New Site Aims to Connect Reporters and Publicists

NY Times, 8/1/10

There are few professional relationships that seesaw between love and hate more than those of public relations people and journalists. While they provide valuable help to each other at times, they rarely need the same things at the same time.

With NewsBasis, companies, public relations agencies and academics can search for questions or be notified by e-mail when someone posts a relevant query.

Part of the problem is that while technology is transforming the industry, communication between P.R. firms and reporters is stuck in the past. The main tool of the $6 billion-a-year publicity trade is still the telephone, and many hours are wasted while publicists cold-call reporters with article ideas that do not interest reporters, or that might interest them at another time when they are not on deadline.

Similarly, the flurry of blind e-mail messages that publicists send often go unanswered or unread.

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