Every day, countless PR and media reps call and email countless journalists, trying to get news stories placed in publications around the world. The love-hate relationship between journalism and PR is well documented, with new opportunities but also new challenges evolving as a result of the 24-hour news cycle.
OnePitch.co is a startup looking to ease this frustration – smoothing the channels of communication between publicists and journalists by providing a user-friendly, time saving platform that allows publishers to find the stories they want, and publicists to get their stories placed.
Co-Founders of OnePitch, Jered Martin and Beck Bamberger launched OnePitch in February 2017 after successfully selling their previous venture, a culinary walking tour company. It was Ms Bamberger’s experience in the PR industry – and their keen eye for innovation – that led to the idea for OnePitch.
“We’re trying to democratize the connection between journalists and publicists but more specifically between brands, sources and newsrooms,” explained Mr Martin.
“The PR industry is due for innovation and the current services are not effective or efficient in what they offer or produce for customers. The idea was brought to me by Beck through her 10-plus years of experience and observation running a PR agency and her brief time working in a newsroom.”
Reframing the PR pitch
OnePitch has seen great adoption so far, with over 1,600 users already on the platform. This comes despite the huge challenge of shifting long-held behaviors among an industry that has been in place for decades.
“The biggest hurdle we have faced thus far is trying to change the habit of industry professionals. PR professionals are used to spending nearly half their work week researching media contacts, compiling lists, creating emails, sending out mass amounts of emails and following up with contacts and rarely hearing back or knowing if they were interested in the pitch.
“Second to the practice of pitching would be the way folks are used to crafting their message. Early on, we noticed pitches included a lot of fluff and creative language without much concrete detail about their client or brand. After reviewing over 1000 pitches submitted over the course of 1-plus years we were able to identify key characteristics that comprise a ‘successful’ pitch.”
So for those looking to hone their writing skills, is there a key piece of advice Mr Martin has gleaned from over a thousand pitches?
“When you’re pitching be concise, be specific, and provide hard facts. This is what separates a generic pitch from one a journalist will consider worth writing about.”
When it came time to get the company online, OnePitch chose a .CO domain for its greater availability – allowing them to get the exact domain their wanted – as well as its relevance to their industry and market.
“We decided on .CO partly because .com was taken and because we felt it was most relative to a technology-focused brand. Ultimately we were confident .CO was the best decision.”
Be nimble, be informed, be grateful
OnePitch’s co-founders had a successful working relationship before starting the company, and by carefully selecting team members that share their values and work ethic, they’ve built a thriving team that has been instrumental in their success so far.
“One of the main qualities we look for in employees is adaptiveness. Working at a startup presents a number of new challenges and roadblocks on a daily basis, and we’ve seen those of us who can endure change and become comfortable with it are much better off in the long term,” said Mr Martin.
“OnePitch would not be where it is today without the hard work and dedication from a number of our current and past employees, as well as interns.”
His advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs is to be truly informed about the market you’re entering and the value you’re bringing to it.
“Do your research, make sure there’s a problem and you have a solution, and hone in on your product market fit.”
Celebrating success and scaling up
In its two-year life so far, OnePitch has already achieved some major milestones, and Mr Martin proudly recalls several achievements that have really highlighted the results of their efforts.
“There are a lot of moments to think back on that we are all proud of,” he said.
“From hiring our first employees to surpassing 1000 users, it has all contributed to our drive and excitement for what’s ahead. I’d have to say I am really proud of the growth we’ve been able to sustain and the imprint we’ve been able to make in the market within a short amount of time. We know this is only the beginning of an exciting journey over the next few years.”
It’s truly a time of growth for OnePitch, with enormous developments and updates in the pipeline set to grow its business and benefit its users greatly.
“There’s so much more to come from the team at OnePitch. We have a HUGE new feature we’re rolling out soon which will dramatically help PR professionals craft pitches in an easier, more streamlined way. We’re also gearing up to launch the full service later this year which will include a free tier plus payment tiers.
“As for me, I am excited to continue growing the brand and continuing to grow our company. We have plans to double our size within 6-8 months and again within the year.
“This is such an exciting time to be part of a growing brand, and so much fun to see your ideas and hard work start to come to life.”