What to buy the journalist in your life | A holiday gift guide



Let’s face it, you’re a busy news person. You wear 1,000 hats and your desk is overflowing with tasks not yet finished. There is no time for leaving your desk, finding parking, browsing the holiday windows or shopping. But, at the end of the day, you still have to put on one more hat (the Santa one) to get your office mates, and especially your editor, something for the holidays.

Luckily, your dear friends at Muck Rack (that’s us!) understand the plight and have put together a little gift guide for the journalists in your life. Promise we won’t tell if some of these end up being gifts to yourself.

Here’s what to buy if…

And now a list from us (for us):

If you’re looking for more traditional fare (world’s best mugs and such), check out the list from Squidoo. MediaBistro blog 10,000 words also has some nice suggestions. 

We want to thank Jake Adelstein, Megan Stephenson, Gregory Galant, Alyssa DanigelisNatan Edelsburg, and Lauren Kelley for their help in putting this together. 

If you have any other gifts to add, feel free to send them to delia [at] muckrack [dot] com.



Want to grow a social network to 300 million users? Get journalists to use it, write about it.



MIT researchers have published some fascinating data on how Twitter grew during its first few years of existence. According to the research, Twitter’s “U.S. growth relied primarily on media attention, geographic proximity of users”.

The story gets particularly interesting when the researchers realized that media attention wasn’t simply a reflection of Twitter’s growth, but a cause of it:

González and Toole said their model of Twitter contagion didn’t fit Cha’s data until they added media influence, based on the number of news stories appearing weekly in Google News searches, data they acquired using Google Insights for Search, which provides historical search-engine data.

This jives with our experience building on Twitter’s API. In late 2008 we founded the Shorty Awards to honor the top content creators on Twitter (now it covers all social media platforms). The Shorty Awards became a trending topic on Twitter within 24 hours of launch, but Twitter itself wasn’t all that big at the time — only 1/3rd the size of according to Compete. However, since journalists were relying on Twitter to find sources and communicate with each other, they noticed the Shorty Awards, which were quickly covered in the New York Times, BBC and Wall Street Journal without even sending out a press release.

After seeing how many journalists were using Twitter at the Shorty Awards we were inspired to create Muck Rack in 2009 to bring you, as we put it, “Tomorrow’s newspaper, today” — since you could follow second-by-second how journalists at each paper were using Twitter to do their job. We recently followed this with Muck Rack Pro to help journalists communicate with each other, PR people and sources over social media.

If you’re trying to build the next global communications platform, you might want to try to get journalists to use it to do their jobs. Perhaps this is why Google+ and Facebook are both aggressively courting journalists.

Journalists can get listed on Muck Rack and use Muck Rack Pro for free. PR professionals and those seeking to find journalists can try Muck Rack Pro here or request a free demo from our team. 

Huge fan of Muck Rack. Their daily newsletter is one of the most informative and useful things I read every single day.