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MicroPR Personalizes Public Relations

New media is forcing the rapid evolution of communications and is reinventing the science of public relations into the art of “personalized” relations. And, with micromedia further refining and improving how we communicate with each other, PR is going to learn the hard way, that the days of blasts and untargeted spam pitching will get us nowhere with today’s influencers.

Stowe Boyd placed a stake in the ground during the Web 2.0 Expo with the introduction of #TwitPitch, a very streamlined way for using Twitter to simplify the process of booking briefings with companies during the show. It forced PR to distill their message in 140 characters, which, in the process, tightened and streamlined the typical elevator pitch. As Stowe says, “I think twitpitch takes the elevator pitch to new brevity: the escalator pitch.”

It worked so well that Stowe has officially decided to only accept PR pitches via #TwitPitch.

In this turbulent climate of blogger and media relations – or lack thereof – with PR people, brevity inspires and dictates forethought and relevance. It’s what PR should be practicing whether it’s 140 characters for 200 words.

PR not only stands for Public Relations, we’re now expanding it to also represent the era of Personalized Relations. This is the practice of matching our stories with the preferences of those we wish to reach. Yes, it’s what PR should have been all along, but it’s not.

Twitter is proving to be a marvelous representation of people coming together online to share and discover new information in ways that weren’t possible, or predictable, before today. It has effectively created a new channel for casual conversation as well as a full-blown broadcast network for breaking news as it happens. For many of us, we’ve heard “it” first on Twitter.

What if Twitter also became a hub for newsmakers and influencers to seek information before the story was officially news? With the globally diverse and connected community, Twitter harnesses the true wisdom of the crowds to ask and receive specific information instantly.

Introducing MicroPR.

Stowe Boyd and I are collaborating to find and share new and helpful ways of using micromedia, starting with Twitter, to connect journalists, bloggers, analysts and PR/marketing together in an efficient, unobtrusive, targeted, and productive way.

We’re starting with Twitter in large part because Stowe is already proving that the concept works and also, because journalists, bloggers, and analysts are flocking to Twitter – actively using it more than much larger social networks such as Facebook. (see partial working list below). MicroPR will become the epicenter that connects information, sources, and stories on Twitter and eventually across other social networks.

In Stowe’s words…

MicroPR: forcing PR firms to approach us in the open, on open social flow apps like Twitter, and in the small, where they have to jettison all the claptrap of the old press release model. In the open, that can’t lie easily, or they will be caught on it. In the small, they have to junk the meaningless superlatives, the bogus quotes that no CEO ever mouthed, the run-on phrases, the disembodied third party mumbo jumbo, as if the press release were edited by God.

Using MicroPR

PR people, subscribe to the @MicroPR feed and definitely follow it on Twitter. You can also run active searches or feeds on Summize or TweetScan.

Bloggers, journalists, analysts, send a public message @MicroPR when you want to reach PR professionals. The @tweet will get an auto retweet from the MicroPR account.

In its Alpha form, MicroPR will help channel information, starting as a service for media to source stories, share their preferences for receiving information, announce change of beats, call for speakers or awards submissions, or anything that needs to hit a very focused list of savvy and connected PR professionals.

If you’re asking why you would need to use the service if you already have followers on Twitter, MicroPR will connect you to a broader, more effective network of resources for stories today and in the future.

Examples of usage:

– Reporters looking for help with on story development can send a tweet, “@micropr Need startup recommendations for story on new micromedia tools. Reply via public tweet to @reportername” (112 characters).

– Journalists and bloggers can declare that they do or do not want to be pitched via Twitter and other micromedia tools. They can also announce their specific preferences for contact.

– They could declare what sorts of microPR they want (or don’t want) to receive, and in what mode — @public messages or direct/private.

– A writer can share relevant beats @micropr beats = #social #micromedia #networks #media #infrastructure #hosting.

– Conference and awards organizers can call for speakers or submissions.

– Media can also block certain PR people who are doing it wrong.

– Other services could include scheduling calls and or meetings, etc.

The options, capabilities, and feature-set will expand over time (with input from the community), but in the meantime, MicroPR is an effective channel to connect people to relevant information in order to be more productive. And, it also serves as one of the necessary foundations that will help shape the future of more personalized and effective communications, teach PR professionals how to listen, respond, and pursue more targeted and relevant outreach.

NOTE: PR, please do not send @micropr messages unless you want that note to be broadcast to other PR people. If you want to refer to it on Twitter, please use the hashtag #micropr.


