If you are reading this, then you’re probably familiar with how the public relations field works and have come across resources tools like Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Like most PR professionals, you could also be on the lookout for alternatives to help you find relevant media opportunities.
Dot Star Media combines Twitter’s #journorequest and HARO’s queries. It has many different categories you can filter through and many queries you can find. When a journalist is looking for sources and tweets about it, Dot Star Media sends you the most relevant tweets straight to your inbox. Doing this saves you time from spending hours scrolling through the #journorequest posts on Twitter. It means the queries can sometimes be more relevant than those found through HARO’s service.
How it works
Dot Star Media is a curated platform that enables you to use your business email to receive media requests. All you need to do is fill in your name and your organisation’s name when you register.
After that, you can choose different types of enquiry categories that are most suitable for you and your clients. You can check all of them if you want them all, but remember, you might get flooded with several emails.
To combat this, you can choose a digest option and instead receive emails every 2 hours, 3 times daily, or 4 times daily (this helps combat spam and a flood of emails). You can also filter out keywords if you only want to see emails about specific topics.
Once you have all this setup, you have many categories to choose from under the Commercial, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Real Life, and Society categories. Each category has 4-8 subcategories to help you find what you want. You’re going to want to do this if you don’t want 800 emails that have nothing to do with your business.
You should be aware that DotStarMedia offers a 14-day free subscription trial. You can choose the Bronze (£40), Silver (£60), or Gold (£80) tier.
I suggest trying out the 14-day trial and seeing what works best for you. How many pitches are you submitting per request? 1 in 10? 1 in 100? 5 in 20? That will not only help you determine if it’s worth it but also gauge what subscription tier would be best for you.
Are you a freelancer with many clients? Maybe the Gold tier would be worth the cost. Are you a company with a specific niche? Maybe Bronze would work best for you. That is why it’s essential to assess what your brand wants and what would be worth paying for the most.
The Pros of Using Dot Star Media
Dot Star Media curates Twitter #journorequests and sends them directly to your inbox. Instead of sifting through 1000 Twitter posts, you can find the most relevant ones to your brand. Dot Star Media also provides you with a link to the journalist’s email and Twitter page, depending on the journalist’s preference, making it easy for you to communicate with people seeking sources for their articles.
Do know that queries tend to be similar to those sent out by Response Source, Editorielle, and similar resources that promise to curate the Twitter feed.
Out of those, Response Source and Dot Star Media are both reliable. In contrast, Editorielle typically crosses over and isn’t as fine-tuned as Response Source and Dot Star Media, but it depends on what you want out of the service. For us, we have found great success with Dot Star Media and Response Source in terms of finding good queries to match.
The Cons of Using Dot Star Media
You can get flooded very quickly with many emails that have nothing to do with your business or brand. You can combat this by filtering out categories and trying out the digest or practising Inbox Zero. If you’re not a fan of being flooded by emails, I recommend choosing a maximum of 4 categories that you really want to respond to. If you don’t mind sifting through emails, you can be more flexible.
For the 14-day trial, you can play around and see what will work best for you. If you’re part of an organisation then you can just forward emails to your teammates or find some sort of system that works best for you.
My best advice is to try the system, play around with it, and then reassess once the 14 days are done. It’ll give you a good idea of what to expect. Keep in mind that most emails are sent out on Monday and end on Friday, so you won’t get weekend emails, but that’s standard practice since most journalists work on their stories on Monday-Friday so that they can have their stories ready for the weekend.
Is it Worth It?
It’s going to depend on your company and what you want. If you want more resources to find journalist opportunities, then yes, it’s worth it, but if you’re not looking to spend too much money or you don’t want to sift through emails, then it might not be worth it for you.
Again, I would recommend trying it out for 14 days and to see where you stand. The best way to know if the service is best for you is by trying it out, and luckily, Dot Star Media lets you do just that!
From my experience, it’s great to see different media requests that aren’t available on HARO.
You might find a one-off story that you can contribute to and then build your media connection from there. It’s not going to be a place where you find a way to get published into Forbes, but it still has the value of increasing your overall portfolio in getting media mentions and working with people you might not otherwise have known about.