What is Synapse and why are UK journalists telling PRs we have to use it?

Category: PR Insights

By: Rich Leigh

Work in PR?

Been told by a journalist that they’ll only be using Synapse for press releases now?

You’re not alone.

We’ve had this reply from Reach PLC today in response to a pitch:

Louise Parker Peiris has had one.

People replying have, too.

What is Synapse?

Back in August, Press Gazette reported on a new tool called Synapse, saying that it was working with (hefty) UK publishers Reach PLC and National World.

According to that piece, Synapse has created what it calls a Stories Marketplace, a free service that “aims to remove the need for emails between journalists and PRs”.

Is this the death of emailing journalists AS WE KNOW IT!?

Nah, of course not.

Here’s the man that needs no introduction, Neil Shaw, talking about it on a post from Louise:

Here’s Angharad Planells foreseeing a world in which Synapse own our very souls (they can have mine, black as it is), and Rachael Phillips helping us to make sense of it:

And here’s a senior journalist at National World too.

So, there you have it.

“Another tool”.

Probably worth signing up to keep your eye on things (though I can’t imagine it’ll stay free for long when a load of people have – why WOULD it?).

Anyway, don’t worry. The revolution isn’t here just yet.


I asked Synapse these two questions:

1. What do you say to PR people that have said, or might say, that it could create a monopoly on outreach?

Synapse aims to improve, not monopolise. We provide a streamlined platform for PR-journalist interactions but firmly believe in the importance of diverse outreach methods. Our goal is to complement, not replace the strategies professionals currently employ.

2. Related: will PR people have to pay to access it eventually, if and when there’s critical mass adoption?

We plan to keep Synapse free for the foreseeable future. While we might introduce premium features, our primary focus remains to deliver an exceptional product.

And they also responded first with this (actually) PR-friendly quote, and it’s only fair to include:

“We created Synapse with a clear vision: to refine how PRs and journalists interact. We’re all comfortable with communication via email, but its sheer volume has emphasised the need for a specialist platform. Email clutter leads to irrelevance, causing good ideas to get overlooked. It’s far better for journalists to have an entire marketplace to search than sift through a cluttered inbox. Synapse isn’t just another tool – it’s our direct response to these industry challenges. Without proper filtering, the essence of a pitch can be lost amidst the noise. Our Stories Marketplace offers a tailored solution, an alternative to the mass volumes of pitches. While we don’t aim to replace emails entirely, we’re introducing a more efficient approach to the PR-journalist exchange.”

I’ve bolded that last bit because it doesn’t speak exactly to (what was possibly) Press Gazette’s initial and slightly-sensational angle.

Good conversations are happening around this on LinkedIn in the comments and on Twitter – follow along here:

And here: