Would Muck Rack meet your PR need?

I’d not heard of Muck Rack before reading Mashable’s report on a new service the company has just launched – the one-line news release distribution via Twitter.

Muck Rack’s prime claim to fame to date is as a place on the web that aggregates tweets from journalists, mainly in the US, in real time.

Now comes the Twitter release service.

[…] a new service for PR pros to publish one line press releases, up to 130 characters long, that can include links to other media and press kits, at a rate of $1 per character with a $50 minimum.

Muck Rack is hoping to capitalize on the short attention span of journalists and the anxious PR people who want to reach them quickly and in short-form. Should you opt to use their service, just type your tweet-like release, hit submit, pay through PayPal, and voilà: your release gets published to Muck Rack’s release page and shared via their Twitter account (which currently has just 3,433 followers).

Anything you’d send via this service begins with the word ‘RELEASE,’ in upper case. (There’s 7 characters used up before you begin.)

I’m not sure I see a viable market for this. If you’re a PR with a Twitter account, you could do exactly the same and save yourself the fee. Of course, your followers won’t be the same as Muck Rack’s, but you’d likely have a clearer more focused sense of who you’re pitching.

Looking at it from a receiver’s point of view, though, would you see 140-character announcement tweets from PRs you’re following, all starting with ‘RELEASE,’ as just so much spam? And with some third-party Twitter apps – notably TweetDeck – it’s just a couple of easy clicks to automatically block a sender and report the account to Twitter as a spammer.

I could see plenty of irritated journos doing just that.

Still, some people may welcome the brevity of announcements via Twitter. If they’re people you know and trust, and who have explained to you what they’re doing before hitting you with that first Muck Rack tweet, that might make a difference. In other words, give you an opportunity to opt in beforehand.

Says Mashable:

[…] if more and more journalists get hip to the service, and better news get released via Muck Rack, then you could have a potential situation where bloggers, journalists, and reporters have their eyes glued to Muck Rack’s Twitter stream and news page. Should that be the case, many a PR pro will gladly pay the $1 per character for that type of exposure. It all comes down to audience, attention span, and clout. It’s one of those chicken and egg situations.

Not sure about chicken and eggs but you shouldn’t dismiss out of hand anything as far as Twitter’s concerned. There’s even an FAQ for journalists about this service.

It looks like the first major use of the service will be at the BlogHer conference on July 24-25, according to an announcement on the Muck Rack site:

PepsiCo joins Muck Rack 1LPRS as a launch partner to syndicate news from the #BlogHer conference on July 24-25

Where there’s a niche, there’s an opportunity.

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