The ultimate guide to planning stories and outreach with Streak
In the time of perpetual sharing and connectedness, email is key. And for those in the media who can confidently say that their lives exist on Gmail, making an effort to 'share and connect' on large projects can be difficult. Enter Streak: the Gmail extension that organizes your life into Pipelines and Boxes. It's an all-purpose customer relationship management tool.
"We launched Streak because we felt pain when using other solutions," Aleem Mawani, founder of Streak, wrote in an email. "For our previous company, we were doing a lot of door to door sales. We tried using traditional CRM's but they were all pretty bad and not tailored for small businesses. They weren't user friendly and were far too complicated."
Aleem and his team then shifted to Google docs for sharing information, but it still wasn't as optimized as they wanted it to be. So, Streak was created. And now, journalists and communications professionals have a way to track stories without missing a beat. "We have many journalists using Streak, even a writer from Wired," wrote Aleem. Here's the article Sarah from Wired wrote to describe Streak, which had an impressive amount of shares.
This tool can be used to the advantage of journalists and communications professionals alike. For each project or theme, a separate 'pipeline' is created, which shows the story stages in a spreadsheet. The project can be tracked from an original idea, to reseachring, drafting, editing, and finally publishing.
Journalists and Streak:
- So, you have a story to write. For now, you have an idea and a list of contacts, but no way to organize it. With Streak, you can create a Pipeline listed under the ‘Journalism’ category.
- A new spreadsheet will accessible in the sidebar. Once opened it will be separated by segments: idea, researching, drafted, edited, published. These will be visible both across the top of the page and down the side.
- Once the shell of the story is created, users can go into the system and fill out all the details of the story they’ve worked on, like various ideas and outreach.
- Include notes to remind yourself about different aspects of the story- even assign certain parts of stories to colleagues.
- Not only that, but you can add people to Boxes directly through email conversations, which makes it easy to keep track of how a story is progressing from start to finish.
Communications Pros and Streak:
- Streak can be used to track a story for a PR lead the same way that journalists track their story progress.
- Track the seqeunce of your outreach to journalists and news organizations. Assign different sections, like outreach and research, to different team members by adding their emails in the "assigned to" field on the Streak spreadsheets.
- Set deadlines and publish dates for upcoming press pieces.
- You can schedule emails to send later during big press pushes- ensuring that you're not sending emails at odd hours or weekends.
- Selectively share parts of your inbox with team members.
If all of that wasn’t enough, here’s a GIF of Streak in action:
This GIF made by our resident Muck Racker Natan Edelsburg shows the process of adding an email conversation to a Streak Pipeline.
- By selecting the Box tab at the top, you can label the email however you'd like. In this case "Blog post on Streak." This box goes into the pipeline for blog ideas.
- The sidebar shows with different forms, like choosing how to categorize the progress.
- You can then add notes to remember how or why you labeled the email, then assign it to certain people on your team, and add a writer.
- At the bottom of the Streak Box you can set a reminder for yourself about the email, whether it be following up with someone or remembering to edit the story.
On top of all of that, Streak has an awesome iOS app that makes it easy to keep up with projects on the go. Beyond journalism and communications, Streak can be used for hiring, sales, customer support, and more. The extension has a 'send-it-later' feature for timing emails.
Expect more from this company as they roll out paid premium features, though a free version will always be available.