TORONTO: Trying to get an expert quoted in a story? The Associated Press is facilitating the process of newsrooms connecting with subject-matter authorities by integrating ExpertFile into its AP Planner.
The platform helps journalists search for and reach out to experts on a given subject area corresponding to upcoming events. For example, a reporter could use ExpertFile to search for experts on a major technology company for a story about its upcoming earnings call.
Several hundred customers use AP Planner, and the broader AP product portfolio is used by about 5,000 institutions, said Fernando Ferre, VP of business development at the Associated Press.
"This is another tool that can facilitate the discovery of experts," he said, cautioning that the AP doesn’t vet or endorse the sources found on ExpertFile. "Journalists and media pros have to do their job; they have to confirm and validate sources."
The ExpertFile platform is based on ElasticSearch, the same search engine used by the Associated Press, which made the two organizations’ systems compatible and the collaboration easier to execute, said ExpertFile cofounder and CEO Peter Evans.
He described his platform as a CMS that can be integrated into clients’ websites to allow them to build expert profiles or host profiles on ExpertFile’s own website, where they would be discoverable by search indexes. Based in Toronto, venture capital-backed ExpertFile has raised more than $2.5 million in total equity funding since its 2015 launch, according to Crunchbase.
ExpertFile’s sources are primarily from knowledge-based industries, such as professional services, healthcare, and academia, and cover more than 25,000 topics, according to internal estimates.
Journalists on deadline often complain they can’t reach this group of professionals, Evans said. ExpertFile is hoping to decrease "slippage" by serving as a reliable go-between to set up interviews.
"Marketers are working way too hard to get this kind of content into their website. That’s why we created this software," Evans added. "Even if you did this yourself, you wouldn’t have the broader syndication of your content to other systems. That’s where AP comes in."