR Newswire
PR Newswire is the premier global provider of multimedia platforms that enable marketers, corporate communicators, sustainability officers, public affairs and investor relations officers to leverage content to engage with all their key audiences. Having pioneered the commercial news distribution industry 60 years ago, PR Newswire today provides end-to-end solutions to produce, optimize and target content—from rich media to online video to multimedia—and then distribute content and measure results across traditional, digital, mobile and social channels. Combining the world’s largest multi-channel, multi-cultural content distribution and optimization network with comprehensive workflow tools and platforms, PR Newswire enables the world’s enterprises to engage opportunity everywhere it exists. PR Newswire serves tens of thousands of clients from offices in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, and is a UBM plc company.Download the Case Study