Shareist Case Study: Harrelson Agency

When Sam Harrelson, founder and CEO of the Harrelson Agency, works with his mostly-remote team and the agency’s wide variety of clients, using Shareist is a key part of the project management process.

Harrelson was an early beta tester of Shareist and as a former teacher immediately saw the power of using the platform as a content curation and content management system.  “I was a big fan of Shareist and started off using it as a blogging platform,” he says. “I even switched from WordPress to Shareist for my personal blog.”

But now as a small marketing agency owner with clients that requires many different types of content for both online and offline campaigns, he loves that Shareist has evolved into what he refers to as “a project management system that focuses on content.”

Shareist as a Hub

Harrelson, whose clients including political organizations, religious groups, local retailers and services, brands, authors and more, says Shareist solves many of problems of how to communicate and keep in touch – for both his team and his clients. 

Shareist ensures that everyone on his team has immediate access to add, share, comment, collaborate and manage their client’s projects – which run the gamut from affiliate management, social media marketing, event marketing, political messaging, to billboards and T-shirts. 

With 3 full-time positions and half a dozen contractors around the country, Harrelson is a fan of a democratized workforce, but admits that “being so spread out and decentralized requires a tool that allows us to curate content and plan projects in a way that is much more efficient than sending out emails and attaching files.”

According to Harrelson, Shareist is about productivity. “For us, it has taken the place of having to have one big office with a white board and clippings pasted up.” he says. “It frees us up to have one central hub to deal with all of the project management.”

Harrelson recalls a recent client’s website redesign project that was very extensive, but was completed in less time than expected – 8 months – because during the process his team was able to have the client log into Shareist and see everything the agency was working on, add comments and give approvals.

“Shareist allows us to work more efficiently and free up our time,” he says. “That is important for a small agency. Time is money and the faster, more efficiently and better we can perform our jobs is great for the clients and for us.”

Including Clients in the Process

The Harrleson Agency also uses Shareist in conjunction with a more traditional project management system –BaseCamp.

“There are companies that live and die by BaseCamp and there are great features within that product. That’s why we still use it,” Harrleson says. “But BaseCamp doesn’t allow us to easily gather all the content, resources and things we need for a campaign.  Plus, when you are dealing with clients, you want to work collaboratively and have a system that is easy for the client to also use. BaseCamp is not that intuitive for first-time users. Shareist is easier, interactive, and efficient and streamlines the process.” 

“It’s really easy and the client can get in on the discussion, without seeing everything from our internal team. We’ve been doing that a lot lately for clients and they love it. No complaints. In fact, we’ve heard how it eases their pain, which has traditionally been associated with having to follow hundreds of email threads when working with an agency or a third-party on projects.”

Flexibility and Freedom

Harrelson also noted that the Shareist team has been extremely responsive about helping his agency with some custom requirements such as hooking into other programs like MailChimp, helping with an import/export feature that was needed for creating newsletters, as well as linking to closed internal application program interfaces (API’s) that are used by some of the Harrelson Agency’s own back-end systems. 

The Shareist team has also been open to feedback, input and suggestions. “The Shareist team is eager to add new features that users want. I appreciate and applaud their flexibility.  The evolution of the platform reflects that and I can’t wait to see how that input continues to help improve Shareist as they forward,” Harrelson says. 

The many uses for Shareist enable Harrelson to leverage the platform in a way that fits with his company’s work style and philosophies.  

“I don’t like the notion of content marketing as separate from other marketing. It seems short-sighted.” he says. “I think content marketing will be subsumed back into other areas of marketing eventually and looking at projects holistically will become the norm. That means that the way we are using Shareist for project management allows us to manage everything – the team, clients, projects, content within the projects. It’s just a more intuitive way to do things.”

 

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Posted on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 03:34:00 PM in Case Studies
Tags: case study

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