First on PRNewser:: According to HelpaReporter.com (HARO) founder Peter Shankman, 25 journalists have reported that a competitor ExpertClick.com pitched them their source-to-journalist matching service right after their queries went live on HARO. I saw a number of the emails myself.
ExpertClick founder Mitchell P. Davis admitted via email (the same gmail address used in the 25 emails reference above) to PRNewser that his company is making a big push to increase journalist subscribership, but didn’t completely deny scraping from HARO either, characterized by Shankman as a “massive bush league move”.
Davis’s email chalked it up to their recent purchase of 400,000 names from MediaContactPro and that he “can only assume that e-mails once published are in the public domain”. Except, unlike what Bulldog is doing with Broadlook, journalists on HARO are on an email listserv only, and the people who use them are subject to Shankman’s strict Karma-based terms of service. He bans people swiftly when caught abusing the system.
After thanking Davis for the information I asked him again to address the specific issue with HARO. He hasn’t responded at the time of this post, and his company has been banned from HARO (presumably the same Gmail address).
I thought the coincidence feasible since the database ExpertClick is using is so huge (are there really 400,000 working journalists out there?), until I saw an email to Shankman from Irene Diamond from DiamondWellness.com explaining she only uses an unpublished, personal email address when posting on HARO.
More after the jump:
Though HARO is becoming dominant in the matchmaking game, he has good reason to be upset. If journalists begin received numerous third party solicitations via HARO, they may stop using the service, and we all know HARO doesn’t exist without its stable of timely and prominent media queries.
ExpertClick.com is part of Broadcast Interview Source, Inc. It’s like HARO, albeit old school. The company publishes books and cd-roms of both their Yearbook of Experts, and their Power Media Bluebook. It was founded in 1984 by Mr. Davis. The age of the company is another reason Davis cited for the possible overlap, “over the years we’ve had more than 100,000 copies of our Yearbook of Experts requested by the news media.”
There are currently 241 journalist queries listed on ExpertClick, far fewer than the roughly 90 unique ones per day, every day, published on Shankman’s email blast. Ironically, one of the most prolific is a journalist who specifically covers sky diving aviation, Shankman’s baileywick.
Special thanks to Joe Ciarallo for contributing to this post.