Today, for the first time in almost 17 years, we won’t be serving up ITJourno as a website. Instead, all of MediaConnect’s online services are being rolled up under our Influencing brand, alongside a revamped website design and user interface.
We intend to continue ITJourno as a newsletter, and we will continue to write the Epitome column, which since 2000 has been providing a daily review of the previous day’s tech news.
In fact, these changes are about MediaConnect going back to its origins, and over the coming months you’ll see us launch a significant number of new features and services specifically for media and journalists.
Back to the future
The original vision I had when I launched MediaConnect and ITJourno, back at the turn of the century, was to make it easier for journalists to get access to the information they needed to write stories as efficiently as possible. It came after I spent six months freelancing, and was driven batty on a daily basis, trying to get access to information I felt should have been easily accessible online. All the more annoying was the fact that while I couldn’t get the information I wanted, I was getting bombarded with a whole bunch of information I didn’t want.
My objective was to get the right information into the hands of the right journalists at the right time, whilst trying to eliminate as many needless interactions that interrupt journalist’s work throughout the day.
I can’t really say I succeeded. I think, we’ve done a lot of great things over the year, but I was always frustrated that the PR community was a technology laggard and a lot of the ideas I had for improving the workflows between journalists and PRs struggled for support on the PR side. Over time, as the tech media community shrank and we had to look beyond that community to stay afloat, the fact that there was such a dire need for technology solutions within the PR community, became our biggest opportunity and the centrepiece of our business model over the last decade.
However, nearly two decades later, a whole, new generation of technologies have matured, to the point where I want to have a crack at that original objective again. Technologies like artificial intelligence, mobile, natural language processing, real-time communication must surely have a place in reshaping the way journalists work in the future.
What’s more, the PR community is finally getting much more comfortable with technology. As such, I think that original vision might finally have found its time.
So this website you’re on today, is very much a first step forward. All of our services now run on a common platform and interface and we’re building out what we’re calling the ‘Influencing graph’ using AI and NLP to map content relationships. Those two things will provide the foundations for the innovations and new services we’re aiming to roll out to both of our communities in the coming months and beyond.
We hope you’ll give those services a go, and we want to hear your feedback and ideas.
As a starting point, you’ll notice on our announcements we have a Chat button. Instead of having to flick emails back and forth, you’ll be able to jump straight into a chat conversation with a PR rep and even conduct interviews online, as you’re working. We’re of course, going to need to get the PR community to start making themselves available via the service, but if ever there was a use-case for instant messaging, where presence and real-time communication is of significant value, it’s media/PR communication. You’ll hear more about that and other services, as we conduct the necessary training and roll-out with the PR community.
Still, don’t be shy to hit the chat button as it will alert the relevant PR representative via email, and will help to generate awareness. It would also be great if you could give our refreshed Media Request service a go. We’ve improved the real-time alerting on the PR side, to hopefully improve the speed of response. This service will be getting a complete overhaul over the next month, including integration with the chat service, but it would be great if the community could “warm up” PR interest in the service, in the meantime.
As always, your support is welcomed and appreciated and we’re really excited to work with you on the next generation of media relations and content creation technologies.
- Phil Sim
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