Journalist request digest

It’s been a few weeks since our last ‘you spoke, and we listened,’ post, so we’ve made this one a corker!

Here at Dot Star Media Studios, we’ve been going on and on about how much noise and spam there is on the wonderful journorequest hashtag, along with all the real gems. In the last seven days, there were 2011 ‘requests’ (that’s excluding the 6029 retweets!). Just 441 of those passed the Dot Star Media Litmus Test Of Greatness. Here’s one of our graphs to help you visualise:

With our ‘real-time alert’ emails, one request equals one email. This is superb for the hot-off-the-press nature of most journalist requests. It’s also perfect if you want to be at the head of the queue with your response. However, some of our subscribers told us ‘the service is great, but I can’t deal with so many emails!’ 

You can of course reduce this substantially by using selective topics and adding some relevant keywords. All the same, some customers were still wanting…well, less.

So, you spoke, and we listened! Dan and I are delighted to introduce Journalist Enquiry Digests. These are groups of enquiries – filtered to your topics and keywords, of course – presented in a single email and sent at pre-determined times. They look a lot like this:

The digest settings are available on your profile page, and look like this:

This should cater for even the busiest people. By the way, the morning digest includes all requests since the previous day’s last email, so you won’t miss any of the overnight action.

As always, we’d be delighted to know what you think so please send us an email, or call.

If you’ve previously had a trial but want to check this out, please drop us a line and we’ll get you set up with another brand new, totally free, no obligation trial.

See the effect of your keywords, as you add them

Since we launched keywords for everyone, it’s become one of our most-used features, providing that extra bit of noise filtering from the main topic feeds.

When choosing your keyword selection, it was difficult to see the effect it would have had; there was no indicator as to how many recent enquiries your keywords would have matched. This lead to the unfortunate situation where a couple of customers ended with a set so niche, they matched nothing.

With this feedback in mind, our weekend development was to include on the keywords page, a banner which says how many enquiries over the past few days you’d have received, if they were in place:

As you add and remove keywords, you’ll get immediate feedback on the number of enquiries matched and if you’re interested in the detail, simply click the banner to see the enquiries in full.

It’s your feedback which helps direct our development, so let us know what’s working for you, and what isn’t, and we’ll see what we can do!

Broad topics of interest

One of the goals of Dot Star Media is to make journalist requests on social media work for you.

To help businesses achieve that aim, we watch social media channels for requests from bona fide journalists, we then classify those enquiries into one or more relevant topics and then fire them off into your email, MSTeams or Slack channels.

When we designed the registration system, our goal was to make it as simple as possible to start receiving these enquiries. To start a trial, all we required was a name, email, and company name (fun fact: the very first implementation was based around per-user subscriptions so we didn’t even ask for an organisation name. On review, we quickly decided that per-company billing was the way forward so we added the extra field. I know I’ve stretched the definition of ‘fun’ there, but hey).

One of the common bits of feedback was ‘we’ve had some great requests come through but there’s a lot which aren’t relevant too.’ and that’s because when signing up for a trial, by default we were subscribing you to all 29 topics.

Dan and I talked through various options and none of them were appealing. Adding 29 checkboxes to the registration page could intimidate some (including me; I’d take one look at a form like that and find somewhere else!)

We’ve settled on adding our broad topic groupings to the registration page and we feel this is a fair balance between usability and function:

So if you choose ‘Lifestyle’, you’ll get Fashion & Beauty through to Travel & Holidays. Of course, having registered you can always fine tune your topics, or even add some keyword filters to further target your feed.

Since we put this live, we’ve seen every single person customise their topic selections, compared to just one in ten before this so we’re confident this change is improving the service for new users.

Everyone gets keywords!

When we started developing the functionality for enquiry keyword filtering, we thought it should be a Gold level feature, providing our subscribers with more reason to upgrade to our even-more-featureful top level.

We launched the feature a few weeks ago and from talking to the many people using it as part of their subscriptions or trials – and using it ourselves – it quickly became clear: everyone should have access to this.

There’s a lot of noise on #journorequest. Some days, as much as 90% of what’s posted is irrelevant, or simply spam (analysis: Dot Star Media).

From today, we’re happy to make keyword filtering available to all subscribers so you can further harness the power of Twitter, without spending all day on twitter.

keyword filters

Filter your media enquiries with keywords

Your feedback on Dot Star Media Request Service has got us working eagerly behind the scenes to bring some improvements.

Social media is a great source for media requests but with the noise – spam, spoofs and suspicious characters alongside other irrelevant posts – it can quickly become overwhelming. On average there are ~1500 posts a day to #journorequest alone; of these around only 10-15% are genuine media requests from established journalists.

#journorequest signal to noise graph

The first thing Dot Star Media has done is reduce the noise. Simply by signing up to the service you can receive the quality 15% directly to your inbox, Slack or MS Teams, identified by the relevant topic.

Some companies have provided feedback saying that whilst these per-topic requests are great, there are still a lot of requests to sort through for relevance to their clients.

This weekend we’ve taken that feedback and implemented keyword filters within your subscribed topics, meaning you can streamline your requests even further by only emailing ones which contain keywords you’re looking for. This feature is available to our ‘gold’ level subscribers and those on a trial.

How could this work in practice? If your interest is specifically around gym equipment rather than general team sports, you can subscribe to ‘Sport & Leisure’ then add some relevant keywords – e.g. ‘gym’, ‘spin class’, ‘squat rack’ – and your inbox will only go ding when there’s a sports & leisure request mentioning those keywords.

You can start using the keyword filters right away, by clicking the link from your profile page.

keyword filters

Please let us know what you think of this new feature by sending us an email.

If you’re not currently a subscriber, register now to start receiving quality enquiries right away. If you’ve previous had a trial and would like to try out this new feature, send as an email and we’ll get you up and running again.