Let’s face it, nobody is happy with the current state of the media databases that PR people use to send pitches and press releases to the media.
Journalists are drowning in a sea of PR spam, and PR people are wading through ever more complex and expensive databases that seem harder and harder to use. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to send your information only to the journalists who want to receive it — who might actually be interested in the topic you’re writing about?
That’s the goal of an ambitious new crowd sourced media database currently in beta test from New York based MyPRGenie. The company has announced the launch later this month of the PR industry’s first crowdsourced media database.
Miranda Tan, CEO of MyPRGenie, says that the new crowdsourcing media platform is a re-imagination of how media contacts are researched, collected and updated. “What’s exciting is that adding a wiki-styled, crowdsourcing technology allows PR professionals to automatically update media contacts in real-time and share it with a community, versus the old-fashioned way of tediously calling and manually updating the contact database one by one. It is amazing how much manual work remains in maintaining most media databases.”
Crowd Sourced Contact Databases Aren’t New
Tan points out that crowd-sourced contact databases aren’t new. “Sales professionals have had access to this kind of data for years,” she said, “But this is the first time such a system has been added to a public relations platform.” The new system, which will go “live” on MyPRGenie’s cloud-based public relations platform this month, includes several benefits never before available to PR professionals according to the New York attorney turned entrepreneur.
- Users can earn points by sharing their media contacts — and then use those points to “purchase” new contacts added by other users. “This puts access to an affordable, up-to-date media contact database within reach of small businesses, small agencies, and even freelancers,” Tan says.
- A rating system lets users identify problems in the database, so we can quickly update records. User comments about reporters or feedback from reporters who want to opt-out of the system are automated. “If a reporter wants to opt-out, we automate that process — and they can’t be added back in without their consent,” Tan explains.
- MyPRGenie will automatically delete email addresses after a hard bounce, and ensure that the databases remains current with no bad email addresses. “It’s a digital world, yet some expensive media databases still include ‘contacts’ who specify that they want to receive press releases or pitches via snail mail or fax. Who even has a fax machine anymore?” she wonders.
One of the major differences in the new crowd-sourced model and traditional media databases, Tan says, is that the new crowd-sourced model benefits journalists, bloggers, reporters, and other media contacts as much as it does PR professionals. “For PR people, the new system will be less expensive, and provide access to better data. Reporters can better manage unwanted emails and follow interesting companies, without opening the floodgates. Everybody saves time, everybody gets more of what they want and need.”
Users of the cloud-based PR platform will continue to have access to the half-million global media contacts already in the company’s online media database, and users will be able to update and correct those listings or add new contacts to the database as part of the new program.
The question is, of course, will it work? Miranda Tan certainly thinks so. In fact, she’s betting her five-year-old company on it. ”We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this, and we’ve done our homework. Now it’s time to put it to the test, with a robust beta program that lets us see just how well it works. We’re hoping for a large pool of beta test users, so that we can identify any problems and get them sorted out before the system is officially launched,” says the petite CEO. “I am convinced that this is the best option out there. Now it’s time to find out whether I’m right or not!”
Sign up for the beta test of the crowd-sourced media database is now open at www.myprgenie.com/beta_test
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