November 24, 2008

What a Tool.

Posted in A walk on the "dark side", Industry Standards tagged at 2:58 pm by R

We all rely on the help of well-developed resources as PR peeps, but a post by Dan Wool at Valley PR Blog really got me thinking:

In a world of customization and consideration, how are media resources and reference data bases helping us do our jobs better?

I have used several resources who tout one of their benefits as “distribution.” This means plugging in the info, and hitting send. Not ideal for getting a reporter’s attention. Not ideal for getting coverage. Not ideal for making a good name for yourself as a considerate PR pro.

Services like Bacon’s (Cision), Burrelle’s Luce, Vocus, PR Newswire, etc. would do well to tailor their services to the rapidly changing needs of PR people and reporters.

Things I’d really like to see all of these services offer to compete for my business (may the best man win):

  • Reporter contacts updated DAILY and checked for contact information accuracy
  • Full accounting of recent articles for each reporter/producer
  • BLOGS: contacts, content and RSS feed
  • Up-to-date editorial calendars (It’s the end of November. Really? Really? There’s nothing out for 2009? I call bull S*&%.)
  • Reporter query portals (HARO is superior to all others at this service presently. Why? They specialize and do it well.)
  • News alerts. Google does it (and everything else), why can’t Burrelle’s cross check between news coming out and reporters in my stored media list? Am I asking for the moon here?

The bottom line is that in a lot of ways I don’t feel like the PR services industry has caught up to what we as practitioners are adapting to.

Maybe it’s the case that I’m not using the “best” search terms but nothing, NOTHING is as frustrating as searching for a known broadcaster or heck an entire network (!!) and getting the old “search returned no results.”

In fact, this is sort of what I look like when that happens.


Long story longer: PR Tools, get up to speed. I’ve got a job to do here and I need help to do it well.