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Muck Rack recently launched a new service where PR pros can pay $50 for a Tweet.  The service claims to be a conduit to reporters, so you’re paying them the same way one would use PRWeb, Business Wire or PR Newswire.

Sounds like a good idea at first, but upon further investigation it seems that of @muckrack’s 3,800 followers, very few are journalists.  However, Muck Rack does a great job of aggregating Tweets from journalists and indicating trends.  As a research tool, we love it.  As a paid service to reach journalists, not a big fan.

The reason is that unlike real press release distribution services, Twitter is a personal (remember, SOCIAL?) medium.  Building a following is a one-by-one endeavor.  True, when you get a following, you are talking to a lot of folks.  But they follow you or your client because they are interested in what’s on your mind…to get the scoop on what’s happening.  As soon as you pay someone else to write and communicate, the trust and validity of the medium is compromised.

Bottom line: if you don’t have time or ability to build a following of PR pros, or consumers for that matter, don’t use Twitter.  And don’t try to get into social media.  It’s a very hands-on, time consuming effort.  You don’t outsource it like getting your lawn mowed.

This is another indication that as communication becomes more “democratic” through social media, it does not replace good judgement OR the hard work in creating and maintaining relationships. That goes for PR pro to reporter, or company to consumer. Sadly, these new vehicles will expose more shoddy work by PR agencies…the same folks that called everyone in the news room on a petty release with the ingenious pitch: “Just wanted to make sure you got my release.”

That’s enough ranting for now.  Besides, I need to Tweet this post.

For a good review on Muck Rack, read today’s post on Bad Pitch Blog.