The MuckRack Daily - Interview with Greg Galant
One of my favorite daily digests for the past 3-4 years has been the MuckRack Daily. As a fun, elegant summary of the days important news stories - from the perspective of the world’s top journalists - the MuckRack Daily has become a staple of (not just) my mornings.
The MuckRack Daily is produced by the editors at MuckRack - an essential SaaS service for anyone in PR. MuckRack’s product is the easiest way to track & build out relationships with journalists on (and off) social media. If you’re in PR, you probably already know about it. If you are, and don’t, check it out - you’ll thank me :)
MuckRack was started by one of my favorite entrepreneurs - Greg Galant (who is also the founder of the Shorty Awards). And while I could spend time outlining all the good things about the MuckRack Daily (as well as MuckRack’s other digest email - their MuckRack alerts)…I figured it’d be much more interesting to hear from the chief MuckRaker himself.
So I talked to Greg. And here’s what he had to say:
KNOWTIFY: Give us a quick pitch for Muck Rack.
GREG: Muck Rack let you effectively pitch story ideas to the right journalists to get press, monitor what’s being said about your company, receive alerts when there are new PR opportunities and track how successful your PR efforts have been.
Muck Rack also allows journalists to get verified in our authoritative directory, build a beautiful portfolio and track the impact of their work.
KNOWTIFY: You actually have two great daily digest initiatives - the Muck Rack Daily and what you call Alerts from your main product. What is the difference between the two?
GREG: The Muck Rack Daily (http://muckrack.com/daily/email) is a free email written by our writers that summarizes what journalists are saying about the news in general and the media industry. It’s won critical acclaim from both the journalism and PR words by offering an inside look at how the news it made. It also has news about journalists changing jobs, job posting and highlights great work journalists are doing.
Muck Rack Alerts (http://muckrack.com/alerts/), on the other hand, sends you an email (either as-it-happens or in daily digest form) when a journalist tweets, links to or writes about your company, competitors or any other keyword. Our customers tell us it’s more useful than Google Alerts because it comes faster and includes what journalists say on Twitter. Thanks to an early warning from a Muck Rack Alert, MasterCard was able to correct a mistake in an article shortly after it was published.
KNOWTIFY: Tell us about the origin of the Muck Rack Daily. Where did it come from? What was the original idea?
GREG: When we started Muck Rack in 2009 there were only a couple hundred journalists on Twitter, so it was easy to keep up with what they were saying. Just a year later thousands of journalists had signed up for Muck Rack, and it was impossible to keep track of all of them. So the basic idea for the Muck Rack Daily was to have one email that summarizes everything journalists were tweeting to save our readers time. As Peter Kafka put it in AllThingsD when we launched, “Straightforward stuff, but it’s something that isn’t being done yet.”
It’s evolved to have more of an attitude than when we started and offer more of an inside look into how journalists operate and how the news is made.
KNOWTIFY: What has the Muck Rack Daily meant to your business?
GREG: The Muck Rack Daily is a cornerstone of our business. It’s given our brand a lot of credibility with both journalists and PR pros, which has made it easier for us to get meetings with potential customers and even drive conversions to our pro product. It also creates a strong incentive for journalists to join Muck Rack, since being quoted in the Daily will increase their visibility with their peers.
The Daily also has had a lot of second order benefits: We’ve been able to put on a series of events hosted by news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, AP, LA Times, FT and NBC News that we’ve filled up with our audience from the Daily. We’ve also been able to do media partnerships with other events (where we promote them in the Daily in exchange for access to and exposure at the event), whereas otherwise we’d have had to do a paid sponsorship.
KNOWTIFY: For Muck Rack, how important are these daily touch points with your users?
GREG: What websites do you visit every day? If you can answer more than three then you’re in the minority. Being able to connect with your users every day is very powerful, but it’s very hard to do that on the web and it’s increasingly hard to do it through social media. Having an open-worthy email is one of the only ways to connect with users on a daily basis. But remember, the content has to be awesome because the “mark as spam” button is only one click away.
Thanks to Greg for taking the time to talk to us this week. We are big fans of the MuckRack digest strategy and look forward to it continuing to evolve. If you have any questions for Greg, he is available on Twitter at all hours of the day and night :)