Sqoop introduces a PR channel, News Maker

Sqoop is known for providing information from public records to more than 5,000 journalists.

Bill Hankes, founder of Sqoop
Bill Hankes, founder of Sqoop

SEATTLE: Sqoop, a data journalism service, has launched a platform for the PR industry.

By combing through public-record databases, the platform provides news tips to its more than 5,000 users in the media that "they typically don’t get through PR channels," according to founder Bill Hankes. However, its latest product, News Maker, will give PR pros a channel that matches them with the journalists whose beats best align with their announcements.

The platform refines each reporter’s niche and delivers a tailored feed, Hankes said.

"Sqoop is bucking the PR template where the focus is placed on the organization seeking promotion rather than the journalist," said Hankes. "By building the platform around the journalist, we deliver a more respectful and effective way to communicate."

The company has tested News Maker in early adopter stage for the past few months, he added. Only a few dozen have used the service.  

Hankes, the former director of Bing PR at Microsoft, founded the company in 2015. Sqoop is exploring partnerships with three agencies, he said. Hankes declined to name the prospective partners, but described two as large mid-size agencies, one based in the Northwest and another in New York, with the third a mid-size firm.

"[Sqoop] gives agencies automation that [leads to] more leverage in their business models, and that’s a huge advantage in a human-capital-intensive model," Hankes said.

The company claims on its website that Sqoop is used by newspapers such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times and networks including ABC, NBC, CNN, and Fox News. 

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