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The PR game has changed, but putting personal relationships first and making sure you offer something of value to the influencers and journalists you pitch is more important than ever.

In this four-part series we are walking through best practice and some great PR tools anyone in your marketing department can use to stay on top of in-house PR activity. 

In this post: Discovery and Dissemination. We'll talk about how to find the journalists and influencers that are right for your message.

Ready to kick some PR activity into gear, but want to avoid steep retainers?

We've already covered whipping your connections into shape and managing them in The Network, last week in part two: The Message, we outlined the collaborative tools to get your copy and strategy ready.

Discovery/Dissemination

In other words...just who are you going to be reaching out to?

This third week's header is two pronged because many of the really great social media and influencer discovery platforms also have a communication component, or can play friendly with CRMs. Read on to find out how.

Muck Rack Pro

Journalists are at the top of the food chain on social (especially Twitter) due to the nature of their work. Think of Muck Rack as a global virtual watercooler that can be segmented into beats/publications/writers so you know who is sharing and talking about what on Twitter with respect to your message.

The Muck Rack Daily newsletter, edited by Delia Paunescu, quickly became an industry staple after the site launched, and I couldn't imagine a day in my work life (and I know several other PRs at BIG companies who will remain nameless that feel the same way) without Muck Rack alerts from the Pro version.

Full disclosure: I currently am an Editor with Sawhorse Media (which owns/runs Muck Rack) working on growing journalist awareness for the platform.

The value of Muck Rack is twofold: 

  1. Journalists get a portfolio and web link to redirect PRs to which will increase the relevancy of pitches they recieve through the platform.
  2. PRs get a constantly updated (what is more real-time than Twitter??) place to see exactly what a journalist does or doesn't cover, and a way to pitch said journalist without encroaching on their email and workday.

PRO TIP: If you are an influential marketing blogger (ahem...David Moth) reading this post and you feel you receive too many off topic pitches delivered to your email every day, set up an auto-responder to all new/non recognized contacts that states you prefer to be pitched via Muck Rack and include the link to your profile.

Lots of journalists use this trick to reduce PR spam but still get relevant and timely pitches!

Topsy Pro

Topsy has been the go-to Twitter search engine for many of us in the PR and SEO game for some time, but it is only recently that I've opened up a new 'Pro' account which offers more analytics functionality.

The view I've screen captured above is where I visit most often in the dashboard. It's a real-time (or go as far back as three years in time should you want) snapshot of the most influential voices on Twitter when it comes to Social Media Management, where a client of mine has great interest.

Topsy pro is also great at giving comparative charts on how your brand's name is stacking against a competitors, so it's very in demand around election polls, or fashion weeks in different cities around the world.

Probably the deepest functionalisty of the pro version is an area I don't use much so can't provide too much comment on: mapped geographic tweet data. For more on that, and thoughts on the boolean search structure (note this is also how Muck Rack searches operate) check out this great writeup on WebMetricsGuru.

Traackr

When Traackr first launched the ethos of the company was about finding "the influencers of tomorrow."

According to all the companies in this space (Little Bird, Crimson Hexagon, Klout, PeerIndex...the list goes on) Twitter alone can never do what they do because you have to factor things like 'true reach' which also means paying attention to someone's Author Rank and their posting frequency for their blog...etc. 

The short answer is that it will take many hours of a dedicated intern or AE's time in order to prune your real influencers from the mess that is social these days, but paying a company like Traackr for a starting place is a great leg up, and I like how Traackr outputs into CSV with pertinent information.

The recent retooling of their UI, which is now much more about a real-time 'A-list' right away, does make the site easier to use then when they first launched, and above all it's fast! You can read more about the latest platform changes in this press release.

PRO TIP: Microsoft will always be the Babel stone for 'get shit done' in our digital age, so if you do shop around and choose another influencer discovery tool, make sure it outputs into CSV. This will also play into next week's post on tracking.


I'd love to hear more from the community on dissemination within the tools I've listed here or others, t
he 'Pitch' feature in Muck Rack, the ability to use Traackr like Buzzstream and actually manage an outreach campaign all from their software-as-service, so please chime in with some comments if you have!

Ryan Sommer

Published 16 September, 2013 by Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer is web veteran and recovering expat who contributes to Econsultancy on startups, content marketing and new media. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or add him to your circles on Google+

91 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

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Uriah Av-Ron

Great series, Ryan. Thanks for writing!

I'd recommend that you check out ITdatabase.com, a great tool for PR competitive analysis which I also use for influencer / journalist discovery. I've placed a number of stories with journalists I had never considered based on finding relevant coverage in ITdatabase.

Uriah

almost 3 years ago

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