Journalist tweet aggregator launches short press release service

BROOKLYN, NY: Muck Rack, a Web site that aggregates journalists' tweets, launched a short-message press release service on July 22. It is the second Twitter-like press release system to premiere this month.

BROOKLYN, NY: Muck Rack, a Web site that aggregates journalists' tweets, launched a short-message press release service on July 22. It is the second Twitter-like press release system to premiere this month.

The service allows companies to publish releases, with links, up to 130 characters long at a cost of $1 per character. Messages are posted at both Muck Rack's release page and its Twitter account, according to Gregory Galant, CEO of Sawhorse Media, the venture's parent company.

“We thought we could build in value to the site with this online press release service, both to let companies reach an audience of journalists, and to make a system where brevity is valued,” he said. “One of the big issues journalists have with PR people is that they can send out e-mails to as many people as they like, and as a result, people start tuning them out.”

Following the new service's launch, the cofounder of the also recently launched QuickNewsBits, which allows users to issue "short form news releases" of 160 characters, said it was considering legal action against the company. Founder David Bray, MD at Middleberg Communications (the firm is not affiliated with QuickNewsBits), alleged on blogs and to PRWeek that the new service had copied his service.

"We're at the considering stage... but we are looking into all possibilities," Bray said.

Galant said that he had not heard of QuickNewsBits prior to Bray's comments.

“I looked at his Web site and if you look at ours, you can draw your own conclusions, but I don't think there is anything there to lead you to believe one is copying the other,” he said. “I think this is the direction that press releases are going, and so I wish them the best of luck and hope they're successful.”

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