Journalists and Bloggers on Twitter Alpha v1.0
Please note that this list is in the process of being updated and corrected and will ultimately reside on a public wiki. In the meantime, please contact me with changes and suggestions, or if you wish your name to be removed from the list. PR, be sure to follow your favorites.

Warning: Only contact reporters and bloggers using their preferred methods and channels. Do not send spam. Doing so will not only get you blacklisted, but will also get you blocked on Twitter.

Stowe says it best, “On Twitter, I will simply block people that abuse my willingness to have an open dialog about products with PR folks, or basically anyone else, for that matter.”

Reporter Publication Followers Twitter ID
Adam Boulton Sky News UK 93 @skynewsboulton
Allen Stern CenterNetworks 2408 @centernetworks
Amanda Congdon 1398 @amazingamanda
Ana Marie Cox 1733 @anamariecox
Arthur Germain Brand Telling 35 @ahg3
Bicyclemark Citizen Reporter 396 @bicyclemark
Brent Terrazas 152 @brentter
Brian Morrissey Adweek 911 @brianmorrissey
C Kirkham Times-Picayune 40 @ckirkham
Caroline McCarthy 1329 @caroliiine
D Sarno L.A. Times 103 @dsarno
Dan Farber CNET 704 @dfarber
Dan Thomas WSJ 48 @danthomas100
Daniel Terdiman Cnet 452 @greeterdan
Darren Waters BBC News 539 @djwaters1
Dave Slusher Evil Genius Chronicles 409 @geniodiabolico
Dave Winer Media Hacker 8760 @davewiner
David Griner 151 @griner
David Lidsky Fast Company 34 @ASTfan2006
David Wescott Its Not A Lecture Blog 435 @dwescott1
Dawn Foster Fast Wonder 497 @geekygirldawn
Doc Searls 1938 @dsearls
Duncan Riley 2164 @duncanriley
Dwight Silverman Houston Chronicle 839 @dsilverman
Elisabeth Lewin PodcastingNews 565 @podcastmama
Etan Horowitz Orlando Sentinel 209 @etanowitz
Gabe Rivera Techmeme 1478 @gaberivera
Ginny Skal NBC 17 Raleigh 413 @ginnyskal
Graeme Thickins Tech~Surf~Blog 140 @graemethickins
Harry McCracken 239 @harrymccracken
Heather Green BusinessWeek 282 @heatherlgreen
Henry Blodget Silicon Alley Insider 169 @hblodget
Houston Chronicle Houston Chronicle 57 @houstonchron
Hugh MacLeod Gaping Void 5704 @gapingvoid
Jason Calacanis Mahalo 22998 @jasoncalacanis
Jemima Kiss + The Gaurdian 1301 @jemimakiss
Jim Long NBC 5362 @newmediajim
Jim Louderback Revision3 1129 @jlouderb
Jimmy Wales Wikipedia 2017 @jwales
John Dickerson Slate 1060 @jdickerson
John Dvorak Dvorak
12720 @therealdvorak
Justin Beck SF Chronicle 6 @sfc_justinbeck
Kara Andrade Maynard Institute 120 @newmaya
Kara Swisher 611 @karaswisher
Katie Fehrenbacher Earth 2 Tech 71 @katiefehren
Kevin Allison Financial Times 92 @kevinallisonft
Kevin Rose Digg 23335 @kevinrose
Kristen Nicole Mashable 761 @kristennicole2
Laura Lorek My San Antonio Blog 117 @lalorek
Lee Sherman Avenue A -Razorfish 174 @lsherman
Leo Laporte 26717 @leolaporte
Lisa Picarille Revenue Magazine 408 @lisap
Liz Gannes GigaOm 511 @ganneseses
Loren Steffy HoustonChronicle 111 @lsteffy
Louis Gray 814 @louisgray
Marc Canter Marc’s Voice 668 @marccanter4real
Mark Glaser PBS 267 @mediatwit
Mark Hopkins Mashable 954 @rizzn
Mark Krynsky Lifestream Blog 326 @krynsky
Marshall Kirkpatrick Read Write Web 2670 @marshallk
Mathew Ingram MathewIngramBlog 1035 @mathewi
MG Siegler Paris Lemon + VentureBeat
1062 @parislemon
Michael Banovsky Banovsky Blog 105 @michaelbanovsky
Mike Arrington TechCrunch 13777 @techcrunch
Mike Butcher TechCrunch UK 1627 @mbites
Molly Wood CNET 5483 @mollywood
Natali del Conte CNET 130 @cnetloaded
Nick Gonzalez TechCrunch Contributor 228 @nickgonzalez
Om Malik GigaOM 2401 @om
Owen Thomas Valleywag 113 @owenthomas
Pete Cashmore Mashable 6611 @mashable
Peter Rojas Engadget 740 @peterrojas
Rafe Needleman Webware 3427 @rafe
Richard MacManus ReadWriteWeb 1602 @rww
Robert Scoble Fast Company 22034 @scobleizer
Robert W. Anderson Expert Texture 114 @rwandering
Ryan Block 2493 @ryanblock
Sam Whitmore Media Survey 250 @samwhitmore
Sarah Lacy BusinessWeek 2516 @sarahcuda
Sarah Perez Read Write Web 837 @sarahintampa
Saul Hansell NY Times 133 @shansell
Steve Baker BusinessWeek 363 @stevebaker
Steve Gillmor eWeek 2004 @stevegillmor
Steve Spaulding How to Split an Atom 857 @sbspalding
Stewart Alsop 362 @salsop
Stowe Boyd /Message 2866 @stoweboyd
The Guy Report ESPN, Playboy 21 @theguyreport
Tod Maffin CBC 695 @todmaffin
Tom Merritt CNET 4241 @acedtect
Veronica Belmont Revision3 14147 @veronica
Wayne Sutton NBC 17 Raleigh 3387 @waynesutton

