According to Wikipedia, a “muckraker is a reporter or writer who investigates and publishes truthful reports involving a host of social issues.” This could include corruption, politicians, influential business people or just high profile members of society doing something interesting or newsworthy.
Muck Rack, started in 2009 by Brooklyn based Sawhorse Media, allows consumers and/or publicists to see in real time what journalists are writing about, giving them an opportunity to reach out sometimes even before the story is published.
For me, as a publicist, it takes Cision or Vocus (what we used to call Bacon’s or New York Publicity Checker) to the next level by enabling me to track which reporters are writing about what stories.
Sawhill Media saw that most journalists are on Twitter tweeting out their stories. So they invented a web site that shares all of the top publications in the country along with their trending topics (similar to twitter).
The home page shows trending story feeds and then tweets from reporters talking about the story. These stories are usually hard news. The reader can sit all day just reading the streams from reporters about these top stories. It also shows the top “tweeters” of the day.
There is also a journalist directory. If you click on the directory link, you will see all the journalists who subscribe to Muck Rack and what they are saying on Twitter. It even rates them according to how often they tweet.
If you pay for the site, you can set up searches and a stream will enable you to see a set topics that journalists are interested in. You can also develop real time media lists of the right reporters who may cover your story.
The paid service ranges from $99 for one user to $899 for up to five users. It’s not cheap, but if you need to target the right journalist, then it may be well worth it.
Everyday, there is a free blog entry that can be delivered to your email inbox where you can find interesting posts. It also provides you with trending posts to help you see what reporters are interested in.
Gregory Galant, the son of two outstanding reporters, is the President of Sawhill Media and he’s an old friend who I recently reconnected with. He provided me with a test for the paid for subscription. I tried it out and enabled a staff member to do so too. We found it to be quite interesting and helpful when targeting reporters for a specific story, whether it energy, retail or fitness.
I was very impressed with the site and will be using it again when targeting reporters for stories for our clients. I thought it was well worth the look. If you are a marketing director, publicist or just an informed consumer, check out this site.