PingGo, the do-it-yourself ‘PR machine’, has named SBNN its first media partner. This a significant milestone for PingGo as it marks a change in how media outlets source their news and lowers the barrier to small businesses being covered by the media.
Companies wanting to submit a story to SBNN can now write their press release in PingGo and send direct to SBNN’s editor, Mike Watson. The first month is free and any story submitted via PingGo will be published according to SBNN’s editorial guidelines.
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Mike Watson, SBNN Managing Editor explains: “It’s a brilliant idea! So often I talk to business people that have a story to tell, but who balk at the cost of working with an agency. They then just do nothing or cobble something together which simply is not good enough to get the attention of a journalist or publisher.
“Ping-go really does fill a gap and at a price small businesses can afford even if they just send something once a quarter.
“I had a play around with it. We publish more Scottish business news than anyone else so I can’t help but see us being a friendlier publication to companies that have smaller stories that might just be too small for the Scottish national business press.”
PingGo launched last month in response to demand for affordable PR from startups and the small business sector. In its first month it has seen over 500 companies from around the world sign up to its innovative service.
PingGo, helps companies keep PR inhouse, create credibility and build reputation, through ‘earned’ media coverage. PingGo is part of a growing trend for the automation of business services and the use of automated journalism led by Associated Press, Forbes and the LA Times.
Sarah Lee, Founder and CEO of PingGo explains: “I am thrilled to have SBNN as a media partner – it validates my vision to democratise the PR industry so that lack of budget and experience are not barriers to a company getting media attention. Like me Mike believes that it is the strength of the story that should determine whether the media picks up on a story and reports news.”
The online service offers a number of innovative features including a press release writing tool, a media distribution and messaging service and a planner to schedule news milestones.
PingGo interviews the user in a series of questions designed to draw out the key information a journalist looks for.
The answers are then put into order of priority and a press release produced for the user to edit and share with colleagues. Key messages are kept consistent to all press releases and can be evolved over time.
PingGo does not mass distribute press releases to hundreds of journalists but encourages the user to identify the key media outlets that cover their sector. Guidance is given to the user to find the right journalist for each story and further support is provided by a growing community of entrepreneurs and marketers.
This approach disrupts the traditional relationship between news source and media and enables journalists to access stories that would not normally make it onto their radar.