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about the episode

The Pitch Room is a new podcast hosted by Heavybit’s Malia Powers. Listeners can catch up on the latest news, tools, tips and tactics on everything PR related. We talk about everything from current events, crisis communications, social media, reputation management, and where it all meets and intersects. Each episode brings you actionable tactics and strategies you can implement today for real business results. Listen in as we discuss media pitching, launch strategies and PR with limited resources.

In this episode of the Pitch Room I had the pleasure of sitting down with Erica Lee. Erica has 20 years of experience in product messaging, positioning, marketing strategy, and PR for companies like dotCloud, Fastly, Huddle.com, and Pantheon. As the CEO of StrategicLee Inc., she’s focused on helping businesses develop strategies to grow revenues and has implemented a variety of tactics from customer programs to partnership strategies to media launches.

The Art of Pitching

Media coverage is one of the best ways to spread your message. There are important things to consider that will yield greater response rates to your pitches and more coverage.

  • Timing: PR is about finding the right home for your story at the right time in the news cycle. Strategies to help companies get timing right include building relationships with journalists early, reading the news and allowing plenty of time for the reporter to write the story.
  • Audience: Different products and announcements can appeal to a variety of audiences who may have different needs and goals. Understand your journalist’s readers and cater your pitch accordingly.
  • Messaging: For developer companies especially, there is a knowledge or information gap between what you do and what journalists think you do. Make sure your pitch communicates what it is your company does in a way that a journalist’s readers can understand.

Be Prepared and Avoid Scrambling at the Last Minute

Before pitching there are a few things that every company needs to do to prepare for the big reveal.

  • Distribution: A distribution strategy should include a work back plan with a timeline for building a media list, writing a press release, developing a pitch and reaching out to media.
  • Third Party Validation: It is impactful to have someone else provide commentary on your behalf. This can be in the form of a customer or analyst quote, report citation or customer metrics.
  • Presentation: Both press releases and presentations help audiences understand the story you are telling and they also give the journalist or analyst the language you want them to use.

PR on Low Budget and Limited Resources

Invest time in developing relationships with journalists. One way to do this is to follow relevant media on Twitter and engage with them on articles that they write about. When it comes time for your own product launch they will give you an ear.

Thanks for listening!