PRFilter Technology PR Rankings launched

The PRFilter platform has been publicly live for a month now and in that time there have been thousands of searches performed. But as well as finding relevant press releases PRFilter now has a wealth of data on press release content.

Independently Adam Sherk last month used PRFilter to look at how often buzzwords are used in releases – read more about it here. We in turn thought it would be interesting to look at which technology brands, topics and products have been talked about most in press releases over the last couple of months. As an industry there is a lot of time and money spent analysing what the media writes/talks about, but what are PRs trying to talk about and do the two things fit?

Thats why we have produced our first PRFilter Technology PR Rankings. These rankings analyse the tens of thousands of releases indexed by PRFilter each month and look for the most talked about technology brands, topics and products within them.

Highlights from this first month (February 2011) include:

  • MicrosoftFacebook and Verizon were the top three most referenced technology brands.
  • Cloud related technologies, websites and wireless were the top three most referenced technology topics with iPhone and iPad the top ranking products.
  • Mentions of Microsoft and Facebook were around twice the number of Apple (ranked 5th).
  • Releases mentioning cloud technologies were more than twice as frequent as those referencing social media however this was down from three times as frequent in January.
  • iPad related releases were down 37% perhaps reflecting a calm before March iPad2 storm.
  • Significant increases in mentions of telecoms brands e.g. EricssonNokia and ZTE and technologies e.g. LTE and NFC, reflecting the hosting of Mobile World Congress during the month.

A presentation of the full details of the Top 25 technology brands and the Top 50 technology topics/products can be found here or view below.

This first month’s rankings demonstrate that a large number of stories are being created around certain brands and topics and not all of these are necessarily in areas that are likely to provoke great interest from the media.

We hope that producing these monthly rankings will assist public relations practitioners in developing a higher proportion of stories that journalists and bloggers find of interest and lead to improved coverage for the companies concerned.

As this is the first month there are bound to be things we could do better or information people would like to see next time so please let us know in the comments.

We have also started with Technology because that was the sector PRFilter was initially focussed on when it was first launched. However if there is demand we will look to expand the rankings to cover other sectors. Again feel free to let us know.

PRFilter – a breakthrough in PR relevance?

Andrew Lim – Editorial Director, Recombu and Founder of UKTJPR “PRfilter is a fantastic way to manage press releases and find interesting stories.

James Holland Editor, Electric Pig “Catering to the whimsy of fickle journalistic tastes is no easy task, but the intelligent tuning behind PR Filter shows great promise. A service that cuts the clutter, and brings me news I can actually use? Sign me up!

Stuart Miles Owner/Editor, Pocket Lint “PRFilter looks to be the service that will help me get the news I want and filter out the press releases I don’t

To date the use of technology to solve the issue of irrelevant or badly targeted PR content has been relatively limited. Database structures used for press release targeting are generally based around categorisation or perhaps keywords. Depending on the level of granularity this can often result in a poor match of a particular press release to individual journalists or bloggers.

Recently new language analysis based databases have started to be released that look at a journalist or blogger’s output in order to try and identify those who talk about a particular topic the most. This improves the intelligence of the approach for the sender if they use such tools effectively.

But even tools such as these do not address the issue from the individual journalist or blogger’s perspective. They don’t allow the recipients themselves to decide how relevant something must be to get their attention. Meanwhile spam filters or rules based inbox systems are often crude or time consuming to manage.

At RealWire we thought we would try and take a different approach. Having built a system to improve the targeting of our own distribution (which we will be applying in the coming weeks) we decided to go further. We asked ourselves – what if we could adapt the system to provide relevant releases to individual journalists and bloggers across thousands of releases a day from multiple sources?

So after months of development, in a bold experiment to both demonstrate our filtering technology and as a potential solution to the issue of irrelevant PR we have built PRFilter.

We believe PRFilter is something different:

Like the language analysis databases, PRFilter’s active interest technology builds a profile of a journalist or blogger’s interests from their own, or their publication’s, published articles. It then refines and updates this profile as new articles are published.

But then it flips things on their head and applies this profile to an inbound aggregated stream of press releases from multiple sources, presenting the individual journalist or blogger with the releases it thinks are most relevant to them – in a given time period, in selected geographies and even on a certain topic.

The user can then set their own personal relevance threshold and subscribe to alerts which pass this test (currently via RSS, other notification systems to follow). They can even train the system to improve its predictions by providing feedback on when it is right and wrong.

Making finding relevant stories a quicker and easier task and ensuring that senders of PR know that when their releases are indexed by PRFilter they will be seen by the most relevant media.

As the quotes above show we have already had some great feedback from initial beta testers, but like all beta applications we know it won’t be perfect and are keen to get feedback from all interested parties. Either contact me @AdParker, [email], follow @PRFilter or register your interest in a beta account or updates here.