Bacon’s Information, Inc. has acquired MediaMap, bringing together two providers of media databases and other tools for PR practitioners. Bacon’s claims it will continue to offer both lists, but I am willing to bet that won’t last six months.
Since Media Map was the more expensive, better-promoted service, many would have expected them to buy Bacon’s. However, maintaining a media database of 30,000+ names is incredibly labor intensive and when MediaMap stopped using the Bacon’s database a year or so ago, my guess is that they couldn’t keep up the lists. Most of the other companies, despite sales claims to the contrary, use the Bacon’s database.
Some of the bigger PR agencies don’t use commercial media databases because they worry that their proprietary lists will be incorporated into the general lists and sold to other agencies. And of course they will. But for smaller companies, the databases. all of which are fraught with errors, are the only option.
I published a report on press release distribution services two years ago, “Secrets of Effective Press Release Distribution” and tried and studied all the major services. Since then, there has been such a huge proliferation of services that it is impossible to tell them apart but Bacon’s and MediaMap are standouts because they include a broad range of other services which are helpful to PR firms.
MediaMap has had a smoother interface to its database of media contacts than Bacon’s, and includes blog contact information and more and better Internet media information than Bacon’s MediaSource.
The bottom line is that none of the majors provide even halfway decent coverage of Internet editorial contacts. Not one of the services I tested recently could give me a list of the editorial contacts for the top 100 circulation newspapers or the top online publications.