New Tool for Media Relations Collaboration

Those of us who’ve worked at agencies remember joining forces with co-workers to develop combined pitches before conducting media relations for feature coverage. Pitching a trend is much more meaningful when you have three or more spokespeople from different companies available and ready to discuss the topic at a moments notice. As journalists continue to find their resources shrinking, doing as much legwork as possible for them becomes even more important.

But lining up this kind of turnkey story becomes more challenging for independent PR consultants and boutiques. We all foster a network of fellow PR pros that we can tap into for media opportunities (or you should!), but what if you don’t know of anyone who fits a particular requirement, or you need additional resources quickly?

pwttransPitch with Me is a new service designed to help public relations professionals connect with additional resources to generate more effective pitches. It’s the brainchild of Heather Whaling,  @prtini on Twitter (side note: we recently co-wrote the post 5 Tips to Keep in Mind When Going Solo for the PR Breakfast Club blog, in case you missed it). Heather told me why she chose to launch this service now, after just recently becoming a Solo PR Pro:

“I come from an agency background and was used to brainstorming with my co-workers about opportunities to package clients in pitches. Now that I’m out on my own, I don’t have as much access to those kinds of resources. That got me thinking about ways solo PR pros, small businesses and nonprofits could team up. I’m a big believer in collaboration. Working together, I think we can develop stronger pitches, which should lead to better results for our clients. At least, that’s what I hope to see happen with Pitch with Me!”

I took a look at the simple online tool (which operates similar to HARO, but filling a different need). You submit a request through the Pitch with Me Web site, along with your contact information, a general description of the media outlet, an overview of the pitch and the type of resource you’re looking for. It is then displayed publicly on the site, as well as via @pitchwithme on Twitter – an automated feed of submissions. (You may want to use a special email address for submissions, to avoid receiving spam on your main account from bots who might be trolling the Web looking for email accounts.)

To me, a wise aspect of Pitch with Me is the fact that you control the opportunity (and how much information is revealed) when you submit your request. We all know PR can be a competitive business, and there are bad guys out there who might try to “go around” you if they had all the information on your plans. The tool is setup so you can mitigate that risk by being highly specific about the resources you need, but vague about who and how you’re pitching. I also like that I can see who is making the request. If you find one of your Solo PR Pro buddies looking for help, you’ll likely jump at the chance to work with a trusted colleague.

This tool looks like it has potential to help independent PR consultants improve their efficiency, and perhaps their media relations results. What do you think?

  • KarenSwim

    Kellye, I have not used it yet but think it is a great idea. Indie professionals truly are becoming the new workforce and I believe that we will continue to mimic the corporate experience with better, faster, more efficient tools.

  • heatherwhaling

    Kellye, thanks so much for writing about Pitch with Me. I'm glad you think it's a tool that could be helpful for solo PR pros! I can't wait to get more feedback as people start collaborating to develop better pitches!

    Heather
    @prtini

  • heatherwhaling

    Karen, glad you like the idea! If you have a pitch and want to test it out, I hope you'll share your feedback. Positive, negative — whatever. I'm open to any and all suggestions!

    Heather
    @prtini

  • I've found that Solo PR Pros are not shy about sharing feedback! Will be interesting to see what results come of Pitch with Me.

  • Laura Macklem

    I can't wait to try “Pitch With Me.” I think this is a great idea and I am sharing it with all of my PR friends.

  • Laura Macklem

    I can't wait to try “Pitch With Me.” I think this is a great idea and I am sharing it with all of my PR friends.

  • I love this idea but have one concern. I am often pitching stories under embargo which would not work with Twitter or any kind of social networking site that is viewed by anyone. I would imagine I am not the only one who pitches many stories under embargo and wonder how you deal with this?

  • heatherwhaling

    Susan, that's a great question. I'll admit that Pitch With Me isn't for every client or every pitch. That said, I do think Pitch With Me will be especially useful for PR people when they're pitching a “trend” story and need multiple sources to illustrate the trend. Likewise, it could help turn a piece of news into a bigger story — perhaps by adding adding a professor, a researcher or some other expert. To post a query, you don't have to reveal your client or the exact targeted media outlet. You could craft a query that elicits the responses you need without giving away too many details. Think of Pitch with Me as the tool that comes before the pitch is actually finalized. Hope that helps answer your question. Thanks for commenting!

    Heather
    @prtini