When we discussed the 10 Ways to Measure the ROI of Public Relations, we didn’t mention it’s possible, even without the help of a PR expert, to score great media mentions for your business, on mainstream publications. That’s right, you can get your products mentioned in Forbes, Inc.com, the Wall Street Journal, and others. No need to reinvent any wheels when you know and use the right tools. Tools available to PR pro’s, and to others as well, like HARO (Help a Reporter Out), deliver immediate access previously not available in the industry.
Many business owners already know how to connect with journalists and bloggers to share information about products and services. But many remain unaware of such tools and miss out on powerful PR strategies available to them without the cost of a professional agency. These tools do not replace the need for a PR agency managing tailored campaigns. But they provide added value to the PR arsenal of a business, especially if the message sent out on pitches to journalists and bloggers is aligned with the overall PR strategy defined by the company’s agency of record. If the company has a PR agency, they should be briefed that a pitch was sent, to avoid overlapping – most PR companies are familiar with these ten platforms and actively monitor all opportunities for their customers.
ProfNet from PR Newsire
ProfNet has been available since 1992 and is a veteran in the industry. It connects journalists, experts, PR professionals, and other interested parties. This is not a free service for sources (businesses), but it has major benefits. ProfNet is trusted by mainstream journalists from the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, etc., and by A-list bloggers. And more than journalists and bloggers quote experts (sources) found on ProfNet.
The service claims access to government officials, academic researchers, publishers, industry analysts, and more in the network. For sources, ProfNet is easy to use: it’s an email-based model, where the source gets emails with queries from journalists and others looking for expert commentary, and may answer specifically to what applies to her/his business, personal experience, and professional expertise. Even more advantages are listed along the benefits of membership. If you want a quote or further information about their service, email them from their contact page.
HARO – Help a Reporter Out
Peter Shankman’s “original baby” has been around as a Facebook group since 2008. It works just like ProfNet, and it is currently owned by Vocus, whose services (for example PRWeb) are in direct competition to PR Newswire. HARO, or Help a Report Out is more popular than ProfNet since it’s based on a freemium model. There paid subscription packages too, each with its own benefits, but the average company can use their service without charge. HARO offers sources real-time media opportunities, straight from journalists on a deadline needing a source. Trusted by reporters from Yahoo!, Reuters, Inc.com, SheKnows.com and many others. Make use of this service to advance your PR efforts.
MediaSpot.Me is an interesting startup – a combination of LinkedIn and Help a Reporter Out (HARO) in their own words. The video below explains how the service works. One downside: the service doesn’t seem to be available for international users (outside USA and Canada).
My Blog U
Myblogu is a free service for bloggers, journalists, and experts to help each other with ideas and find sources. Upload your content there for others to reference, brainstorm with media sources and writers. The site was opened in 2014 and is relatively new, but its creation is about helping people build on what they have and know while using a teamwork format when help is needed.
Businesswire has been providing service for more than 50 years, instantly and simultaneously delivering your financial disclosures and multimedia news around the world. They offer special targeting options and measurement data. You can easily download a press release, and they will take it from there. Their service is not free, and you must be a member to use it, but it could be useful if you need their particular expertise.
SourceBottle is an interesting platform, also designed to help journalists and bloggers find sources. But unlike HARO, ProfNet, and Reporter Connection, which rely on email queries to deliver the pitches, SourceBottle makes them searchable online, in a directory of sorts. SourceBottle also provides PR professionals with timely insight into publicity opportunities building brand awareness for their clients’ products and services. Interestingly, SourceBottle was founded by a “mompreneur”, Rebecca Derrington.
Cision offers you software for your publishing and PR needs. You buy their software and can use that to access various sources, as well as use their system of templates and tools. You can also use their media and blogger database with more than 1.6 million contacts to reach influencers, build awareness, and publish content to sites like Fast Company, Time, and CNN. Their software also allows you to track media coverage across the net.
Muck Rack is designed for communications professionals, to connect with journalists and bloggers in meaningful ways. It is membership based, with the cheapest plan at $99 per month. All plans include features custom media lists updated in real-time as journalists change jobs or positions, alerts when journalists tweet or link to your company, industry, client or competitors’ stories. So you can pitch them, locate, follow, hire, or scoop journalists by searching their beats, titles, tweets, and full-text articles, pitches, and much more.
Media Kitty has been around since 2001 and just updated their website this year. They have more than 28K editorial pitches per year resulting in 240K stories, interviews, events, reviews, branding, assignments, global trips and more. They were initially designed for the travel and hospitality industry, and this is still the main strength of the network. But they also have connections in the adventure, art, design, lifestyle, entertainment, fashion, beauty, health, food, drink, wellness, sports, family, pets, and consumer technology fields. Sources get connections with top journalists and possible placements for their news.
News Certified was founded by veteran journalists. They provide a searchable database of experts and story ideas to global news media contacts 24/7. Their database is updated regularly and currently reflects experts in topics covered by the global news media including the economy, education, healthcare, politics, international affairs, technology, and the environment. Experts pay a fee to become certified. The fee covers certification, addition to the peer network, production of a video clip, and exposure to journalists around the globe. The service is free to journalists.
And because HARO is already on the list, and we are supposed to provide 10 HARO-like tools, at number 11 on the list you find Pitching Notes – a tool designed to give PR pros opportunities to review and talk about their personal experiences with specific journalists. Pitching Notes helps PR pros make better pitches and manage client expectations when a story is in the works. This teaches users about how bloggers and journalists prefer to be pitched, and what to do for the best response.
Do you know of any others? Tell us about it in the comments, or contact us by email.