Corel Corporation revolutionised the graphic design industry when it introduced CorelDRAW® in 1989. The company today boasts of a community of more than 100 million active users in over 75 countries, and a well-established network of international resellers, retailers, original equipment manufacturers, online providers and Corel’s global websites.
In conversation with Cision, Daniel Donovan, Corel’s PR manager, addresses the competitive nature of businesses in graphic design and digital media and discusses the communications strategy used by Corel to stay ahead.
Getting to know Corel Corporation
What are some of the prominent trends for the graphic design and digital media businesses? Competition is fierce with manufacturers across the industry developing new and improved software all the time; new features, enhancements, fixes, upgrades, improved compatibility, adapting to new technology, etc. all play their part in a rapidly developing and fast-paced industry. Staying ahead of the game and maintaining a competitive advantage is a constant struggle.
Some profit-hungry software manufacturers out there, keen on cost-saving, are forcing their customers to subscribe or ‘rent’ their software – this is not the case with Corel. By providing a variety of ways for customers and business to buy their software including; boxed, download or ‘perpetual license’ as well as yearly and monthly subscriptions, Corel caters to a variety of needs and budgets and has seen an increase in new customers.
With competition intensifying in this space, how has Corel used technology to keep up, and stand out? Ensuring compatibility with the latest technology; new cameras, tablets, operating systems etc. helps Corel’s software stand out. Clever use of companion apps cater to changing customer behavior, and a wealth of support, free tutorials, patches, upgrades and additional content maintain Corel’s prominence as ‘friendly, helpful and approachable’ in the industry.
How has social media changed communication/PR strategy for Corel? Graphic design and digital media practitioners are incredibly active on social, constantly sharing examples of their best work, hints and tips, and creative ideas. Corel has a big voice in this arena and is actively engaged on many platforms. Lead-generation, customer support, news broadcasting and content marketing all lend themselves perfectly to social media and are a key aspect of Corel’s PR strategy.
What is the road ahead for Corel Corporation? Through a number of acquisitions, Corel’s extensive portfolio already includes several global brands; WinZip, Pinnacle Studio, Bibble Labs, Roxio. Acquiring similar organisations to make use of Corel’s software development expertise, extensive network of international resellers, retailers, original equipment manufacturers, and online providers has been a key part of their strategy for a number of years. Corel has also recently successfully partnered with German action-camera manufacturer Rollei, providing on-board video editing software with Corel VideoStudio X6, and they seek similar opportunities moving forward.
Getting to know Daniel Donovan
The first thing I do when I come into work is: Before I even get out of bed, I check Corel’s social accounts on my iPhone and check my email for any urgent issues – working for a global company, Corel technically never sleeps and there’s always something going on! When I get to the office, I mix myself a protein shake, take my vitamins and boot-up my laptop. Email, calendar, voicemail, TweetDeck, Facebook, media monitoring, Google News Alerts; somehow, all these activities are my ‘first thing’ when I get to work.
My biggest social media peeve is: when organisations are slow to respond or interact with their audiences. If you can’t maintain two-way, dynamic communications, you shouldn’t be on that platform – and there’s no shame in that. Too often we see organisations using Social platforms inappropriate for their business, just because they feel they ‘have’ to be on there.
If I wasn’t in PR I would be: a journalist and sit on the other side of the fence. I love writing, Tweeting, maintaining my blog, staying on top of the latest news – the skills needed for PR are very similar which is why there’s always been such a blur between the two symbiotic industries.
What’s all the fuss around: Vines? I love them. What started as the natural development of the animated GIF, and a fun, silly way to share short clips has exploded and we’re now seeing businesses take part. Boiling your marketing or PR messages down to just six seconds of flawlessly edited video, that’s appealing enough to share is no easy task, but the industry has seen some excellent examples already. Perfectly suited to mobile and changing consumer trends, it’s easy to understand why they’ve become so popular.
The best thing about my job is: the incredibly diverse workload; I could be writing and issuing a press release, dealing with media enquiries, pitching for news coverage or promoting Corel’s messages on social and interacting with customers and businesses. Other days I could be organising and hosting a launch event, catching a flight to run a press tour in Europe, or media monitoring, and attending management meetings, promoting the PR team’s successes internally.
Five years from now, you can find me: First in line to trial the latest social tool, app, tech or gadget. I’ll still be flexing my PR muscle, but perhaps in a different sector – luckily, the communication skills of a PR are transferrable to any industry. Often, in PR the attention grabber is not what you say, but how you say it.