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Posts Tagged ‘Help a Reporter Out’

More Bloggers Using PR Services to Solicit Free Stuff

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We all know that Help A Reporter Out and Profnet are great tools for PR pros and that product reviews by prominent bloggers are great for clients.

But what about those social media entrepreneurs who use the service to explicitly request free stuff? And how does this square with pay-for-play ethical boundaries?

After the jump, a couple of examples from bloggers who, frankly, don’t have a whole hell of a lot of leverage to make such requests.

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Peter Shankman Leaves Vocus and HARO Behind

Consultant/speaker/PR expert Peter Shankman has announced that he will no longer be associated with journalist-to-source matching service HARO (Help a Reporter Out), which he created less than five years ago. He will leave Vocus (NASDAQ: VOCS)–the company that acquired HARO in 2010–at the end of March.

According to an email to PRNewser, Shankman will continue his speaking schedule–he will be “doing some high-level consulting on some major brands in the customer service/marketing arena” as he awaits the birth of his first child and prepares for the coming launch of his third book, Nice Companies Finish First.

To review: like all good publicists who understand relationship equity, Shankman often helped journalists find sources even when he had no dog in the fight. As Facebook attained liftoff in 2008, Shankman created a group to help journalists crowdsource their needs by submitting queries for PR pros to refer them to experts on given topics. It was similar to the older, staid Profnet, but it was free–and Shankman employed his Karmic rules to keep the desperate, spammy flacks away from his media subscribers.

HARO quickly outgrew Facebook’s ceiling at the time, and Shankman adjusted, moving the membership to a sign-up site HelpAReporter.com and ostensibly turning his network into a business.

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Location-Based Services Among the Top 10 Platforms Businesses Should Consider

social_media_marketing.jpg Mashable‘s Erica Swallow, reporting today from the Social Marketers Summit in Prague, spoke about the 10 emerging social media platforms that companies should consider using. Despite what Forrester Research says, Swallow touts the success of location-based platforms and includes Gowalla, SCVNGR, and Whrrl among the social platforms companies should get to know. Others include Help a Reporter Out, StatusNet, and Aardvark.

Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments.

HARO and RLM PR No Longer Working Together

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Help A Reporter Out, the match journalists with sources email service founded by Peter Shankman, is no longer working with its onetime agency of record, RLM Public Relations. Kevin Mercuri, President & Founder of Propheta Communications told PRNewser that HARO, “fired RLM PR after two months of work.” Propheta was HARO’s agency of record prior to RLM.

Reached for comment, Peter Shankman told PRNewser that HARO had not “fired” RLM. “RLM did a great job for us, and their contract has ended. There is nothing sinister in any way. They got some quick hits for us, it was perfect,” he said. When asked if HARO would be looking for another agency, Shankman said, “Nope, not right away.” RLM PR declined to comment.

Mercuri told PRNewser in September that the agency would be filing a lawsuit against HARO for, “trying to get out of a legally binding agreement.” Shankman told PRNewser that both sides had agreed “on a mutual release from our contract,” and added, “the allegations are without merit.”