Self-publishing platform for PR practitioners introduced

NEW YORK: PR industry veteran Brian Cohen and his son Trace Cohen have launched a self-publishing platform for PR professionals to promote new products and services.

NEW YORK: PR industry veteran Brian Cohen and his son Trace Cohen have launched a self-publishing platform for PR professionals to promote new products and services.

The site, called Launch.it, enables PR professionals and entrepreneurs to post their own announcements for free instead of using a wire service. Launch.it also includes social features that allow readers to share stories and connect with publishers, as well as analytics on articles and their reach. Stories that have attracted the most interest get the highest placement on the site.

“There needed to be an open, social platform for everything new for the PR industry,” said Brian Cohen. “No one knows where a story goes when it's published on a wire service, and no one knows the value. We're a customer-facing site.”

The Cohens unveiled a public beta version of Launch.it in May, with version one set for a fall release. That edition will include more personal profiles, agency listings, and content capabilities, said Brian Cohen. Stories on the site span 25 different industries, he added.

On the right side of each published story, an “action” box allows readers to share an article, ask questions, and inquire about investing in or purchasing the product. The publishers have complete editorial control over their stories and can update them based on reader feedback, Brian said.

Once they create a profile, PR practitioners can also highlight their expertise in various product categories.

The service is free to access, but users must pay for advanced analytics about their stories and readers. Launch.it also offers a white label service for conferences and trade shows, in which event organizers can curate content for their event and exhibitors.

The company's advisers include Peter Shankman, small business evangelist at Vocus; Middleberg Communications CEO Don Middleber; and Michael Terpin, founder of Marketwire.

Launch.It co-founder Brian Cohen, currently the chairman of the New York Angels investor group, previously served as CEO of GlobalComm, Focus Technology, Mindstorm Communications, and Technology Solutions Inc.

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