Posted by Amanda Chapel
Thursday, November 9, 2006
CHICAGO - One of the world's leading media spamming companies today announced its plan to release a software platform that will deliver all of the company’s media stalking, spam monitoring and victim evaluation products. MediaSource7 is scheduled for release the first quarter of '07. Bacon's Information Inc. today released the product development "roadmap" to a worldwide audience of eager PR spammers.
Steve Newman, Bacon's CEO said... well... very little. “While products and services in the marketplace have become increasingly similar, our essential differentiator continues to be our focus on the client.” Oh.
Designed and built to meet the needs of thousands of current PR media trackers, stalkers and spammers, MediaSource7 will be fully customizable offering a wide variety of options for access to Bacon’s media contact information databases, monitoring content feeds, and mass-distribution evaluation services.
The rollout of the application will entail several interim releases. The initial release will pretty much contain all of the core capabilities of Bacon’s existing MediaSource applications, the company said.
Tim McManus, Bacon’s SVP of Product Management, stated the totally obvious, “MediaSource7 will empower organizations of all sizes to manage communications campaigns more effectively from start to finish with one easy-to-use online solution."
About Bacon’s Information Inc.
Bacon’s, a subsidiary of Observer AB, helps PR weasels improve results with clips-by-the-pound publicity campaigns. Bacon’s offers services designed to give anyone with a buck the ability to target their pitches more efficiently, quasi-customize mass distribution, monitor any subsequent media coverage and evaluate overall media-spamming campaigns.
I visited the Bacon's website because I didn't fully understand this item at first. The demo was scary - positively Orwellian -- starting with the valium-inspired music and the soothing voice of the narrator.
The software's "Media Contact" feature is the problem. Not only can you send out the spam, er, important media information, in the manner in which each contact allegedly prefers to receive it (i.e. e-mail, fax), but also the software "confirms" whether or not the media target has opened your e-mail!
Members of the media, and you too Mr. and Mrs. Blogosphere, this feature means that PR firms are now running spyware! They will be issuing media monitoring reports to clients that document whether or not YOU opened their e-mail.
Now, when a flack follows up on the e-mail pitch, if the reporter says, "yeah, we read it and it's not for us," the flack on the other end of the line will be able to reply, "My records show that you didn't read it. I'm sure you don't want me telling your editors or my client that you didn't even bother to read what one of your biggest advertisers has to say."
As a counter-move, this software is likely to lead the media and the blogosphere to simply block messages from certain PR sources known to use this tactic. Wouldn't you? I would.
Have you actually looked at the list of publications in Bacon's? It's full of every conceivable publication servicing every conceivable sub-niche of everything. PR is the reason that 95% of these "media outlets" even exist. Where else do you think they'd get a free and constant flow of pre-packaged story ideas?
Now I grant you Bacon's includes "real" journalists who don't play well with PR. But journalists do not have to give out their direct phone/email addresses to Bacon's and can request that they be removed. How frickin' hard is it to set-up an email/voicemail for fielding PR incoming?
Why do you guys/gals always let "journalists" off the hook so easy? As in any industry journalists are made up of those that are good, those that go through the motions and those that suck. They are not all a bunch of Pencil Behind the Ear Skippy Gonna Get the Real Scoopers. Many want to be spoon fed from PR.
So don't be so quick to shit on the PR industry, its part of an ecosystem that makes many media outlets possible and in many cases more interesting to consume...