Similar to how college students can assess and comment on their professors on RateMyProfessors.com, Pitching Notes gives PR pros the chance to review and talk about their personal experiences with specific journalists.
The site, launched in Aug. 2011, encourages PR pros to build reporter profiles by submitting the pros and cons of reporters they've worked with at news organizations, how those journalists prefer to be reached and the issues that engage them, according to the Orlando Sentinel (a piece of coverage that proves the PR pros behind the site know how to pitch reporters, too).
The site has 1,230 registered members and a database of more than 200 journalists from 150 local, national and international newspapers (The Kansas City Star, The Wall Street Journal); television networks (CNN, CNBC); websites (Mashable, Technorati); and magazines (Runner's World, Redbook), the Sentinel says. In addition to getting the scoop on reporters' habits and preferences, site members can build an online portfolio by including client coverage results on each reporter review, as well as build a customizable reporter list, using the "favorites" feature.
While it may seem a little far-fetched for communicators to share the inner workings of their best media relationships, the idea behind the site is that by sharing notes and knowledge PR pros can improve pitching techniques and make more targeted pitches offering specific journalists the type of info they're looking for, right off the bat.
The site is not intended to just serve as a punching bag for PR pros to take out their anger after a journalist snubs their pitch or leaves their e-mails in unread purgatory. Media pros are encouraged to join and tell members how they would like to be pitched, and what will most likely get them to respond to a pitch.
The site is yet another in a growing list of PR tools. Competitors Profnet, Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and Reporter Connection offer similar services to help PR pros connect with media. Each boasts a much larger database of journalists compared to Pitching Notes, but none have such a rating system.
With its limited industry penetration, Pitching Notes may not be a media relations game-changer just yet, but it's another free tool PR pros should consider putting into their pitching arsenal.