I’d also like to specifically thank Chris Peri (on Twitter) for helping us with the process of retweeting and also Todd Defren, Sam Whitmore, Chris Lynn, Brad Mays, and many, many others for contributing to the directory of media actively using Twitter today.

Additional Resources on PR 2.0:

In Blogger and Media Relations, You Earn the Relationships You Deserve
The Evolution of Press Releases
Making Mistakes and Amends in Blogger and Media Relations
PR 2.0: Putting the Public Back in Public Relations
– Free ebook: The Art and Science of Blogger Relations
Dear Chris Anderson, an Open Letter to Make Things Right

Connect with me on Twitter, Jaiku, LinkedIn, Pownce, Plaxo, FriendFeed, or Facebook.

14 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “MicroPR Personalizes Public Relations”

  1. Jason Kintzler says:

    Thanks for sharing Brian. We knew it was coming, see PitchEngine 4/23 –

    This is just what we were looking for! Thanks for putting all the pieces together.

  2. Lara Kretler says:

    This is awesome — thanks so much to all who put this together. Amazing stuff! Here’s to MicroPR.

  3. C.C. Chapman says:

    Just read through this and have to applaud you for what you guys are doing. I LOVE this idea. Feel free to add me to the list of people who would love to be pitched in this method @cc_chapman

  4. Tony Obregon says:

    Brian and Stowe- interesting concept on the micro communications front. I’m in full support of your work and am excited to see this play out. Great list you put together as well. Thanks!

  5. Janet Johnson says:

    This is a great, practical, “how-to” post that should be read by every curious PR person.

    I’ll do my best to spread the word, thanks Brian and Stowe, for pulling it together.

  6. SexySEO says:

    Twitt and BUT … watch your back 😉

  7. Corinne says:

    Brilliant post. Thanks, Brian, for making things a little simpler for the rest of us, especially Twitter evangelists like me, who is trying super hard to get my colleagues on board with it.

  8. James O'Connor says:

    As a PR/marketing (or ‘product specialist’ as Brian would say) professional still relatively early in my career, this is very interesting and exciting to learn! Currently operating more so in the ‘verge’ culture realm, it doesn’t seem as though these developments have thoroughly spread among many of the people I’ve built relationships with. I’m looking forward to watching more of this infrastructure take place and adapting to the changes.

  9. GraemeThickins says:

    very cool, Brian….many thanks to you and Stowe


  10. dedlam says:

    I came across your article because I am experimenting with social communications strategies similar to yours however I took a look at the @micropr twitter profile and it seems that folks are not using it as a clearing house for PR yet.

    What are you considering to encourage usage?

  11. TAG says:

    I love the idea, but pitching in the clear may not take off because confidentiality is frequently vital to the process.

    And direct messaging reporters is a good solution, yes, but many PR professionals — most of whom can barely work email, let alone Twitter — won’t keep up by adding new reporters who join MicroPR. The system needs more automation I think.

    Regardless, awesome idea. This is radical, game-changing stuff. I also wrote about it here:

  12. air 90 says:

    Brad Mays, and many, many others for contributing to the directory of media actively using Twitter today.

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