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PCD Spotlight: Rory Burke, President and CEO

Rory Burke was appointed Palm Coast Data’s President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2014. He brings more than 30 years of fulfillment and media services experience, including operational, client services, sales, and executive roles. He served as Palm Coast Data’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer immediately prior to becoming CEO.

PCD News and Insights sat down with Rory to discuss his perspective on the changing role of fulfillment providers and the new energy – and higher value – PCD brings to publishers and membership organizations.

You often talk about the importance of client engagement. How is Palm Coast Data turning this into an actionable initiative?

Much of the publishing industry faces similar challenges, and PCD finds solutions that work across our client spectrum. For example, when we launched our Digital Entitlements System, virtually all of our clients were carefully evaluating digital marketing. The digital world is constantly changing, and we are able to expand DES to integrate with client initiatives.  

When we launched the system in 2011, for example, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite was the first ecosystem it supported. Today, we support six additional digital service providers.

But clients continue to bring unique challenges. PCD’s flexibility and multi-industry experience allows us to quickly find solutions for their specific objectives. Once developed, we share a new best-practice solution with multiple clients. That’s partially why client engagement is so important.

We have already begun expanding client-engagement opportunities across all levels of the organization, and a continued higher emphasis on this initiative is crucial to our ability to meet and exceed client expectations. Our renewed focus in this area is already improving our ability to renew existing clients and gain new ones.

From our executive leadership team to our Client Relations team, we are committed to actively engaging with every client to discover – and help solve – their challenges. This commitment drives our thought processes, product development initiatives, and continuous improvement strategies.

You have decades of experience in fulfillment and media services. How you seen the landscape change within the industry?

I’ve seen it change quickly – particularly over the course of the last few years. It seems like tablets have been with us forever, but it’s only been in the consumer market for four years, beginning with the iPad. And we expect a growing array of tablets and other devices will continue to alter how and when people consume information.

That rapid shift has forced us to become more nimble in how we approach our clients and the marketplace. We can’t take years to develop solutions. PCD must be timely, and our products must be relevant, easy to use, and deliver value to our clients’ similar, yet unique business approaches.

We must also be flexible. Every client is seeking to achieve a different business objective and comes to us with a specific set of requirements. We must adapt to those needs, rather than pegging clients into a predetermined formula that may not accomplish what they have set out to achieve.

And although the mobile market is generating a lot of excitement, the lion’s share of our clients’ revenue continues to come from print. That means our traditional fulfillment operations must continue to run flawlessly. As an industry, we must balance the delivery of new innovation while maintaining reliable, high-capacity operations on the fulfillment side – because our clients need us to help them achieve goals in both areas of their business.

What is Palm Coast Data’s role today, compared to years past?

We are striving to become much more of a strategic partner and counselor than a behind-the-scenes support operation. We’ve always needed a place at the table with the executive leadership of our clients – and we are working harder than ever to get those seats.

It’s up to us, though, to ensure we maximize opportunities to engage clients from the highest levels of leadership to those who manage day-to-day business functions.

A key advantage of working with so many of the nation’s leading magazines and membership organizations is that we establish new platforms for best practices – and taking those out to the broader industry has increasingly become our role.

What is your vision for Palm Coast Data?

We will continue making improvements that advance our clients’ businesses, as well as our industry. The multi-million-dollar investment we announced earlier this year will lead to a number of new offerings for both publishing and membership clients – as well as major enhancements to many of our existing, industry-leading solutions.

And we will continue to develop innovative new products without sacrificing our commitment to the traditional operations on which our clients rely.

We will also be the leader in security and transparency. Clients can rest assured their proprietary information – as well as their customers’ private information – is protected against threats. And clients will also know up-front what their fulfillment investments will be, so they can accurately forecast their own business performance.