Tired of ProfNet? Start your own PR-journalist service

How one PR pro used Facebook to launch “Help a Reporter.”

How one PR pro used Facebook to launch “Help a Reporter”

Is there room in the PR marketplace for another ProfNet, the PR Newswire-owned service that links journalists who need sources to PR people who need ink? Peter Shankman, CEO of New York PR firm The Geek Factory, thought so when he launched a Facebook page last November to help connect those hungry for sources, and those hungry for publicity.

“Reporters were always e-mailing me about where to find sources,” says Shankman, whose skill at using social media makes him a magnet for PR and media types. “I decided to just start putting the queries up on my Facebook page. I thought of it as a nice, happy environment for getting the two groups together.”

Shankman’s “Help a Reporter” service was free to use, and simple in execution—reporters e-mailed him their story queries, and PR people received them via regular e-mails from Facebook. Shankman didn’t charge for the service, and it took off.

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