I came across an interesting new product for PR professionals today called MatchPoint. MatchPoint has developed a search application tool for PR professionals who engage in media relations that enables them to match their pitches to content reporters have written about using search engine technology.
Simply paste the content of your pitch or press release into a large search query box and MatchPoint will search its database of media content for relevant stories related to the content. This solution has big potential in saving PR pros time during the research and targeting phase of the media relations process. The ultimate goal of this solution is to eliminate off-topic or spam pitches from PR professionals – in theory, because they would only be pitching outlets based on the relevancy of coverage.
MatchPoint has an impressive database of content – containing 3 million articles from 11,000 print publications, 25,000 online news sites, and 10,000 blogs (according to a recent Bulldog Reporter article). While MatchPoint certainly represents one of the more innovative solutions to be developed for PR professionals in some time, it’s probably best used as a starting point for media targeting at this point. It’s possible to generate a lot of results that match the content of your pitch based on the relevance of keywords and phrases, but that doesn’t mean the outlet or journalist is a good fit for the story you’re pitching. For example, if you were to search MatchPoint’s news release, it would suggest various high-tech publications that have written about innovations in search – and sure, you could adapt a pitch for those outlets based on these findings – so again, it’s a great starting point.
My concern – like that of any new PR tool – is the potential for less-professional or less-experienced PR professionals to abuse the system. Conducting a search based on the relevance of content and then pitching all the outlets in the search result would be a no-no – and it would result in even more off-topic pitches and spam for journalists. However, if the tool is used responsibly, I could see how it could save a lot of time and be a very valuable tool in the PR arsenal.
MatchPoint is currently offering a free 10-day trial for PR professionals, after which the company will charge $65 per month for the service. I’m sure the algorithm will only get more exact over time as MatchPoint adds to its database. I’m personally looking forward to trying this solution out more for our media relations efforts at Journalistics.