Seek or Shout, our content collaboration community, launches in public beta

I’m very excited to announce the public beta launch today of a new community site presented by Cision: Seek or Shout.

We’ve built this site to help journalists, bloggers and professional communicators research and promote their content while connecting with each other in a productive, relevant way. Here’s what you can do inside of Seek or Shout:

  • Seek products for review, experts to interview, and research materials for an upcoming news article or blog post. Choose to make your requests anonymously, or syndicate them to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for maximum response.
  • Shout about your latest content, campaign or product. Users who follow you or the tags you place on your Shout will see them in their News Feed.
  • Communicate privately with other users about exclusive inquiries and offers
  • Define your Interests and find relevant messages from other users in your News Feed
  • Maintain a profile outlining your roles and background. Point people there to take back control of your inbox and let other users, along with Cision customers, know what you need from them.
  • Search editorial calendars,  CisionWire and PitchEngine to spark content ideas

Go check it out, or stick around and I will briefly tell you how we got here.

It goes without saying that the worlds of media and communications have changed forever. Two factors have worked in tandem to drive this shift: the explosion of the social Web and, unfortunately, the disappearance of tens of thousands of journalism jobs at traditional media outlets.

For a long time, Cision’s role as an intermediary between PR and media has looked like this:

Source: Cision

But today, many of the journalists we talk with have found their way as freelance content creators. They still contribute to mainstream news organizations, but the destinations of their output now also include branded content sites, digital marketing campaigns and a wide variety of social online venues.

While each assignment varies based on the individual client’s objectives, and the approach to writing a company news release is still different from the approach to an editorial feature, for many freelancers the wall that once separated “PR people” from “media people” is gone forever. In its place: savvy, independent content creators who switch hats with ease. So the world we’re working toward looks more like this:

Source: Cision

 

As we watched the tools designed to connect brands and influencers evolve over the past few years, we kept seeing the same problem: typecasting that fails to reflect the new reality. We looked at one tool after another that start by asking new users, “Are you a journalist or a PR pro?”, then presenting a strictly defined set of features based on your self-designated role. The problem is, for many of today’s tastemakers, the answer to that question is “sometimes”.

Worse yet, the journalists and bloggers I talk to who have tried the existing tools have come away frustrated by the number of off-topic pitches they receive.

So here’s how Seek or Shout is different:

    • Putting on your journalist/blogger hat is as easy as clicking the Seek tab to make a new request. Ready to do some promotion instead? Click the Shout tab.
    • You will only see messages in your News Feed that came from users you follow or carry tags that you defined as Interests. Relevance is king here.
    • There is one premium feature within the site: sending a private message to a user who does not follow you (or “cold pitching”) costs 90 cents per message. This is intended to cut down on irrelevant pitches. Messages to people who follow you are free.

Give Seek or Shout a try and let us know what you think.