MarTech Interview with Zach Cutler, Co-Founder, and CEO of Propel

Zach Cutler highlights the technology solutions that Propel offers and gives a sneak peek into their recent developments.

You are only as good as your team, and the most amazing product in the world will fall flat if the team isn’t great.

1. Can you give us a brief of your career before Propel?
a. Prior to starting Propel I was the Founder and CEO of Cutler PR. I ran the company for nine years, and in that time I was the PR firm of record in the US for over 70 startups, including 15 which ended up becoming unicorns and 5 which became decacorns.

2. Could you tell us more about Propel and what was the inspiration behind starting this company?
a. I decided to start Propel because I realized that there was no tool on the market which address the workflowneeds of PR. My firm was using spreadsheets, and when I tried to find a tech solution to streamline our workflows, I came up empty. Sure, there are legacy PR tech solutions, but none of them deal with workflow and insights, and all of them are very antiquated and sluggish.

3. What makes Propel unique? How does it stand out from its competitors?
a. Propel is The world‘s first and leading CRM for PR, or as we call it, PRM. We are also the only platform with gmail and outlook plugins, enabling PR pros to seamlessly migrate their media lists on the platform to their emails and track engagement and success. In addition, we utilize AI to not only figure out what a journalist is most likely to write about, but also what time of day and day of week a journalist is most likely to open a pitch and respond. Journalists don’t always update what beat they’re covering on social media, so our AI is crucial in enabling PR pros to pitch the best, most relevant journalists, and perhaps more importantly, providing journalists with stories they actually want.

4. What are the technology solutions that Propel offers?
a. We are a full Public Relations Management platform, which includes a CRM for PR, the only solution on the market which offers Gmail and Outlook plugins, along with AI to determine what day and time a journalist likes being pitched. In addition to this, we also are the only PR software solution that offers PR business outcomes analytics and productivity metrics, and has an accessibility widget to enable people of all abilities to do PR.

5. Could you give a sneak peek into the recent developments at Propel?
a. We recently came out with a Freemium version of the platform which anyone can use for free. We also just released a Beta version of a feature which will enable PR pros to automatically set their pitches to go out at the most optimal day and time for each journalist. This saves PR pros hours they would have otherwise spent while setting pitches manually.

6. Tell us a bit about your culture. What makes Propel‘s culture unique?
a. We are an extremely close knit team that is fully #WorkFromAnywhere. We believe in the unlimited potential of every team member, believe in skills over experience, believe that anything is possible with hard work, and believe that we will only succeed by working as a single, close team unit. We have employees spread across three continents – in Israel, the UK, and the US. We even have two employees driving around the US in an RV! But perhaps more than the fact that we’re 30 people spread across the planet is that we all meld well together. We hire employees not only based on their knowledge and skills but also based on their mindset. Specifically, the company looks for people who are able to leave their ego at the door and be committed to the mission.

7. In your opinion, what are the most exciting topics in MarTech right now? How do you keep up with the constantly changing landscape?
a. I am most excited by the digitization and innovation that earned media is going through. This is a very exciting time, since PR was the cousin left behind, in terms of marketing innovation. Earned is the most important channel, for a variety of reasons, including consumer hunger for credibility, the death of the cookie, GDPR, and unsustainable high costs, which are plugging the ad industry.

8. What are Propel’s plans for expansion and growth? Where do you see it in the coming years?
a. Our mission is to enable anyone to reach their audience and tell their story. We will continue to work day and night to be the innovation leader in PR technology, rolling out features that are years ahead of the competitors, which make the work and lives of PR professionals better.

9. What is the biggest piece of advice you would want to give to company leaders?
a. It’s all about the team.

You are only as good as your team, and the most amazing product in the world will fall flat if the team isn’t great.

Really care about your employees and treat them with extreme generosity and kindness.

10. Where do your passions lie? What do you think defines you as a person?
a. I am passionate about creating things, solving problems and bringing forth innovation. I’m also passionate about dreaming big and working towards achieving those dreams, despite any challenges or adversity. As someone with a physical disability, I believe that challenge is a gift and like to spread that message.

11. Which motivational quote drives you to achieve more at work?
a. If you will it, it is no dream – Theodore Herzl
b. All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible – T.E. Lawrence

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Zach Cutler is the Co-Founder & CEO of PR technology platform Propel PRM. Prior to this he owned and operated his own PR firm - Cutler PR - for nine years, and was the PR firm of record in the US for 70 tech startups, 5 of which went on to become decacorns, and 15 of which went on to become unicorns. A graduate of the George Washington University School of Business in Washington, DC, Zach currently resides in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Propel is the fastest growing media intelligence & PR software in the world. Propel has been recognized by Forbes as one of the top three PR software companies and named by Inc. Magazine as one of the “70 Israeli startups you need to follow.” Propel’s customers include world-class brands and agencies, such as The Daily Mail, W2O, Google, Textron, DataArt, Freepik and others.

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