Twitter is PR’s gift from the journalist gods. It has become the platform of choice for journalists to freely share their opinions, links to their content and other content they find interesting, and provide color commentary on current events. It’s a rich source of information previously only available via a long-term personal relationship with each media member.
After celebrities and professional athletes, journalists are the most enthusiastic users of Twitter. There are a lot of journalists on Twitter. So many that it has become a primary research resource for PR people to gain greater personal and profession insight into their current and new media contacts. But keeping track of which journalists are Tweeting about which topics for which media is getting a little unwieldy.
Enter MuckRack.com, a service that “tracks thousands of journalists on Twitter and social media.” A database that currently includes staff and contributing writers from 234 publications, blogs, websites and TV stations. The database grows every day as journalists and their employers register themselves in order to increase the visibility of their Twitter feeds.
The site has a free Newsroom service that curates the day’s top stories by computing the stories most linked to on Twitter by the journalists in their database, providing a unique, real-time perspective on what journalists feel is currently the most noteworthy story. The free service also includes the ability to go to any publication and see staff members that Tweet, their Twitter handles, and what they have been Tweeting about.
The Pro level account for PR/communication people provides the next phase in digital media database organization, with custom search, a journalist directory, keyword alerts, real-time media lists, and a place to keep notes on each media person. You can sort by publication, by beat, or geography.
The real-time dynamic of MuckRack makes the quality and quantity of insights available from old-school media database services look lame in comparison.
For journalists, MuckRack provides a community platform that increases visibility of their Twitter activity and acts as a crowd-source newsroom that everyone contributes to.
The beauty of Twitter from a PR perspective has always been that it provides access to personal and professional beta that was previously unavailable without the luxury of long-term personal relationship with each specific media that by following what your target media.
Before MuckRack that was limited to a couple of dozen key influencers in your space. Now, it is possible to integrate that level of knowledge and intimacy to everyone in your database. Very cool.