A few weeks ago, I started researching a tool called Muckrack for a client project. The good folks at Muckrack gave me a three-month trial to play around with the tool.
Since I don’t use a lot of paid tools in my practice, I wasn’t all that familiar with Muckrack. But, in talking with a few more digitally-plugged in counselors, it sounds like it is used by a decent amount of people in our industry (probably more on the agency side, I’m guessing).
So, I’ve been taking ‘er for a spin the last couple weeks. Thought I’d share my early insights in case you might be considering giving Muckrack a whirl yourself. Note: Muckrack is not paying me or influencing me in any way for this post. I just thought it was an interesting tool and worth talking about here.
Find coverage you may not find elsewhere
Sure you probably subscribe to a media tracking service of some sort that finds 90 percent of all coverage out there. But, Muckrack may help you uncover that 10 percent you might miss. Plus, the alerts pull up not only media stories by keyword/brand name, but also tweets, which is another nice way to track media mentions. Which leads me to…
Get daily–and hourly–alerts of coverage
Want to stay on top of media coverage by the hour? Muckrack’s Alert feature can let you do just that. Set up Alerts by keyword and then filter them by beat, media type (including blog posts) and media list. Pretty handy–I’ve been experimenting with this the last couple weeks. I could see how this would be helpful in an issues management or crisis situation.
Track what’s trending among journalists–and use it to your advantage
Sure, scanning what’s trending on Twitter can give you a good sense of what EVERYONE is talking about at any given moment. But, want to know what journalists and media are talking about? Not so easy, right? Muckrack tracks just that (again, keep in mind, they don’t include every journalist). Worth at least a quick glance each day–after all, you never know when you might have an opportunity to attach your brand to a trending topic among media.
Track shares of your news tweets
I really like this feature. Kinda like Tweetreach for media. Just insert the link you shared on posted and quickly get a glimpse for how many journalists and media have shared it across the web (including verbatims from said media)
Find out when reporters find new gigs via Muckrack Daily
Admittedly, this is not a key feature of Muckrack, but it’s worth checking out each day if you’re going to be using the platform anyway. Especially with all the movement in the media field. Probably more suited for those with national media relations ambitions, but again, still worth checking out.
Use Muckrack as a way to improve your odds with pitches
I spoke to a couple agency people who have used Muckrack in the past. Both had the same refrain: They found a bit more success pitching reporters through Muckrack than through ordinary old email. Why? My guess–less competition. The reporters that are really using Muckrack actively to source stories and identify new stories, are probably apt to check for emails from the service a couple times a day. If you’re one of those people pitching them on Muckrack, chances are your email may get seen more readily than others in the inbox.
Use private notes as a “reporter CRM” of sorts
See that “Private Notes” feature in the screen grab above? Couldn’t you use that as a “CRM” system to keep track of your conversations with reporters on Muckrack? Sure, you may have to figure out a system for reporters you reach out to who ARE NOT on Muckrack, but I thought this would be a good start here.
Note: Muckrack is clearly a nice tool for PR counselors to consider–for many of the reasons I alluded to above. However, it bears noting that Muckrack does NOT include all journalists/bloggers. Only those who have opted in. In a quick search for mainstream media here in Minneapolis, I found very few Star Tribune reporters using the service, for example. So, as someone who does a fair amount of local media relations–maybe not the best fit. But, on the national media side, I noticed more reporters using Muckrack. Not sure if that’s true for other markets, but something I have observed.
Anyone else out there a Muckrack user? Got any tips to share with us? Please leave them below in the comments. Would love to hear ’em.