Tag Archives: Journalists

Are you Lissted?

Journalists have adopted Twitter wholeheartedly, so wouldn’t it be useful to have them all in one place, accessible to PR professionals and businesses alike?

Lissted is an attempt to fill that need.

It is an easy to use tool that allows users to select on location (UK, USA as well as worldwide), sectors (which can be broken down in a number of subsets), by individual or outlet.  You can even see someone’s Klout score if you really want.

For those wanting to invest (between £99 -£ 149 a month) there are additional features such as tools to monitor key terms, sentiment and influencers – reputation management rather than media relations (no value judgement intended).

While it is quick amass a wealth of Twitter addresses that you can follow, is it really useful?

I like it and it is a short cut to acquiring journalist’s Twitter addresses although PR databases generally offer this information.  Nevertheless it is probably an easier to use method although some will prefer doing it while building lists and campaigns on their current systems.

However if a business believes this will give it access to millions of pounds worth of editorial coverage it could be disappointed.

Why Lissted is not a complete solution (at a basic level) for gaining coverage for businesses:

  • Journalists often do not talk shop online – I rarely see them asking for specific stories, people, companies etc.  It is often used as a personal social media tool.
  • Journalists have to follow you or your brand to find stories, they often don’t follow back, unless they have time to search.
  • If journalists do follow back can you provide good copy, do you know a good story?
  • Do businesses have the time to monitor and analyse in addition to their roles?

Listted is a very useful addition for those looking to expand their Twitter horizons in regard to journalists.  However e-mail and databases are still are the language for media relations communication although there will be stories of success using this approach.

It might be that the reputation management is the selling point (as the access to Twitter addresses is free).

Lissted is a useful addition and I have used it to follow several PR and marketing journalists all within 10 minutes of signing on.

In defence of Robert Peston

A caught 10 minutes of quite a preposterous episode today: The Treasury Select Committee grilling five well-known journalists about their coverage of the credit crunch and especially Northern Rock.

The caption underneath kept coming up with “should coverage of the credit crunch be restricted?”  Ridiculous!

The five business journalists included Robert Peston, Jeff Randall and Alex Brummer.  As you might guess Robert Peston was the centre of attention.

The MPs questioning centred on responsibility.  Shouldn’t Peston and his colleagues hold off with stories to give Northern Rock a chance?  Hadn’t they created the run on the building society?  Did they have inside information and mysterious sources?

The rebuttal was that Northern Rock was a badly run business.  It had failed because its wholesale division had stalled and big investors saw the writing on the wall and took their money out.  Holding off on a story for 48 hours would not have saved it.

The run was in many ways Northern Rock’s fault.  Their website had gone down because the bandwidth capacity could not cope with visitors and this created panic.

The queues had built up because they have too few branches for their client base and too few staff were put on duty.

And if a financial institution is badly run, whose fault is it when savers want to take their money elsewhere?  And more so when it is on the brink of collapse?

As for the insinuation that the journalists had shady sources, well that proved to show the MPs as lacking an understanding of their subject.

Peston maintained he had many sources and had used many different sources over the years, including some of the MPs questioning him.  He cross checked everything and did not have narrow weak biased source to base his stories on – unlike Bush’s evidence of going to war with Iraq.

If this was a trial then the case would have been thrown out on the first day.  It was embarrassing for the MPs and they did not know hope ridiculous they sounded.

This view that the media somehow created a recession is seeking a convenient scape goat.

And as for recklessly putting economic institutions in danger by their reporting, it came out that there is a suspicion the the Government used the media to suppress share prices before buying them by leaking the appropriate stories.  I wonder if that will go before a select committee.

PRs without journalists – what would be the point?

How-Do reported the sad news that The Metro is making redundancies.  This is especially sad for me because many journalists are based in Manchester and this is, I believe, the fourth biggest selling daily.

Journalism is a precarious business.  It is not often well-paid in relation to the pressures of the role.  And it is not always appreciated, I believe, by many PR professionals.

I came across this entry from the Editorialiste, a US based journalist blog, that has quotes frighteningly high numbers of journalists wanting to leave the profession, especially the younger ones.

What can we as PRs do about it?  Not much.  But we can appreciate that without them we would not be in work.