Data-Driven Pitches?

We’ve talked about the importance of understanding who you’re pitching to and why when it comes to sending news releases. For years, public relations professionals have continued to try and identify the best way to pitch reporters. It’s an ongoing challenge, especially considering what works for one may not work for another. One thing everyone agrees on—pitches should be targeted. Personalization matters. No one likes spam.

One PR firm decided to take a new approach—using technology to improve how they pitched journalists. Take a look at this story from NiemanLab about how Upbeat PR is reworking the PR pitch. What do you think? How might this approach help? Any downsides? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

12 thoughts on “Data-Driven Pitches?

  1. Upbeat PR’s refreshing approach to pitches surely is appreciated by busy journalists trying to get all their information quickly, instead of waiting for an email reply. This method appears to still leave room for a customized pitch to draw in the journalist, but once they express interest or not, there is no need for back-and-forth communication unless neccessary. There are two major possible issues that can occur with this Upbeat PR’s pitch procedure. It is possible that some journalists may dislike this approach as it feels less authentic than communicating someone even if it means constantly emailing. Similarly, with the advanced technology, there is hardly room to create working relationships with journalists. Automated emails will not create a feeling of loyalty or connection amongst a journalist and a brand. In times of crisis, a journalist may feel more inclined to be more sympathetic to a brand or company if they feel personally connected somehow. If all their ties to this brand are simply through an automated system facilitated by technology, it is possible they will be unphased and move onto other stories because there is no connection. Despite the downsides, it is an innovative approach time-effective on both ends.

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  2. I am so impressed with this approach for a pitch to the company. It was very fast, to the point, and effective. This approach leaves a room for customization and if your show interest, it is easy to set up an appointment and contact the PR agency. It is difficult to say advanced technology will help customers. Automated voices anger people and make them impatient resulting in frustration. You want to feel personal with the brand and that you are friends. Though this approach was effective for them, so I believe if more companies worked on this approach, it can help them too.

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    1. I agree! Upbeat PR’s approach to pitch to a company is impressive. Like what professor Oster said, “pitches should be targeted. Personalization matters. No one likes spam.” And Upbeat PR did just that. They allow customization to whom ever they are pitching to and allow that company to show their interest. This is very important because these companies are getting flooded with pitchs but to have yours stand out is the greatest thing you can do.

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  3. I love this! I think one of the most important aspects of PR is accessibility and the how well and fast the company is able to respond. I think fast and personal responses is the best way to go – especially when Year said “We try to get out of the way as fast as we can and connect you directly to the founders.” I think this is a great tactic and can be something that many can learn from as well.

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  4. This new form of pitching for PR is definitely time effective and eliminates those annoying spam emails that many journalists receive. When a pitch is sent out and all you have to do is hit a button to say if you are interested or not in talking to the CEO, a lot of time is saved. I feel more people would actually respond to pitch emails if there wasn’t so much back and forth journalists have to worry about. Although this does save time and allows for quicker responses, the element of connection and building relationships with journalists does seem to be set on the back burner. But if the goal is to simply connect with as many fellow founders as possible, I believe Upbeat PR has done its job.

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  5. I think this is AWESOME! Too often I see firms too scared to step out of the norm and when someone does, it rarely goes unnoticed. It maximizes time well and I love how simple it is for the user! By framing the steps and preparing people to respond simply, this method really could be the future! The back and forth is the reason so many people lose interest in pitch emails. It’s not entirely that people are uninterested, it is just too much work. This makes it an easy one step and I can see many people jumping on board. I love this method and I think we will see more and more people pick it up.

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  6. I think that Upbeat PR is definitely changing the way we do news releases in the future. Their idea to make the communication between reported and the person telling the story shorter and strictly one-sided is completely genius! Public Relations firms have such a unique opportunity to reach so many people and I love that this PR firm was able to identify the area of their profession that can be improved upon. in my opinion, the reason that this concept is so effective is that it is essentially like filling out a form, it is convenient, hassle free and offer quick return while still maintaining a communication if need be.

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  7. All I can say is: props to Upbeat PR! In today’s industry, there is a plethora of firms trying to do the same thing. It gets old really fast. When we look throughout history, it’s really those people that take risks and step out from the line that end up creating traction, and even revolutionizing the way something is done. I think Upbeat PR is on a good track right now, and that more PR firms need to be looking for ways to stray from the norm in the industry. Upbeat PR has shown the impact of efficient and clear communication, even among an industry of professional communicators! I am hoping to see more companies branch out the way Upbeat PR has, as Upbeat continues to be successful.

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  8. I liked what Upbeat did with the interactiveness of their email pitches. The network system mentioned at the end of the article sounds like something that could be really helpful, I don’t know how it work. Maybe an algorithm to mix and match? I think that could eventually take the creativity out of partnerships. I wouldn’t have thought to put Taylor Swift and UPS together but somebody did. If there was a network of sorts that could possibly take the out-of-the-box thinking out of partnerships.

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  9. I commend Upbeat PR for their innovative and clean approach to the news release communication process. Their idea cuts out the hassle and wasted time of companies and journalists whose main intention is just to get a story out in the media and quickly. I think their idea is genius and will continue to grow attraction among business’s who depend on press attention. I expect to see more about Upbeat PR along with similar ideas and concepts following their simple step by step process from other PR firms.

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    1. I think this is such a cool concept and idea that shows how in touch they are with the needs of the industry on all sides. They direct news releases to professionals who are passionate about the subject. Nothing is worse than writing about something that you have no connection to. Doing this ultimately is a win-win. More effort from the PR company in the beginning, allows them to achieve a better outcome and relationships in the end. This also allows for so much time to be saved, eliminating confusion or impatience. For journalists to reach the information they truly want with ease, that’s a game changer.

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  10. The link did not work for me so I did not get to read the article, however gaging from other comments I think I know enough to form an opinion. Anything that is time effective in this crazy and constantly changing industry is, I believe, positive. Pitching is an interesting process when it comes to getting the attention of a journalist without wasting their time and avoiding the whole spam problem. If this PR agency has come up with a helpful solution to this, I am all for it! My only question is just how personal does this allow publicists to be? I believe the key to public relations has been and should be the idea of building relationships, and maintaining those relationships. Once the door of data driven pitching is opened, even if it still allows publicists to be personal, how long will it be until we completely let go of personalizing pitches so that journalists know we care? However, the idea of being data driven sounds like a potentially great idea, and should be explored and used, but also met with skepticism.

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