Totem 2.0

The hosted press page that journalists prefer

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Kevin William DavidHunterHiring@kwdinc · Community @Siftery. No 1 Hunter on PH🥇
Totem creates press pages where reporters or anyone can learn more about your company, find images and reach out for further information.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@mcmurrak @joshdilworth & team - congrats on the TechCrunch Feature Could you give us some background around Totem?
Taylor Hou@taylorhou1
@bentossell how about an early adopter from like 2 years ago?! - http://remarkhq.totemapp.com/com... when we were actively seeking press and awareness, totemapp was just a logical thing to have and utilize in the modern world. we were tired of attaching mediakits and finding the most updated profile pics or product videos. with totemapp, we were able to spend time personalizing our pitch to bloggers and then just copy/pasta the link for them to reference if they needed anything. thanks for bringing awareness to the new 2.0 version! will be signing up with the new company I'm with.
Josh Jones-DilworthMaker@joshdilworth
@bentossell thanks! I built a PR firm called JDI which is focused on bringing new technologies to market -- some names people might recognize as clients are Siri, WolframAlpha, SRI International, Viv, Aviate, Republic Wireless, Nginx, Openstack, Zocdoc, Klout, Gest, Clear Labs and many more. When we met clients they never had press pages. So, we were always recommending they built them in order to get ready for big launches and campaigns. This got tedious as we reinvented the wheel over and over. So way back in 2012 we survey just over 100 press that we had relationships with. We asked: do you care about press pages? Do you want companies to have one? And if so, what ought be on it, in what order? What features matter most to you? Totem bakes in all the things we learned working with clients, and all the things press told us. A press page might seem simple, but it is super, super important. Companies spend a ton of time and money getting in front of press. But their "customer journey" pretty much sucks. Why make things hard on the press? Why do anything less than put your very best foot forward? I'll mention a few of the press' preferences here since they are educational to all: press hate attachments, they prefer the opportunity to download a file or just copy and paste a resource URL into their CMS, they hate having a company's past coverage shoved in their face above the fold (feels like well-trodden territory, de-motivates them, sloppy seconds), and they strongly prefer to have elements of the About page (team bios and headshots, basic company explainer copy) repeated on the press page so they have everything all on one place as opposed to bouncing all around your site looking for stuff. They also hate anonymous black-hole email aliases like press@yourcomapny.com -- they strongly, strongly prominent contact info for a real human with a web presence and a real email and phone number -- basically press want damn good customer service, just like the rest of us. We launched Totem as a small side project but it quickly grew to host more than 1K press pages live right now. We've actually have almost 3K users overall, but many have gone out of business, gotten acquired, etc. The thing we're most proud of is that the press actually recommend to companies to use Totem. Kirk my co-founder is a longtime friend and CTO + AI whiz who came onboard to help us professionalize and scale up totem is a serious way. Kirk is amazing and frankly he's overqualified for the task at hand, but he, like me, is interested in fundamentally changing how shitty an experience it is for press and companies to interact, for both parties, and that motivates us both. We're doing Totem for the long haul. This is not a fruit fly startup for us. Totem 2.0, which Anthony at Techcrunch wrote about, has 4 things worth noting. 1.) it now has a concierge service model -- we build and keep your totem updated on your behalf. A huge number of our customers requested this. They just don't have the time despite their best intentions, and maintaining the press pages gets too often triaged. 2.) it adds a Follow button, which is a new idea for press pages and one we hope catches on. Press can use it to opt-in to automated updates about your company. This is the first "pull" tool in their universe, as opposed to push. 3.) we totally updated Totem's look and feel -- it is now single page with no sidebars, bigger and bolder images, etc. and 4.) it is now possible to use your analytics package of choice on totem. This is a big deal for a lot of PR people who would love to know what assets and information is popular, etc. Thanks for offering us the opportunity to say a little more! We'd love to answer more questions. Bring it on. And thank you, sincerely.
Kirk McMurrayMaker@mcmurrak · Co-Founder & CEO @ Totem
Thanks for the kind words @taylorhou! It's great to see a real customer chiming in and posting a link to his old school Totem page. Make sure to let us know about your new startup and we'll hook you up with a fat discount. On that note, anyone who signs up for Totem that found us on @ProductHunt, make sure to let the concierge know you want the PH special, and we'll take care of you. :)
Taylor Hou@taylorhou1
@mcmurrak i'll ping yall shortly. =)
Josh Jones-DilworthMaker@joshdilworth
@taylorhou Taylor you will get an email today for a "free and three" offer -- for existing customers we will waive the setup free and give you 3 free months. THANK YOU for the kind words. I think Kirk is setting up a discount in Stripe to offer the same to the PH community too. More on that soon.
Kirk McMurrayMaker@mcmurrak · Co-Founder & CEO @ Totem
First of all, thanks for hunting us on @ProductHunt @kwdinc! Next, to best answer your question @bentossell, I will refer your to this blog post, which does a great job of explaining how @PressTotem got started and has evolved to date: https://medium.com/building-the-... Overall, I'd like to say that I feel privileged to have helped build this tool with @joshdilworth and his team at JDI, who have been amazing to work with. They really understand both PR and the (Tech) Press, have tremendous respect for journalism as a whole, and yet also maintain a big appetite for disrupting it. Finally, if there's one lesson I'd share, it's as follows. While we continue to have a change-the-world type vision for how we see technology (and Totem) transforming the world of the Press and PR, by getting back to basics and focusing on improving a simple tool with feedback from customers, journalists, as well as some internal insights, we are a step closer to achieving our loftier goals!
Tom Flemming@tomflemming
Interesting. Pricing seems a bit off.
Kirk McMurrayMaker@mcmurrak · Co-Founder & CEO @ Totem
@tomflemming I am going to go out on limb and guess you think the pricing is (an order of magnitude) too low. Is that right? Many think it should be closer to $99/month (vs $9/month), but we think we can service thousands of early stage startups and SMB's at this price point. We may however be delusional, and acknowledge there is a huge learning curve going from self service to a concierge service model, and we very well need to revise the subscription upwards, or at least add another tier for white glove service.