Muck Rack and monitoring media on #Twitter and Social Media cc@muckrack

Forgive the name. Muck Rack isn’t probably what you think. If you’re a comms professional and you frequently use Twitter (or other social media tools) to both monitor and reach out to journalists then this web-based application will be ideal for you.

So what does Muck Rack do? Essentially Muck Rack tracks what journalists are saying about the top news of the moment across a range of . A subscription version monitors what journalists are saying about any given topic and sends real-time press alerts to subscribers based on options such as keywords used.

Muck Rack’s set-up and operating model aims to ensure that only journalists are monitored – journalists are vetted manually before being added to Muck Rack’s monitoring lists (if I’m wrong Muck Rack then please do correct me on this one). To quote Muck Rack, “by verifying the journalists on social media who do the muckraking for major media outlets and analyzing what they say in real time, Muck Rack delivers a glimpse of tomorrow’s newspaper to you today.”

Muck Rack claims to list thousands of journalists on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Quora, Google+, LinkedIn and more. Apart from Al Jazeera English most would appear to be based in the US and Europe (you can see a full listing here), and I don’t have details as to how many are in emerging markets such as the Middle East. Plus, I’m still not sure if languages other than those based on the Roman alphabet are catered to.

Muck Rack has a handy daily email service which will analyze what journalists are saying on a variety of topics which is also free to sign up for and can be accessed from here. The good news for hacks is that if you’re a journalist you can avail of the paid-for service for free. Communications and PR professionals will have to pay.

The service starts at 99 dollars a month and includes a license for one user, the ability to create three media lists and alerts, a power search function, and access to the journalist directory.

There’s probably much more I should be saying about this service, but so far it seems to be very handy for reaching out to media online. Muck Rack also writes a helpful blog which is worth a read.

For those curious people out there here’s a screen shot of how Muck Rack works when searching for trending topics. The below was analysis of messaging on the issue of Twitter suspending journalist Guy Adams for posting NBC chief’s email address.

A snapshot of reporting from Muck Rack on a trending topic taken from a WSJ blog