August 01, 2008 |
Chris Brogan has just introduced a new tool that promises to eliminate at least some of the clashes between the PR types and media – both traditional and new. The tool is PitchEngine and it is what the name suggests: the tool to pitch media efficiently and hopefully annoy bloggers less by doing everything wrong.
PitchEngine is the latest project from Jason Kintzler and it is currently in private alpha so you will need to request an invitation code to get in (hint – you will easily find it in the comments on Chris' post linked above, this is how I got in myself).
This tool promises to become a huge help for PR agencies, especially those trying to reach out to bloggers with their clients' news. Since bloggers are often choosy and have specific requirements on how they want to be pitched, a tool that could at least make the task less painful is definitely needed a lot.
The product's mission sounded too good for me not to try it out:
PitchEngine is about more than SMRs, but an entirely new way to interact with journalists, bloggers and consumers alike.
So first of all PitchEngine is a tool that allows PR agencies to complete all the stages of the pitching process:
- Build a database of clients using their logos, boilerplates and contacts
- Create social media press releases (including images, video, social networking links – everything you'd expect on a SMR)
- Distribute them using existing media contacts
This service is actually free to use (with planned paid customized media newsroom that you can have for your company or your agency) but you will have to remember that it is a very early alpha so you should not rely on it entirely – it will surely need some further testing to be stable enough for you to rely on it for major business tasks to be completed. But even now I have enjoyed the very user-friendly and intuitive interface and the speed of the application as well.
PitchEngine is clearly intended at the PR side of the wall, not the media one. But still there is one thing about PitchEngine that may be very lucrative to bloggers and other media people: it aggregates all the press releases created by the members of the service and distributes them via RSS. So even at this early stage I already see how it can improve my own work as a blogger by feeding me all the press releases from startups and PR agencies that are clearly targeting bloggers with their social media press releases.
I also see another opportunity for the product to become more useful both for PR types and bloggers. Right now the press releases created here can only be distributed using those media contacts you already have. Obviously, building and maintaining a significant database of such contacts is really a time-consuming task. So if eventually they allow press members and bloggers to add themselves to the general database here and choose their particular areas of interests and expertise to be able to only receive relevant announcements, it will be a huge step forward to eliminating junk of our inboxes and to giving the startups access to a larger number of media contacts without building the database themselves (and obviously this could have been a paid-for service for PR agencies and startups as well).
I hope my guess is correct, in fact, it is indirectly confirmed by the service creator himself in the comment:
I've said all along it will change media relations for good and I meant it. PitchFeed will give media customized, filtered press info and pitches. *NO MORE PR SPAM.
This really sounds too good to be true and I'll be happy to add myself to their database of bloggers as soon as something like that is launched (while I don't have any details and anything to that effect is definitely still in the works). And since no matter how much we may hate the way companies and their PR representatives fool us into all kinds of stories that do not actually ring true, we still need that relation between PR and media and improving it will definitely be a good thing to do.