What is Synapse and could it really be the end for email pitches?   

This is pretty much what everyone wanted to know last week following the revelation that journalists at Reach and National World had been advised to only use Synapse for PR pitches. Unsurprisingly, following the receipt of similar emails by a several PRs (which were promptly screenshotted and shared on X) the industry – as ever – quickly made its feelings known. 

So, what is Synapse? And what does it mean for PR?

Synapse styles itself as the “first online Marketplace for PR pitches” – according to its creators, its goal is to streamline communications between PRs and journalists. 

Back in June 2023, an article in PR Week claimed 900 journalists had signed up from publications including The Mirror, The Express and The Scotsman. But, while Synapse has attempted to emphasise the benefits for PR professionals, it’s easy to see where concern might arise in a world where one platform monopolises the ability to pitch news stories. 

Indeed, it’s tricky to understand the thought process behind a launch strategy that could well alienate the very people it hopes to engage with – after all, high-quality PR pitches, and getting the PR industry on board and behind the new platform, are the key to success.

It is early days for Synapse and, while PRs are still receiving responses from journalists claiming to be focusing on Synapse and no longer accepting email pitches, many others have made clear their preference for traditional pitching and good old-fashioned rapport.

While the platform could well prove successful, we aren’t likely to see it usurp other forms of communication between PR professionals and journalists completely.

And while Synapse doesn’t appear to have won itself many new friends this week, I expect FOMO will play a role in its growth in the coming weeks and months. PR professionals will be keen to ensure that they’re providing clients with the best service and that means getting to grips with new platforms. 

There’s currently no cost to use Synapse, so it’s a good time to build a profile and take a look around. 

We could well find that Synapse is a new, useful tool alongside more traditional methods of pitching – it’s positive to see new innovations emerging, but it certainly isn’t the death knell for email PR pitches. 

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