Media conversation-tracking website Muck Rack is launching a new feature today: portfolio profile pages for journalists. The new pages are a big improvement over the old profile pages, which reporters had little control over and were most useful as a tweet archive. The new pages give reporters and editors the ability to curate their clips in one place, list awards, link to all their social media accounts, and stave off overly persistent PR people by listing the topics they do and don’t cover. Muck Rack’s Gregory Galant, a proponent of the “Slow PR” movement, says the site is “trying to reduce the amount of spam journalists receive and give PR pros more intelligence on who to pitch (and who not to pitch) a story to.”
The new profile pages are pretty easy to update, though they could use some improvements. When a reporter adds a URL to their portfolio, Muck Rack’s tool automatically pulls in metadata like the headline, the first few paragraphs, and the image–though it sometimes chooses the wrong image (many of the old New York Daily News clips I uploaded to Muck Rack feature a picture of this Ed Ruscha book, for some reason). I’d like it if Muck Rack could automatically pull all of my bylined stories from Fast Company into my portfolio for me instead of making me update it manually all the time. And the “What I Don’t Cover” section would be more useful if I could write in an explanation instead of just a list of keywords–but still, it’s a good start.
With the new portfolio profile pages, Galant says Muck Rack is attempting to create “a powerful and easy-to-use industry-standard portfolio tool”–but will journalists use it? Portfolio tools for journalists, like Cuttings.me and Pressfolios, already exist, and it seems like half the reporters I run into on Twitter have an About.me page. What makes Muck Rack’s pages different is that they aggregate more in one place–a feed of the journalist’s tweets, information on pitching, links to social media accounts, links to clips, awards, biographical information, even some contextual “interview” questions–on a site that many journalists and PR professionals are already using to get their daily fix of media news and gossip. I’ve often found Muck Rack useful when I’m looking for journalists’ deleted tweets. Whether writers and reporters widely adopt these new profile portfolio pages as their own, however, remains to be seen.
Disclosure: Galant gave me pre-launch access to the new profile feature, and I sent him some of the feedback I later published in this piece.