FOR YEARS, Gorkana has enjoyed the reputation of being the ultimate, reliable media database – and, indeed, its data quality is impressive. But now there’s a new kid on the block, called Roxhill – and blue chip companies are starting to switch to it. Founded by former Gorkana personnel, it’s a product with first-rate data quality, some nice features and a user interface that’s the best on the market. It’s also more competitively priced than its older rival.
Roxhill is aimed fair and square at the “serious” end of the market: financial PR practitioners, public affairs people and corporate communicators. The focus allows the Roxhill team to concentrate on ensuring the data quality of the sort of journalists who work on newspaper business desks or as lobby journalists, for example. It covers broadcast journalists as well as writing ones.
One brilliant feature is a very slick search facility that lets you search journalists according to subjects they’ve recently written about. That means it’s really easy to find people who’ve written about airport expansion, but who don’t have, for example, transport in their job titles. No other product, in my opinion, implements this feature as effectively. The software has excellent views for each journalist, helping you to see what they’re actually focused on and should help comms teams more effectively research potential journalists to talk to.
I should say at this point that I have been quite sceptical of media databases in the past: they’re no substitute from actually developing real relationships with journalists. So if there’s a point to them they need to be really, really accurate and have to help you research journalists, not just create a massive mail merge list. Roxhill passes these thresholds easily. And, in fact, Roxhill calls itself a “media intelligence” tool – more of a tool to help upmarket PR practitioners do research, rather than just a database.
When I have asked for a journalist to be researched they’ve updated the data same day. Service is really responsive. But the data, out of the box, is in the top league of comprehensiveness: on Sunday I was wanting to ring the deputy news editor of one major newspaper. His paper’s phone system has crashed but the journo’s mobile number was there (something that’s less available in lesser databases).
Gorkana – recently bought by Cision – is an excellent database. But Roxhill is more modern, faster to use, costs less and offers a quality of data I think you’ll be delighted with.