Why not support that symbiotic relationship with a site like Peter Shankman's Help a Reporter Web site? What started out as a Facebook group turned into a full Web site for the publicist who charges nothing for the service and wittingly noted that "the good Karma is immeasurable."
Okay, so some are going to be a little skeptical and question whether this will turn into a ploy for media-hungry publicists to go wild but Shankman is doing his best to ensure that this is a serious way for reporters to get the appropriate sources through the appropriate people.
On the site he states:
This is really the only thing I ask: By joining this list, just promise me and yourself that you'll ask yourself before you send a response: Is this response really on target? Is this response really going to help the journalist, or is this just a BS way for me to get my client in front of the reporter? If you have to think for more than three seconds, chances are, you shouldn't send the response.
This doesn't mean that there isn't potential for things to go awry as pointed out in this blog post from the New York Times' Small Business Blog, Shifting Careers. But with all projects, there's a risk of being taken advantage of.
Profnet has been a major player in linking together journalists and experts but the catch is PR professionals have to pay. Help a Reporter may bring some hefty competition given its no-cost stance.