NewsBasis helps writers market their expertise

A new service debuts today that could change the way writers publicize their work, and their areas of expertise.

NewsBasis is the communications equivalent of a matchmaker. Journalists issue requests for information and writers can respond. It’s a targeted way for both parties to find sources and promote their work, without a lot of waste.

In some ways NewsBasis is similar to Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and PR Newswire’s ProfNet. All three services allow journalists to post questions and search for expert sources. They also allow PR pros, companies and writers to search for questions from journalists or receive those queries via email. The idea is to allow journalists to cut through the clutter of unsolicited pitches and writers to better target their queries to the journalists who want the information.

LouGrant1NewsBasis differs from the competition with the introduction of real-time commentary on published articles. The service allows writers to embed their point of view or corrections directly in articles on the Internet. Journalists signed with the service will see those comments when they view the article online. They’re also notified by the service when a source leaves a comment.

Other features will look familiar to people using either HARO or ProfNet. The NewsBasis media notification tab allows users to type keywords into the search bar and read real-time activities by journalists. As with HARO, users also can receive email alerts.

With this week’s launch NewsBasis pits itself against some stiff competition. HARO brings nearly 30,000 reporters and bloggers, more than 100,000 news sources and thousands of small businesses together to exchange information. In addition to pumping out alerts to sources, ProfNet lets journalists search a database of more than 30,000 expert profiles.

HARO is free to PR pros, companies and writers. It also offers a free Twitter feed, especially helpful for communicators toting mobile devices. ProfNet is free to reporters but charges a fee to experts and their representatives. NewsBasis, which is in beta, is free at this point.

All of these services could change the face of publicity for authors, and not just because they provide a more efficient way to pitch their work. They give us the choice between active and passive publicity. Instead pf cold calling journalists, we’re now able to contact them directly about a topic in which they’re interested.

It can also allow authors to contribute to the news, rather than react to it through Google Alerts or other monitoring services. We can get the inside story about who’s writing what before journalists publish those articles and blogs. That should reduce the frustration so many authors feel when promoting their work.