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help a reporter….

Interesting idea for using Facebook to connect reporters and sources.

Several months ago, I wrote about the clever Facebook page, “Help a Reporter,” put up by the publicist, Peter Shankman, where he shared requests from reporters looking for sources with his large group of Facebook friends. He did it to be of service to journalists, presumably so that they would happily pick up the phone when he called to pitch his clients. His little experiment worked.

I often used his list, most recently to find sources for a magazine article I was writing about women and career changes. After submitting my query to Mr. Shankman’s page, I was flooded with e-mails from women who fit the criteria I wanted. I was grateful to Mr. Shankman for allowing me to access his network. Now it seems that he has outgrown Facebook, which limits the number of people who can be mass e-mailed, and he has set up a private Web site, Help a Reporter, to do the same thing.

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