WEEKLY WEB WATCH: Tailored PR info on-line at MediaMap

Organisation: MediaMap

Organisation: MediaMap

Issue: research tool for PROs and journalists

At: www.mediamap.com

You're a journalist and you want information on a specific topic, but you don't want any PR fluff. You want feedback from PROs on a subject but you want to cut through the puff. Look no further ...

MediaMap is a research tool of American origin, created for use by PR professionals and members of the media. It provides a service where enquirers can post an anonymous query on any topic, which will be distributed to thousands of agency and in-house PROs.

On entering the web site, the user is presented with a clearly laid out, blue, green and yellow home page. At the time of writing, the day's media news headlines were posted. Stories included editorial shufflings at the Boston Globe, an 'overheard' quote from the founder of Golin Harris, Alvin Golin, and an article about the growth of optimism within the American PR industry.

The user is told in 'About MediaMap' that it is the PR industry's 'premier software and media information company'. Founded in 1986, the company is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has offices in five major US cities.

The main sections of the site are 'SourceNet', 'PressLists', 'MediaMap Online' and 'EdCals.com'. There are also some smaller sections, such as 'PR Resources' and 'Customer Service'.

To register to SourceNet users must enter contact details. They can then create a profile of themselves, enabling a tailoring of the site to personal interests.

The Biog section enables the user to enter their CV, as well as defining what is, and more importantly, is not wanted. 'She is not interested in profiles of 'trust fund babies with mega-capital and designer suits',' the sample profile tells us. She also asks people not to phone her to check she received e-mail and not to call her Debbie.

Once the user has registered their details, SourceNet invites them to post a query, which will then be distributed to PR professionals. If requested, confidentiality is guaranteed and responses to queries can be expected within 24 hours. These will be from PR professionals in a summarised format, with the contributor's contact details.

PressLists speaks for itself, a facility enabling PRs to distribute press releases to specifically targeted media. These include trade magazines, US media and news syndicates.

The MediaMap Online section contains 300,000 press contacts at 50,000 media outlets, as well as contact details for industry analysts. 'EdCals' is a part of the MediaMap network. It is a tool for PRs that enables them to search US and European titles for story opportunities. Users need to subscribe to the service, though a free trial is available.

MediaMap could be a useful tool for both journalists and PR professionals, that targets and sources a wide range of international publications and PR professionals.

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