Using PitchEngine to create your own ‘agency newsroom’

Since the debut of the social media press release (SMPR) in May 2006, I’ve been exploring various options for tapping into the media-rich potential of templated releases.

No Spin PR has been working on a variety of projects since its unlaunch in November 2008, and has been looking at PR 2.0 press release distribution methods as well as the creation of various kinds of social media press releases (SMPRs). Distribution can be an expensive process, especially if clients’ target stakeholders are global.

While the PR Squared template linked to above may represent the industry gold standard, it’s unusable for me as it comes in PDF format. It also doesn’t address the distribution issue.

Enter Pitch Engine. Not only does it supply all the functionality and features of the SMPR template, it makes distribution a snap. With a single click you’ve sent the shortened URL for your hosted release out via Twitter. With another click you’ve shared it with your Facebook friends. One more click and it’s gone out via Friend Feed as well.

Pitch Engine allows you to post your releases either categorized by brand or in simple chronological order. Releases stay live on the site for 30 days. You can also create a newsroom for the individual brands you manage, although that service isn’t free (it’s currently US$50 a month or US$550/year for this feature).

One of the things I like best about the SMPR is its “News Facts” section. I first encountered these when working with UK companies, who used to put them at the bottom of their releases under a “Notes for Editors” heading, sort of the press release equivalent of a footnote. I’m a bit of a demon about citing my sources (except when I forget and think I’ve found something all on my own, which does occasionally happen, but not often) and still write the occasional research paper, so I love this feature. And I’m enjoying the repackaging of a tradition I’ve always found charmingly quaint.

For me the biggest bonus is the ability to create a media newsroom for my company and add my own branding to that portion of the site. It also means potential clients interested in working with No Spin PR can see samples of my work and get a sense of other clients and whether we’d be a good fit. So welcome to the No Spin PR Media Newsroom. Stop by from time to time. There’s a whole lot more where that came from.

Oh – Pitch Engine also tracks the number of times your press release has been viewed. (Although I hope it doesn’t track my own viewing of the releases because I’ve been rather lost in admiration of my own handiwork and would hate to skew the stats.) And you can subscribe to an RSS feed for an individual ‘brand’ or all the releases from a particular newsroom.

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About ruthseeley

Ottawa born, Toronto educated, lived in the Lower Mainland and southern AB for more than a decade. Geographically, I get around a bit (at least within Canada). Passionate about community, democracy, and good books. Fond of the Oxford comma.
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4 Responses to Using PitchEngine to create your own ‘agency newsroom’

  1. Todd Defren says:

    Glad you like the SMR concept. The template is a PDF simply to show “what’s possible.” It was always up to companies, the wire services, and new service providers like PRXBuilder.com and PitchEngine to make it real.

  2. ruthseeley says:

    Todd, thanks for stopping by. I have a little hyperlink version of an SMPR that more closely resembles a PR 1.0 release that I’m kind of fond of as well. And the good news is that in the two years I’ve been studying your model, the concept’s become a lot less intimidating.

  3. Gary Pick says:

    I think Reuters, Cision, Vocus and Business Wire are all stepping up to the plate with new options for increasing visibility and connecting with mainstream social media utilities.

    We’ve been working on PRSafe for quite a while – possibly longer than the companies referenced in this article. Not to spam this comment section but visit the dot com if you want to learn more.

  4. ruthseeley says:

    You’re not spamming at all and I’ve love to take a look at PRSafe. The thing is though, having already set up a fair number of brands on PitchEngine, writing a release there is so easy now. I don’t have to upload all the contact info or the links for clients’ social media sites. I’ve already got their logos and any standard pictures there. So to some extent I have a vested interest in making my own life easier (since I still need to produce two to three different versions of any media release: one social media optimized; one email optimized; and sometimes one suitable for printing and sending with books). Plus PitchEngine has just introduced a ‘permanent release’ for $29 feature, which is a reasonable cost and one I can easily pass on to clients (as opposed to the more expensive subscription service where I’m doing higher math dividing the number of releases I do for each client every and figuring out what percentage of total cost they should pay – of course, there ARE easier ways to do this). Thanks for reading and commenting, Gary.

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