Tech Tool of the Month – Tools that connect PR professionals and reporters

Whether they’re personal or professional, all relationships are a two-way street. The relationship between PR professionals and journalists is no different. We both face tight deadlines, pressure to deliver engaging content and the need to schedule interviews. How can we help each other out? Here’s our take on some tools that connect PR professionals and reporters.

HARO – http://www.helpareporter.com/

HARO is a free resource for sources(i.e. PR professionals looking for publicity opportunities) and reporters to connect. Each day, you’ll receive real-time media opportunities from journalists on a deadline needing a source. If you’re a reporter looking for an industry expert, this is a great resource to send out an interview request.  In our experience, it’s been used to jump into the conversation about hot industry topics. We recommend signing up for the daily emails. You never know when you’ll find the perfect fit to pitch your client or company.

Media Diplomat – http://www.mediadiplomat.com/

Similar to HARO, Media Diplomat connecting industry experts and PR professionals with reporters internationally. You can select relevant categories, respond directly to reporters and use this to share media opportunities. While the emails are not as frequent, this is another tool PR professionals can use to build relationships with reporters.  If you’re a reporter, this is a fast way to receive pitches and get your questions answered.

Media Spot Me  - http://mediaspot.me/

MediaSpotMe is a resource for journalists to discover experts to interview.  Industry experts can apply via their LinkedIn profile.  If you’re a journalist looking for resources, think of this as an expert search engine. Try the free 14-day trial to see if this is for you. Afterwards, there is tiered pricing based on the size of your team. If you’re an industry expert or PR professional wanting to get your company expertise/clients signed up, you may also apply by providing access to your LinkedIn account. If you’ve made the cut, you’ll get an application to join. One con at the moment — the service is limiting the experts to North American academics and will slowly open more widely. We’ll have to look forward to an invite with a full profile as soon as they open up.

Expert Engine -  http://www.expertengine.com/

Currently in beta testing, ExpertEngine is actively searching for great sources reporters will love to interview for the stories they’re working on. Once you’re contacted to set up your profile, you can share story ideas  to get press. There are two versions — one for individual experts (ExpertEngine for Experts) and one for organizations that have multiple team members and plan to manage multiple experts from one account (ExpertEngine for Agencies). Per ExpertEngine, if you’re a journalist or blogger, you don’t need to register. You can search for expert profiles to get the resources you need.

Pitching Notes – http://www.pitchingnotes.com/

Gearing up to share a release?  Pitching Notes aggregates must-know details about journalists in an effort to create in-depth pitching profiles. Think of this as the “Yelp” or “Trip Advisor” for media relations. PR pros have the opportunity to discuss their experiences with specific journalists to help others form more targeted pitches. Reporters, bloggers or editors can create a profile to share how they would preferred to be pitched.

Muck Rack -  http://muckrack.com/

Join Muck Rack to find, follow and send spam-free pitches to journalists you need to know. At Crossroads, we prefer to send customized, individual pitches. However, this tool can help you locate, monitor and pitch the journalists and bloggers who are most interested in your story. Search for them by topic, publication, beat and more. If you’re a journalist, this tool can serve as a portfolio. Use your profile to showcase your work and potentially find new job opportunities.

My Local Reporter – http://mylocalreporter.com

Have a hot local story about your client or company? We discovered a new tool, MyLocalReporter, which may help you reach the appropriate local targets. Users can find reporters interested in your clients. The platform sends emails on your behalf encouraging reporters to share your news or set up an interview for additional details. If you’re a reporter, this may make your job a little easier.  Unfortunately, this is not available in our area yet – current regions include Austin, Boston, Dallas, LA and San Diego. But, should we need to reach out to media contacts in these areas, this tool could potentially help us find appropriate outlets.

FlakList – http://flacklist.com/

FlackList has branded itself as the “The Journalist’s Little Black Book.” The social network was created by a group of PR professionals and media who were fed up with the lack of resources available to connect media with brands and expert sources. Media outlets can connect with PR professionals and experts to stay on top of their latest news. PR agencies can use FlackList to create a search optimized news release and pressroom while building relationships. If you’re an expert try this tool to increase your visibility.

Our verdict on these tools: We’re fans of using HARO to find low-hanging fruit, we’re taking Media Diplomat for a spin and will continue to monitor the other new tools we’ve discovered to see how they make a difference. There are certainly no shortage or new tools to try. The key is determining which ones work for you and monitoring those on a consistent basis.

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