Making Communications More Effective with Social Media Tools

PRSA Chicago

In Chicago? Near Chicago? Want a good excuse to come to Chicago???
Please join us on Tuesday, April 29, when the Chicago Chapter of PRSA presents: “Making Communications More Effective with Social Media Tools.” Register here!

Alecia Danticoa
Vice President, Digital Communications, Weber Shandwick 
Reid Lappin
Partner and founder, VOKAL Interactive
Jack Monson
Vice President, eNR Services / MatchPoint
MJ Tam
Editor, Chicagonista
Rick Wion
@rdublife (personal) and @mcdonalds (McDonald’s)
Director of Social Media, McDonald’s
Gini Dietrich (moderator)
CEO,  Arment Dietrich, Inc


Is MatchPoint a Media Directory?
February 1, 2010, 7:36 am
Filed under: Pitching Tips | Tags: , , , , ,

Is MatchPoint a Media Directory? I don’t think so. I see media directories as books, lists, or software that hold phone numbers and email addresses for the journalists who I already know.

The annual or semi-annual updating process for media directories – whether the old Bacon’s books or online databases like Cision or Vocus – have never been able to keep up with the changing media landscape. This shortcoming has been highlighted by the massive downsizing at media outlets in the past two years.

A couple of years ago, I found myself listed in a “regularly updated” online media database under a station where I had not worked since 1996! Updated regularly indeed!

If you need to find the phone number or email address of a staff writer who you already know at a traditional publication, then MatchPoint is not the place to look. You may want to use a media directory made by Cision or Vocus for that. I hope the journalist has been there for a while and hasn’t had any changes to her job, role, beat(s), or title. I might also recommend just using Google or LinkedIn.

 But if you are looking for new opportunities and influencers with whom to engage, then MatchPoint is the place to start. At the very least, you will know that the reporters, freelancers, bloggers, and other writers you find have written about similar topics as recently as the date of their latest published work.

Pitching Tips

This is the first of our best practices posts to help MatchPoint users maximize their results and find more journalists and bloggers to engage one-on-one. 
1. What should I do if my brand / product / client is extremely niche-focused?
Some MatchPoint users are working with products or clients about which no reporter has recently written at all. One such MatchPoint client was promoting a very specialized household appliance. The press release draft with which she was searching the “Point” box was very specific to this niche industry. And guess what? Not one of the 200,000 journalists in MatchPoint has written about this product in the past six months. She then searched keywords about similar products and broader industry terms to find journalists who would be interested. These included home repair, home improvement, holiday gifts for dad, etc. The Matching results showed dozens of reporters for whom her news was relevant. Remember, the objective isn’t to find people who have already written about your specific product, but to find those who are likely to write about you now!
2. Should I include my company boilerplate in the “Point” search?
In general, the answer is “no”. But we recommend experimenting both ways and see how your boilerplate affects your results. If your boilerplate contains many generic words and phrases like “excellent customer service with a mission to create synergies…,” our Matching system may produce results that have nothing to do with your main subject matter. However, if your boilerplate contains specific terms for your topic like “ice cream, snack foods, and easy to make meals for busy families” you may want to include the boilerplate to help find even more relevant articles and journalists.
3. My release includes many high-tech terms – will this hurt my results?
The inclusion of technical jargon and specs should not hurt your search results. But be sure that your release includes general terms and phrases relating the subject – MP3 players, laptops, video cameras, monitors, smart phone apps, etc – and MatchPoint will find reporters and bloggers who write about such devices.

Got a good tip for using MatchPoint? Please comment below or email to me for inclusion on the next list at
Free a trial of MatchPoint for readers of this blog, click here.