Organisation:Press-stock.com Issue: Matching promotions with
Alison Croney and Linda Lancaster - the two directors behind
press-stock.com - are aware that their new site could do them out of a
For years they have made a living matching media owners who want to run
promotions of various sorts with PR and marketing teams that have goods
and services available for such promotions.
Now they have invested pounds 25,000 of their own money in building a
web site which, if it works, should put them out of their original
business, as the two parties - media owners and promotional teams - will
be able to find each other on- line.
The idea is that PR and promotional teams register and put on the site
details of products they are seeking to place with media owners for
product give-aways, competitions, special offers, cover mounts,
advertorial or sponsorship. Once they are registered, media can then
come on to the site and browse through the various promotions being
When they see something appropriate they can e-mail the site with a
proposal including details of their readership profile and how they see
the arrangement working. This then gets passed on to the PR or marketing
team who have the option of pursuing it. If the decision is no, it is
the web site which communicates this to the media owner.
The promotions available on the site are categorised by sector - travel,
beauty, motoring etc - and in order to protect client confidentiality no
brand names are given. The media at first just see generalisations such
as ’household shampoo seeks cover mount’ and only finds out the identity
of the brand once a proposal has been accepted by the PR or marketing
The site was launched at the end of last month and has been supported by
a mailshot to PR companies across the UK. When promotions have started
to come in - the site is looking for at least 50 in the first instance -
there will then be a launch to media owners.
The site looks good and, crucially, is easy to use. There has also been
a decision not to include banner advertising which means there are no
distractions. In order to persuade those involved to use it Lancaster
and Croney have also recruited a full-time PR person who will soon be
out making presentations at agencies, and later for media owners.
Initially, the team is focusing on getting beauty and home promotions
The question as to whether Lancaster and Croney are going to
successfully do themselves out of a job (or just their investment) is a
difficult one to answer. It appears a strong idea for which there is a
logical need, but sometimes getting media people to change the way they
work - even in favour of something that looks beneficial - can be tough.