“It all started with problems we as PR practitioners experience when we want to reach out to the media,” Manminder said.
“With Supernewsroom, not only PR practitioners but also organisations that want to contact the media now have access to most extensive media directory of news agencies including newspapers, TV and radio stations, news portals, international media, and bloggers,” she claimed.
“For example, if you’re a startup and you have this great product that you want to publicise, yet you don’t have any media contact – what do you do?
“Through Supernewsroom, everyone can do their own PR and reach out to the media easily,” she declared.
Also, PR practitioners usually have to make multiple phone calls daily to follow up on whether journalists have received their media invitations or press releases.
As a former media practitioner, Manminder (pic) deems such a practice as outdated, especially with today’s technology.
“Why can’t we leverage on technology to gather responses in a more seamless way?” she said.
With Supernewsroom, “I can now track if the email invitations and press releases I’ve sent out are received and read by that particular individual via our platform’s ‘read receipt.’
“All this is done without needing to make a single phone call. Phone calls are only made when I need to do a follow-up,” she added.
Another issue is the lack of updates on the media industry itself.
“We have the standard list of media contacts that we’ve gathered over the years, but the list tends to get outdated after some time.
“Yet we still keep sending out invites through this outdated list because that’s all we’ve got,” said Manminder.
Supernewsroom’s services are subscription-based, with a monthly rate of RM500 (US$117) for the standard version and RM850 (US$199) for the premium version. For details on the differences, go here.
Since its official launch earlier in July, Supernewsroom has managed to get 37 companies and government organisations subscribing to its services, including YTL Corporation, Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and the National Innovation Agency.
The RSVP problem
One thing that Manminder said she has noticed about the Malaysian media is that they lack an ‘RSVP culture.’
RSVP or Respondez, s’il vous plait is French for ‘please respond.’ It means that an invitee should respond either way, on whether he or she is able to make it to the event or not.
“We need to educate the media on this RSVP culture. This will certainly make their lives easier because what we find out from them when we meet them is that they get too many phone calls from PR practitioners,” she said.
She said that one editor told her that all these phone calls from PR agencies asking if anyone from the publication is attending a particular event is very disruptive.
But PR practitioners need to know how many people and who are attending to ensure better facilitation.
“When a journalist RSVPs, it makes ours and their editors’ jobs easier,” Manminder said.
Meanwhile, she said that Supernewsroom – currently only a web platform – will soon have a mobile app version.