Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more detailed information on how
PRFilter works by browsing our FAQs.

1. Will journalists and bloggers have to pay for access to this system?
PRFilter is intended to be free for use by journalists and bloggers.

2. Can I start using PRFilter now?
Yes. Anyone can use PRFilter’s new search facilities and top stories filters now.

Personalised filtering of releases as described in our video however uses our active interest technology™ to build a profile of your interests. It does this by analysing your own, or your publication’s, recent articles and then monitoring them for changes in what you write about. If you would like to request a personalised profile please do so here.

3. What sources are being aggregated?
At the moment PRFilter aggregates ten wire and press release distribution services including RealWire, PRNewswire, Business Wire, Marketwire and Sourcewire. In addition it aggregates press releases direct from over 60 major technology and media companies.

Together these sources output approximately 15,000 press releases each week. PRFilter is capable of aggregating more sources than these and is also capable of having releases submitted direct to it.

4. How accurate are PRFilter’s relevance predictions?
PRFilter’s search results and interest filters are based on a combination of the importance of the search terms in releases as well as PRFilter’s view of which releases are likely to be of interest to the most people.

PRFilter’s personalised interest filtering uses a prediction algorithm has been designed to balance relevance and serendipity. This should mean that highly ranked results are generally very relevant to individual users but may include releases that are less obviously so. However these releases should still have a high degree of match to topics that a user writes about.

5. How do I use the search function?

Public users can search for relevant releases from the whole stream by just typing a search string into the search box. PRFilter will seek for exact phrase matches if you put your terms in quotes. PRFilter does not support other criteria such as Boolean rules at this stage.

You can use our Advanced option to limit the results to releases that relate to certain industries.

The results can be further filtered by time period or where they originated from geographically.

6. How does it rank the search results?

Results are ranked based on a combination of relevance to the terms searched for and the extent to which PRFilter matched a particular release to the profiles in its database. So the more people PRFilter thinks a release would be relevant to the higher it will be ranked.

7. What are “Most Relevant Stories” and how do you decide what to highlight?

Public users can also view our Most Relevant Stories categories to find releases that PRFilter thinks are the most likely to be of interest to someone with that focus.

Like the search results these are again ranked through a combination of match in terms of content to that particular area of interest and also the number of individual profiles the release was matched to.

8. What are personalised filters and how do I get one?

If you sign up for a personalised account you can use individual personalised filters to find the stories most relevant to you. For instance freelancers can have multiple filters to reflect the different topics about which they write.

The filters are initially based on either your own, or your publication’s, published articles or you can base the filter on one or more of our Top Stories categories.

PRFilter will then continue to learn and develop this filter through new articles that are produced and can also learn more through its feedback function by telling it whether some press releases are interesting to you or not.

To request a personalised filter account please request one here.

9. What is it using to assess my interests for its personalised profiling?

PRFilter uses our active interest technology™ to track the published articles of individual journalists and bloggers and/or their publications and then analyse them to identify the most important areas of interest.

10. How fast will PRFilter index and match a press release compared with someone emailing it to my inbox?

On average releases appear in search or personalised results within 5-10 minutes of their published time with approximately 90 per cent of the 3,000+ indexed releases per day appearing within ten minutes. Exceptions to this are where they aren’t published on a timely basis by the content provider or at times of very high volume when this delay can be longer.

11. Do I have to keep logging in to check it or will it tell me when something has arrived that I will be interested in?

Users who have personalised profile accounts have the option to set an “Alert” relevance threshold which releases must pass and then create an RSS feed of those releases. We are also currently developing auto update and notification functionality and would welcome any feedback on the forms of notification users would most like to see.

12. Will the personalised interest filter pick up everything I am interested in?

It depends. For some users this could well be the case, however as relevance is clearly a tricky thing to predict with certainty the results are bound to vary. Those users who provide feedback on releases regularly for the system to learn from, are most likely to experience the best results. PRFilter can also be “tuned” in terms of the articles tracked to build your profile and the specific filters and analysis used for each user so please contact us via feedback@prfilter.com with any issues or suggestions you may have.

13. Can users with personalised interest filters give feedback on both accurate and inaccurate stories it recommends?

Yes. Users with personalised interest filters simply select from:

– release is sufficiently relevant and you would like more of these
– release is irrelevant and you would like less of these

and PRFilter takes account of that feedback when it next processes a release.

Public search and Most Relevant stories do not have a feedback facility for non registered users.

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Patents Pending: European patent application pending No. 09168495.1,
US patent application pending No. 13/032,035, and Canadian patent application pending No. 2735301