Businesses and citizen journalists looking to break a story now have a new resource in their arsenal (aside from Wamda, that is!). PressPass has launched in beta to offer a live database of journalists and media professionals from around the world.
The Dubai-based site, which organizes journalists by their beat, media outlet, and region, gives organizations who might not otherwise have direct or easy access to media outlets a chance to contact over 7600 journalists from 240 media sources through Twitter via its platform.
"Everything we're doing is via Twitter, to keep it simple and short," said co-founder Valencio Cardoso, who built the self-funded platform along with founder David Haddad. "Tweets are easy to track, and easy for journalists to respond to quickly."
All of this will certainly help any organization that has a limited budget for marketing, PR, and outreach, not to mention limited time to dig through Twitter for reporters. PressPass tracks around 75,000 tweets a day to list what journalists are sharing online, what they're reading, how they rank in comparison to their peers, what topics they care about, and who they connect with.
The goal is have a global reach, says Cardoso. "In the long term, we're hoping to shift the mentality of journalists, so that every journalist will want to have a Press pass profile- it's like a LinkedIn profile for media professionals."
Soon, PressPass will offer the ability for journalists to add themselves to the site, as well as a rating system where users can give feedback about journalists and the topics that they focus on. Another goal is to build an Instagram-like application from which journalists can post requests for information or anyone can post a breaking story that should be covered.
In the near-term, PressPass is focusing on the Middle East and North Africa, and on boosting its local presence. "We're hoping to get more local journalists on the site," Cardoso says, to increase coverage for local organizations.
Hopefully boosting small business news will in turn reinvigorate the media industry, says Cardoso. "Everyone is saying that newspapers are dying, as a lot information is simply getting aggregated and republished. We don't want local news to die. Our goal is to find a way to get local reporters the relevant quality information that they need, without a lot of effort."
Remember, if you're a small business, you can always submit your story to editor [at] wamda.com or nina [at] wamda.com. We love hearing your stories.