Journalist Hotline

Vocus software helps organizations manage relationships with the media, distribute online news releases, and monitor and analyze news and social media. Vocus does not sell or rent email lists nor does Vocus email press releases for customers.

How it works

Our software contains a media database with media outlet and contact information. This information includes profiles compiled from publicly available information and primary research conducted by our media research team. Our clients use this information to identify members of the media who would be interested in receiving press releases and story ideas based on what they've written about in the past and/or their specific coverage area.

Customers write their own press releases and "pitch" them, often by sending the releases via email to the journalists they believe will be interested in their news. Unfortunately, there are some PR professionals who send press releases without establishing relationships or doing the necessary research to ensure the news is relevant to the journalists they target. Although press releases are not direct solicitations and therefore not considered spam under CAN-SPAM laws, this "shotgun" approach to press release distribution is a major annoyance to journalists and undermines the credibility of the public relations professionals.

What we're doing to help

We know eliminating unwanted press releases is in the best interests of both journalists and our customers. To help mitigate this issue, Vocus takes the following steps:

We invest millions of dollars and thousands of hours developing the highest standards of quality in our media research. We proactively research media contacts in order to have the most current and detailed information available. Our goal is to provide our clients with background information about particular journalists, areas of coverage and interests and an inventory of past news stories written by that journalist. The better our information, the less likely journalists are to receive irrelevant material.

We are dedicated to educating PR professionals in media relations through in-person training and webinars. We host seminars and other events specifically educating our customers as to the consequences of blasting journalists with untargeted or irrelevant press releases.

Despite the fact that press releases are not solicitations, Vocus was the first company to force our customers to allow a journalist to "opt-out" of receiving their future press releases. This has since been adopted by some, but not all, of the vendors in our market.

How to add, update or remove your profile

If you believe the information in your profile is incorrect, out of date or would like to be removed, please contact our media research team at JournalistHotline@vocus.com, and we will be happy to update it. We have found that updating a profile is the best way to reduce the volume of off-target PR pitches.

Simply curious about your profile? Call us and we'll be happy to read your profile to you, or make changes to it so that the pitches you receive are more useful to your writing.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our Journalist Hotline at 877-402-5262 or via email at JournalistHotline@vocus.com.


The Vocus promise to Journalists, Reporters and Bloggers

  1. We at Vocus actively and strongly discourage our clients from sending pitches and press releases to journalists, reporters or bloggers without first researching to ensure the topic is relevant for the recipient.
  2. We continuously invest substantial resources to educate our clients in the practice of good public relations. For example, many journalists have participated in public relations roundtable discussions which were facilitated by Vocus to help achieve this end.
  3. We will work with you to ensure the accuracy of your contact information, profile and pitching preferences for receiving story ideas. Our research has shown this is the most effective way to reduce the volume of irrelevant information you may receive.
  4. In compliance with the law Vocus' software includes an opt-out mechanism. If you receive irrelevant material you may opt-out of future e-mails from that particular sender. This feature is standard for every client and cannot be disabled.
  5. Vocus has several ways we can help you address this issue if you continue to have problems. Please feel free to call our journalist hotline and we will gladly look into the matter. The journalist hotline is 877-402-5262 or email JournalistHotline@vocus.com.

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