The technology and fusion of ideas to create new tools for public relations professional keeps getting better. BuzzStream, currently in private beta but far enough along to afford me a test drive, is a product to keep and eye on for public relations professionals, particularly those who handle media and blogger outreach. The web-based software is essentially a contact management system (think CRM for your journalists and bloggers) with several Web 2.0 additions that make it unbelievably useful.
How it works is almost ridiculously simple. Once you sign up, tell it your various information (including Twitter login and password) and drag the BuzzStream Media Bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmark toolbar, you’re ready to go. Visit a blog or media site. Click on the bookmarklet. A contact window pops up. The software scans the site and pulls the pertinent available contact information for that blogger or journalist, including email address, Twitter account and even URLs for contact forms. You can edit the information manually if the spiders don’t catch the right information or if you just want to be thorough with a manual search.
Hit save. That blogger is now in your system.
From BuzzStream, you click on the email address of the blogger. Your email software opens and you reach out with a pitch or introduction. The system blind carbon copies itself on the email and dumps it into a conversation history. (You also get the BCC email address in case you don’t originate the email from BuzzStream.) If the blogger replies, or even sends you an @ message or a direct message on Twitter (and @ message being a public tweet replying to you or mentioning your Twitter name), BuzzStream adds that communication to the conversation history.
What the platform enables is a documented trail of contact and conversation between you and that media outlet. I say media outlet because, while the software is likely being positioned as a blogger outreach tool, it works for traditional journalists as well.
There is similar functionality built in to work flow management tools like the one in Radian6, but for those wanting a contact management solution for media outreach specifically, BuzzStream, I think, will quickly become a solution of choice for PR pros.
While the software is in private BETA, the first 50 of you who click through below and sign up will get an invite to try the platform out. Special thanks to Paul May, BuzzStream’s CEO and co-founder for extending the opportunity for Social Media Explorer readers.
If you are fortunate enough to get in and test the software, jump in the comments and tell us what you think, bugs you find and other thoughts on the good, bad and indifferent of the service.
And just to note, BuzzStream already has a linkbuilding system similar that is beyond private beta. I checked into it and it is an above-board, ethical approach to networking with like-minded bloggers and what-not to build links with one another. I’m not big into linkbuilding as a practice, but they do it honestly, which I admire.
May wasn’t certain about pricing because BuzzStream wants to get feedback from individuals and agencies to help determine a fair market value for the service. I’ve tested it with a series of bloggers I’m reaching out to for a client and would happily pay $40-50 a month if I were an individual consultant for the product. Agency or enterprise level groups that need more space, logins/users, etc., I would expect could pay anywhere from $150 to $500 a month depending upon the size and scope or need. I’m sure May will be watching the comments, so chime in and help determine what’s fair.
The comments are yours. What say you?
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