Startup Readies Selling Job on PR Firms

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Startup company PRSourceCode sends the first in a series of e-mail blasts this month to generate awareness and leads for its new product, Edit Forum. A direct mail campaign follows early next month.


Edit Forum, which went live this week, lists the editorial calendars of 153 technology trade publications, reducing the need for public relations reps to contact hi-tech reporters about upcoming editorial coverage.


PRSourceCode will target the same 5,000 executives at hi-tech-focused PR firms with both the e-mail and direct mail campaigns. Stephen O'Keeffe, founder of PRSourceCode, said it will be necessary to explain the service several times because the Edit Forum is trying to change the way PR reps traditionally have done their jobs.


"We are trying to change the way things have been done for a long time," he said. "So we will have to do a lot of explaining to them about how it works and why it is beneficial to them to change."


O'Keeffe thinks that once the Edit Forum is clear to recipients, it will "sell itself."


Those who respond to the e-mail or direct mail piece will not receive future mailings. No limit is set for how long the promotion will run, O'Keeffe said, but the company aims to contact people for at least six months. However, he said recipients would not be hassled every two weeks with a direct mail piece or e-mail message.


Firms of all sizes will be targeted with the mailings, focusing on general managers and senior vice presidents.


The mail piece is under construction. O'Keeffe said it will keep the look and feel of the advertising used with the Web site. It will contain a cover letter and an informational brochure and be mailed in an envelope.


The mail pieces and e-mails will discuss how the service allows firms never to miss an editorial opportunity for their clients and the time and money that can be saved by not calling reporters with basic questions about editorial focus.


The e-mails will contain text and visuals and, depending on the goal, will provide links to register for seminars and other events.


The campaign is to cost $100,000 to $200,000 for the first six months, O'Keeffe said.


"We realize that we can't just throw money at this right now and [expect] it to generate everything we need it to," he said. "It has to be a sustained effort that will gain momentum as we move forward."


Edit Forum divides the market into 13 categories including: Enterprise Application Solutions; Hardware, Operating Systems, Storage; Mobile Computing; and Network Applications. The subscription cost is $3,000 per quarter, per category.


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