NewsBasis,a start-up company founded by Darryl Siry,freelance journalist for Wired, is bringing a little technology to thePR space, creating an online marketplace to match businesses and organizationswho want to share their insights with reporters who are working on topicalarticles.

An article the NewYork Times by ClaireCain Miller highlights many of the challenges PR professionals andreporters encounter when trying to work with each other, naming the lack ofadvancements in the way we communicate as one of the many obstacles:

Part of the problem is thatwhile technologyis transforming the industry, communication between P.R. firms andreporters is stuck in the past. The main tool of the $6 billion-a-yearpublicity trade is still the telephone, and many hours are wasted whilepublicists cold-call reporters with article ideas that do not interestreporters, or that might interest them at another time when they are not ondeadline.

NewsBasis appears to work much like popular resources suchas PR Newswire’s ProfNet and Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Thesepopular tools used by reporters and the public relations industry also aim toconnect media with sources for articles they are working on.

In addition to offering tools for companies to buildsearchable profiles, similar to ProfNetExperts, and tools for journalist to post searchable queries based onarticles they need sources for (with options to make them anonymous), NewsBasishas introduced a new function that allows sources to add a footnote to articlesacross the Internet. Similar to what the PR industry often refers to as a“rapid response,” this function allows you to highlight a portion of thearticle that is relevant, and add in a note that journalist can view includingcomments, corrections and alternative point of views. When journalists viewthese articles, the comments will also appear, linking them directly withresources who can offer additional perspective on the topic.

I am excited to see how the new tool works out and havesigned up to be a beta user. Hopefully journalists will utilize this tool andthe way the PR industry communicates with reporters will take one step in theright direction.

Deana Goodrich