SAN FRANCISCO: Startup PressFriendly has launched a platform that aims to help PR professionals and entrepreneurs manage and create their own campaigns.
Its tool, also called PressFriendly, includes a pitch-builder, consultation, reporter lists, and an automatically generated, industry-specific editorial calendar. Along with platforms for creating messaging and pitch documents, PressFriendly also has staffers that provide users with individual support.
“I've worked in the industry, and the biggest problem I found is most people are still working out of spreadsheets, and there is nothing to help people craft a pitch and nothing that helps people distribute it in a customized way,” said PressFriendly co-founder and CEO Joel Andren. “Everything else out there is very Windows 97. We are trying to give PR folks more of a Dropbox-like user experience with our custom software.”
Andren had worked at Seattle-based PRR more than a decade ago.
PressFriendly's number one goal is to provide users with smarter media lists through “machine learning,” or high-level data-science techniques that identify patterns within news articles. The platform's database includes technology journalists and their beats based on what they have written in the past four months. The engine then generates a list of reporters that are likely to be interested in a story, along with their contact information.
“So if a reporter is writing about a company in the sharing economy, even if the actual words ‘sharing economy' weren't used, there are common words that are being used that we are able to identify,” Andren added.
PressFriendly offers three pricing tiers based on consulting time. The basic “DIY” plan is $99 a month. For $299, the firm assists with campaign development and high-level messaging. The most expensive plan is $999 a month, which includes 10 hours a week of consultation time.