“PRophet” says it has analyzed millions of stories from thousands of reporters to produce the probability of a journalist covering your story
There’s a recurring story in PR that goes like this:
A long-time agency executive grows weary of expensive PR software that overpromises and underdelivers. So, they set out to do something about it and start a new PR tech company. The product will be better because it’s made for PR and by PR.
Years ago I worked for a PR tech vendor and every now and then I’d hear this story. More recently, and since I started doing these monthly summaries of PR technology news nineteen months ago, I’ve seen this story at least twice. We’re seeing it again this month.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great story – I’ve seen mirror images in other vertical markets too – but it’s really hard to pull off successfully. Building a software company, particularly when you come from a services environment, is an uphill battle.
In services, you just need a computer, and you can start working and invoicing clients in your first month. In software you’ve got to build something before anyone – customer or investor – is writing a check. And that can take a while. The minimum viable product (MVP) approach doesn’t cut it in a mature technology space where the buyers have budgets under constant pressure.
Of course, the inverse is true too. When software companies decide they are going to roll out services, they quickly realize two things: a) services just don’t scale like technology, and b) services definitely don’t have the same margins as SaaS.
It’s still fun to root for the underdog. Especially when they are trying to do something interesting. And now onward to this month’s PR Tech Sum.
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1. PRophet aims to predict emerging stories
“Reporters get pitched – a lot. Knowing what will land is a guessing game purely based on professional experience, labor-intensive research and instinct, with no performance-based data to support or guide a pitch.”
That’s how the new U.S. editor at The Drum sets up a story about a new PR technology product called PRophet. The product aims to help PR with “the ability to test and refine media strategies before pitching.
“PRophet uses AI…to analyze past reporter behavior and predict future reporting potential.” More specifically, the product “has sampled more than two million stories from 12,000 reporters. Based on the data, it creates a probability rate of a reporter covering the item.”
In a separate but related story, MediaPost put it this way:
“The platform is designed to bring new value to every layer in the public relations ecosystem – including generating greater intelligence for internal strategy, working in tandem with traditional media databases to perform more efficiently and creating more relevant and successful pitches.”
The product was created by Aaron Kwittken and funded by Mark Penn. Mr. Kwittken is the CEO of KWT Global, a PR agency, and also the president-elect of the New York Chapter of PRSA, which is probably one of the largest chapters.
Mr. Penn is a former Microsoft executive and currently the Chairman and CEO of the marketing agency MDC Partners. It’s worth noting, a few years back, he authored the best-selling book Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes.
Mr. Kwittken is a Forbes contributor and recently used his space there to plug his new product. He noted that PR tends to trail marketing in technology adoption, and “has a big opportunity to step up its game – which is why I built PRophet, an AI-driven, SaaS platform designed for and by PR professionals.”
The company’s website says it will only sell the products to client-side organizations and it won’t sell it to other agencies. That could give the likes of KWT and MDC an advantage, or it could hurt the other type of profit.
2. PR tech mentions
- Proof Analytics launched a new analytics platform that aims to make “it easier for communicators to plan and execute strategy based on what the data is telling them.”
- Cision announced a “new” reporting dashboard. The features mentioned in the press release – share-of-voice, sentiment analysis (NLP), social media engagement or domain authority – are all standard in most competitive products these days. Also, see this PR Tech Brief on Cision Impact which was published about this time last year.
- Prezly revamps its tool for importing media contacts.
- PRgloo published “The Evolution of PR” which is a short video (embedded below) commercial humorously presented as a “documentary” exploring how the pandemic has changed PR work.
3. Picks from the trade pubs and vendor blogs
Below are some links to content that stood out for me in compiling this month’s summary.
a. State of Tech Journalism | Muck Rack
“31% of journalists say they are less likely to respond to pitches than they were during the same time last year.”
b) 2020 Comms Report | Cision and PRWeek
“Respondents selected content creation as the single most important PR task (41%) and media outreach as the second most important (27%).”
c) The 5 Most Common Problems with Media Monitoring Solutions (& How to Solve Them) | Agility PR Solutions
“Two common issues reported by users are the amount of “noise” and the number of duplicate mentions ending up in their search results…Look at the searches you’ve already set up and review their filters.”
d) Google Data Studio as an Integrated PR Measurement Platform | Burrelles
“…you can use automation to feed various RSS feed data into Google Sheets, which in turn, can be pulled into Data Studio in near real-time…this would give you more time to pay attention to the data’s actual analysis, insights, and actionability.”
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Image credit: Image by Tymon Oziemblewski from Pixabay