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Posts Tagged ‘Muck Rack’

The Price of Access to the (Female) Tech World Is $850 Per Year

shutterstock_125936969Seems like a reasonable fee to join blogger/lawyer/influencer Rachel Sklar‘s mailing list, no?

We thought so, but Valleywag editor Sam Biddle remains skeptical and wonders whether Sklar is monetizing a “(free to operate) Google Groups clique”, aka her almost exclusively female web of contacts within the tech industry.

The story arose after someone leaked an email from the group, known as “TheLi.st“, which offers paid members varied levels of access to other members along with its acclaimed newsletter.

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How to Use Facebook’s Graph Search as a PR Tool

Photo courtesy of AP/Jeff ChiuA while ago we posted on how Facebook‘s newfangled “graph search” setup could help PR pros and marketers more effectively push their clients’ content to the general public and conduct market research. But here’s something we never thought about: what if graph search could double as a media contact database?

We recently spoke to Peter Axtman of Sunshine Sachs to learn how he used graph search to score a big PR win for a client with a very specific target audience.

Axtman was working to promote a client called Playground Sessions, an instructional app-maker that is “like Rosetta Stone for piano”. Axtman told us that, though the client had received some “mainstream tech coverage“, he “wanted to talk to niche piano publications” that might appeal more explicitly to the client’s target audience — people interested in learning to play piano or improve their form without in-person training.

So he turned to graph search with surprising (and encouraging) results.

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Figuring Out Where to Pitch Your Stories

This week brings another helpful post from our friends at Muck Rack: This one is all about how to figure out which magazines and blogs will be most receptive to your pitches (we know from experience how difficult the process can be).

The individual mentioned in the post was recently involved in user testing sessions for the product he needs to promote, so the following list of tips is especially relevant to brands with upcoming product testing sessions–but it could also apply to those with established customer/fanbases. You know, the kind of brand loyalists who wouldn’t mind having you contact them for input.

Essentially, the tips boil down to figuring out which publications the members of your target audience read most often. This may involve contacting said audience members directly—but that’s usually less stressful than the pitch process, right? The steps:

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PR Fail: Meet Our ‘Worst Pitch’ Winner

Last week (with the help of our friends at Muck Rack) we asked journalists to send us the worst pitches they’ve received from PR teams. After a short period of consideration, we’ve decided to award our highly coveted prize to this particularly un-amusing pitch, run by a certain video game maker way back in October.

The purpose of the stunt was to promote a still-in-development title on Greenlight, a crowdsourcing system run by the digital gaming community Steam to determine which games would be featured in the company store. The pitch involved a particularly heavy-handed form of peer pressure qualified by a nasty ultimatum: vote for our game or the kitty cat gets it.

The idea was fairly simple: the company pledged to donate $5000 to the Humane Society if its game came out on top. However…

“…if the game doesn’t get approval, that money will disappear, like a puff of smoke in the uncaring wind, leaving poor kitties to survive in the harsh elements, be placed in harm’s way and possibly scheduled for euthanasia…So do your part, save some cats, and see a great [game] get onto Steam’s platform. It’s a win-win!”

Hey, at least the copywriting wasn’t so bad!

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How Come PR Gets No Respect?

Rodney DangerfieldMuck Rack’s Gregory Galant begins his latest CNN piece on the state of the PR world with a few unsettling facts:

  • US companies spend $150 billion annually on advertising and only $5 billion on public relations
  • Advertising professionals make up to 75% more than their PR counterparts
  • MBA courses in public relations are far rarer than courses in advertising
  • When it comes to pop culture figures, advertising has Don Draper while PR has…Samantha on Sex and the City. Not a fair match, is it?

No matter what the public thinks of the public relations industry, we all know how important it is—and so do the people in power. Steve Jobs himself often served as Apple’s pitchman, calling The Wall Street Journal reporters at home to hype his company’s latest tech innovations.

OK, so why don’t the unwashed masses give us the respect we so obviously deserve? The reasons are clear enough:

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More Tips for Pitching to Journalists

Today the always-excellent Muck Rack features a guest blog post from Gelberg Communications founder Jon Gelberg on a question that will challenge PR professionals until the end of time: What’s the most effective way to pitch stories to journalists and bloggers?

As Gelberg’s headline implies, the act of pitching is really more of “a seduction”. His piece points out some of the obvious challenges inherent in the pitching process and proposes a few common-sense solutions–but this is a topic that’s always worth revisiting, so we’ll summarize.

What not to do:

  • Send impersonal mass emails (Yes! We get these all the time–and 99% of them go straight in the trash.)
  • Fail to engage with your media contacts like they are real-world humans (small touches matter)
  • Fail to follow up with the outlets that run your stories (a simple “thanks” can do wonders for media relationships)
  • A point of our own: refrain from making phone calls and leaving voicemails except as a last resort. A Reuters journalist recently said, “My biggest pet peeve is PR people who are relentless on the phone”–and we couldn’t agree more.

Keys to success:

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PRs, Journos Airing Their Pet Peeves Online

Muck Rack has compiled a list of PR pet peeves from journalists and posted them on its blog. Business Wire‘s global media relations manager Raschanda Hall is taking it a step further on Storify. And now, they’re also gathering some of things that irk PRs about journalists.

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Revolving Door: Hearst and YouTube, Current TV Countersues

Hearst is launching a YouTube channel on April 15, Hello Style, that will bring together content from five of its titles including Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. Teaser above. [via]

Current TV has filed a countersuit against Keith Olbermann claiming that he’s the one guilty of breach of contract. Filing available here.

The co-founders of YouTube are working on a new venture, Zeen, that will allow users to “discover and create beautiful magazines.” No further details about what exactly that means just yet.

Richard Huff is leaving the New York Daily News to handle PR for the CBS News programs 48 Hours Mystery and CBS Sunday Morning, and for CBS Productions and Primetime Specials. He joined the paper in 1993 and was promoted to TV editor in 2001. [via]

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