Severe thunderstorms swept through the New York area on Tuesday morning keeping me from my golf date and forcing me to sit idly in front of a computer on what was supposed to be my off day. To my surprise, I ended up having some real fun surfing the ‘Net and discovering new PR resources.
“From The Dark Side”
New York-based PR maven Loren Pomerantz is penning a monthly column for MediaBistro.com called “From The Dark Side.” It’s like a reverse PR Fuel – Pomerantz tells the media what the PR business is really about.
“And here’s another myth: PR professionals are all on a dishonest mission to promote their own “angles” and to keep reporters from the real stories. Well, yeah, of course we have angles. Itâs our job to get our clients in the middle of stories. But you’re always looking for fresh takes, so why shouldn’t we try to make that take about our clients? So, sure, we’ll provide you with all the facts that we believe support our stories, and, no, we’re not going to promote the possible negative angles. It’s our job, after all, to try to get you to believe in our story and sell it to your readers to promote the causes of our clients,” she continues,” Pomerantz writes.
I can vouch for Pomerantz; she did the PR for a tech company I once had a partnership with and her efforts resulted in press clips for me from The New York Post (before I wrote for them), The Industry Standard and The Wall St. Journal.
“It’s Classmates.com For PR and Media People”
That’s how Jeremy Pepper (who I wrote about a few months ago) describes the recently launched MediaBuddies.com.
Based in sunny London, England, Media Buddies was founded by David Davis, a journalist turned PR bigshot who is the CEO of PMA, described as “Europe’s No 1 training company for journalists & PR executives.”
“In the inter-related fast moving global world of the media, where friendships and contacts are easily made and frequently just as quickly lost, this question is often asked but too rarely answered. That is, until now with the launch of MediaBuddies.com the world’s first exclusive media online reunion community,” is how Davis is flacking the site.
Full functionality won’t launch until September, but if you become a founding member now, you won’t have to plunk down the 10 quid annual fee for the first year. It’s an intriguing concept – a reunion community for a specific industry that can act as a networking community as well.
“PR Fuel leverages cross-media opportunity synergies, seamlessly fusing them with recalcitrant outside-the-box, paradigm-shifting brain blurbs to enhance reader acumen.”
That’s what some marketing genius would write if I asked them to describe this newsletter. Thank goodness for the people at Deloitte Consulting.
The folks at Deloitte have come up with Bullfighter: a free software that “works a lot like the spelling and grammar checker in [Microsoft Word and PowerPoint], but focuses on jargon and readability.”
Basically, Bullfighter cuts the bull of your documents. Believe me, a lot of us need this. I learned how to spin jargon when I was writing business plans for dot-coms. It’s amazing to think some non-sequential ramblings, a few graphs and some big (unattainable) numbers could attract $12 million in funding, but I have the proof.
Those days are over though and the use of “bull” isn’t going to win you any friends. As I’ve mentioned a number of times: Keep it simple.
You’ll need Windows 2000 or Windows XP for Bullfighter to work. Deloitte will send you a free CD version of the software if you don’t feel like downloading it. I’ve clued some PR people onto Bullfighter this week and the response has been positive all around.
Media Kitty Says Meow
Media Kitty bills itself as “The Leading Source For Trippy Journalism,” so naturally I started thinking about Hunter S. Thompson and the time I ate some bad sausage and started hallucinating in the newsroom. “Trippy” comes from the fact that Media Kitty is a service designed to hook up travel writers with PR professionals.
For $49 a month PR professionals get the following services:
– post unlimited consumer travel news releases
– post unlimited trip opportunities for qualified journalist to apply quickly and easily online
– respond to journalists who post requests seeking to learn about services and destinations
– list clients as experts for journalists
– access an online directory of top media and industry contacts
Is it worth the money? I don’t know; the travel and tourism business is not one I’m very familiar with. But there is a ProfNet type section where journalists seek information and ideas. Might be worth checking out if travel/tourism is your specialty.
Nobody Does It Better Than Google News
Somehow, Google keeps getting better. Google News is probably the best up-to-the-minute online destination and thanks to a pumped-up advanced search, it’s now one of the best resources for quick research.
Not only can you search by publication, you can also search by location. Trying to find out if someone in Denver wrote about your client? Just use the advance search.
As always, be careful with Google News, you may end up addicted.
Are You Up2Speed?
It’s a weblog! It’s a series of newsletters! No, it’s both.
Recently launched Up2Speed is all about Internet marketing and that includes PR. You can find BL Ochman’s excellent I-PR newsletter and commentary from my old pal Robert Loch (Robert was a contributor to my now mothballed DotcomScoop.com and penned some excellent analytical pieces on everything from why Salon.com should die to why Osama bin Laden exists).
A plethora of information and insight is to be had at Up2Speed, and it’s probably not a bad media outlet to put on your press lists.
Live From New York
I’ll be attending the Jupiter Plug.IN Conference next Monday in New York — one of the few times I show my face at any type of industry event. If any readers are going to be present, ping me so we can hook up.
Also, if you are in New York on Thursday August 7, please join me at The New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA) Sales & Marketing SIG titled “The Media & The Message – What’s Newsworthy in Technology Journalism Today.” I will be one of the speakers, along with Rebecca Lieb, Executive Editor, internet.com and New York Times freelancer Lisa Napoli. Other journalists may be added to the bill.
“If you are interested in making news about your company, finding out how other companies make news or what trends the tech press is interested in these days–you should attend this session! This meeting will be informative for everyone involved in developing and disseminating their company’s message, from marketing management to PR pros to CEOs. Hear from top NYC tech reporters and get the scoop,” is what NYSIA is saying about this event.
The event takes place from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM and is being held next door to Madison Square Garden. $20 for non-NYSIA members and free for NYSIA members.
OK, I don’t have a clue what a “SIG” is and 8:00 AM is when I get home a lot of mornings (don’t ask). But it should be fun. I’m a talented speaker — which means I often say things I shouldn’t say. I’m also very good at awkwardly avoiding questions I don’t know the answer to, changing the subject and then personalizing a point that I brought up myself with a funny anecdote. I’m preparing for my future in politics.
I’ll probably go off on some rant about how PR people wake me up in the morning and the fact that I’m a business journalist, not a tech writer. So come on down and join the party! There may be coffee and Krispy Kremes, but I can’t guarantee anything.
This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel), a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.