BetaKit covered DIY public relations platform MediaGraph when it launched and demoed its platform for SMBs at the SeedStartup demo day in Dubai. Since then, co-founders Nicholos Holmes and David Batey have moved back to the UK and recently launched MediaGraph for the travel industry, adding travel journalists and bloggers to their database which tourism boards, hotels, airlines and others can use to research and reach out to media outlets to get the word out about their services.
“What we wanted to do was make sure that we weren’t too focused on tech and on tech journalists because obviously just from a business point of view industries work in different ways. Some businesses are more dependent on PR than others,” said Holmes in an interview with Betakit. “There are so many hotels, so many destination marketing organizations, these kind of people who want to get in front of the media.”
The company’s platform helps SMBs research, pitch, and find a wide array journalists and publications, while guiding them with prompts, guides, and best practices to help them get their stories heard. Although the duo initially thought that MediaGraph’s primary utility to its target market was the ability to pitch journalists, through customer feedback they found that the ability the research and filter journalists was also a huge need. Because of that feedback the platform now features a social media analysis for each journalist that gives its clients the ability to discern just how widely syndicated a given journalist is and the content they publish. Another new feature lets its users know when a journalist has read their message sent through the platform.
Mediagraph’s SaaS platform is available for a monthly subscription that ranges from $14.99 for the basic features, to $34.99 for in-house marketers that gives them the ability to conduct competitor analysis, and lastly $94.99 for public relations agencies with multiple clients to manage. Holmes noted that about 80 percent of its journalists are based in the UK, but that it’s seeing traction pick up from other regions like Germany and France.
Another DIY public relations startup AirPR is still in private beta, with other platforms like Muck Rack, Cision, and Gorkana that are also looking to bridge relationships between SMBs and journalists or provide insights into the press activity for their competition. However, Holmes maintained that many of the existing services don’t place enough emphasis on empowering business owners to take control of their own story.
“I don’t see there’s much emphasis on being able to do it yourself still in the industry and this is what I think is our unique value proposition, we’re really pushing people to get involved and do it themselves,” Holmes added. “And that fits within the broader trend in B2B which is do-it-yourself, you have companies like HubSpot who are do-it-yourself inbound marketing…there’s a growing trend you don’t need to pay thousands to advertisers to be able to conduct your own marketing.”
Mediagraph plans to continue growing its database of journalists and suite of tools for its users, while looking to expand beyond its current offering to the tech and travel industry to break into other niche industries. Holmes also mentioned that a lot of his time still is tied up in consulting SMBs with their communications strategy, and the company’s ultimate vision is to make the platform such that they could be completely hands-off. With the addition of travel journalists and broadening their target market to include a whole new segment, Mediagraph is one of several platforms equipping SMBs with all the tools they need to do cost-effective DIY PR.