Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Ed Zitron and I run a small three-person PR firm in San Francisco, Portland, Boston and NYC. We have a distributed team, on different timezones, doing vastly different tasks that mostly emanate from me. I also have many clients that I need to get to do stuff so that I can do things to make their campaigns work. This also occasionally means I have 2-3 people that I have to check something off with. While my main thrust is getting coverage for clients, that requires a fair amount of research.
One thing I have is also my personal assistant Royal Hebert who I use both for work and personal tasks.
How much do you rely on email in general? Huge part of your work life?
There is no way in which you cannot read this as a total understatement: I live my life on email. I almost conduct my entire business on email. It is actually rather ridiculous how much of my life let alone my business is run across email. I’m an English ex-pat but connect with my parents and family in London via email too. Everything happens there. It’s the dissonant insane hub of my life.
Before Pyrus, how much email did your team send and receive in a day to go about business?
I cannot put a real number on this but let’s just say a lot of “did you get this?” and “what’s this version” and “uh, I’m not sure where to put this” and really, really mind-numbingly simple questions that made me kind of upset, but they had to be done.
I’d say I’ve lost about 40% of my “what am I doing” emails which was a large chunk of my business emails. My internal team is how I use it — externally, it’s slow to bring in clients not because of the system but because I want to slowly roll out new programs. I love Pyrus, though, because it means when i assign something to a team it’s got the whole to-do-list mentality – but also a really organized way of seeing if things are actually being done. And if it’s a document, it’s attached. If it’s a thing I need to fill in, I have it there.
Any particular features proven to be favorites?
Psychological relief. I know when something isn’t in my inbox it’s someone else’s problem to fix. If it’s in my inbox but read, I know it’s something I need to address. It works like email. In fact i didn’t watch any of the tutorial videos, I just jumped in and worked out how to do it – and it just worked like Gmail with tags for projects. It works naturally. I’m not particularly good at learning new tools, and I barely had to learn anything.
Any situations that would’ve been an email nightmare that Pyrus made easier?
Just the usual “did this get done?” situation. I can comment on a Pyrus task, or I can just see if the task is done. Or when it’s done they say “hey, it’s done!” and I get an email with the work result. It’s a blend between a task manager and an email platform. It makes sense. It doesn’t require me to change my thought patterns. I’m not being made to completely change how I work. Which is why I’ve failed to pick up any other platform than Pyrus for workflow.