Forget about nytimes.com! Believe it or not, there are several compelling sites out there in cyberspace where you can get your message out about your product or company—and still make an impression. Sure, the Web sites may not not be stars like The New York Times, but their brand names do draw considerable readership and influence the coverage of mainstream media outlets. As a PR pro, it is your incumbent duty to check them out pronto! Here they are:
1. Seeking Alpha
Founded three years ago by Morgan Stanley research analyst David Jackson, this site was recentlyl named "Most Informative Investing Web site" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. Its target audience is comprised of investment bankers, individual investors and executives. Boasting more than 200 contributors, Seeking Alpha provides insights and analysis on current market movements. To pitch news about companies or sectors, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. No generic press releases, please!
An offspring of the CNET Networks, BNET covers all things related to business management. Launched in March 2007, BNET reportedlly attracts 650,000 unique visitors a month. It covers almost everything under the sun related to business management: from how to conduct a job interview to planning a merger. Pitch story ideas to Karen Steen or Nicole Solis but please don't include them on a universal broadcast list unless you want to earn their eternal rancor.
Yes, this is not a news site but one where you submit photos to the sites. However, given that Flickr photos often predominate in Google searches, you may want to target it for your PR. There is a caveat here: Flickr states it is for personal use and cannot be used for "selling products, services or yourself." So tamp down the hardcore PR rhetoric and don't be so transparent. Photos such as a creative event, products or people shots can work as long as they don't yell PITCH.
The UK-based Financial Times is a powerhouse source but it may end up being ignored by American PR pros because who have never considered pitching the paper's expanding Web site. FT.com draws 6.5 million monthly visitors worldwide, with a great percentage coming from the U.S. The site recently introduced several new appealling features: a blog by Clive Crook, the publication's main Washington commentator and a video feature that shows interviews with CEOs twice a week. Editor and writer e-mail addresses are found on the site.
5. Voice of America
Reaching about 115 million people worldwide, Voice of America TV and radio broadcasts (which are sponsored by the U.S. government), and its Web site, covers news in 45 languages. The site also includes videos and podcasts. To contact various VOA bureaus, go to http://www.voanews.com/english/contactVOA.cfm.
Based in Seattle, this environmental news site, wields a lot of clout in this area. Its editors just published a guide to going green (Wake Up and Smell the Planet) and were featured in last November's issue of Newsweek. Their editors also appear in a wide number of mainstream media outlets. To find e-mail addresses of staff, go to http://www.grist.org/about/staff/.