By Kyle Austin
May 19th, 2009
As Twitter becomes a bit noisy with its growing popularity (and celeb status) more users are looking for ways to segment the groups of people they are following / conversing with. While this can be done using PeopleBrowsr or Tweetdeck, destination sites like AthleteTweets, CelebrityTweet and newly-introduced JournalistTweets are also becoming popular.
As I covered recently in response to the Wall Street Journal’s memo on Twitter guidelines, Twitter can be a powerful journalism tool for crowd sourcing and building relationships with readers. Other journalists agree. A survey by PR Week / PRNewswire found that 22% of journalists are currently leveraging Twitter for these purposes. A separate survey by the TEKgroup found that 38% of journalists would be interested in receiving corporate news via corporate Twitter handles. So as journalists begin to rely on Twitter for news and story angles, how can PR folks keep track of what their media contacts are tracking within the ever-noisy Twitter ecosystem?
Enter journalisttweets.com. Cision, a global provider of media monitoring, research, distribution, and evaluation services for the PR industry is positioning its free Web destination as a site for PR professionals which provides the inside scoop on developing news stories (WSJ‘s newsroom excluded), by streaming and sorting Twitter traffic from top journalists around the world. (Update: Got an email from Gregory Galant, CEO of Sawhorse Media, who noted that they launched a similar service - MuckRack.com – a month before JournalistTweets.com. Will have an update on their service in the near future.
This beta service delivers tweets from thousands of media sources in North America and the UK, organized by topic or region. It is also fully searchable by content and journalist name to quickly identify key influencers and issues. In addition, a “Top Tweeters” link displays tweets from frequent tweeters at media outlets.
I’ve given the service a quick run and I think it shows some promise. Although brands see better ROI delivering direct to consumer messages via Twitter, folks like myself – handling media relations for clients – have found Twitter to be a great tool for digital media relations.
I do like how JournalistTweets breaks journalists into different sectors (Business / Entertainment / Health / Technology). Actually, I think they should take it one step further. If they could start breaking it out by beats (i.e. consumer tech & gadgets) or even by outlet (i.e. New York Times) I’d be really interested in it. In fact, the latter is something that publications should turn into destination sites for themselves. I’m surprised that BusinessWeek, an advocate for the journalism usages of Twitter, hasn’t created a destination within Businessweek.com called “BWTweets”, which would track tweets from all of BusinessWeek’s editorial staff.
Anyways, I hope that Cision continues to consider adding these other features as I think it could be a good place to track the developments within newsrooms and find relevant media contacts (Cision 3.0 if you will). Of course, in the meantime the amount of journalists on the service needs to be added to (Cision does include a way for people using the service to suggest journalists to add) and they should work with the search functionality, which I was having some trouble with yesterday.
Nevertheless, a step in the right direction for PR services.