It is possible to pitch this blog!
First, you should know that Sword and the Script Media is a B2B marketing and PR consultancy (services | backstory). However, we’re always open to good ideas and you’ll find a PR-friendly reception if you follow a few basic guidelines.
Generally, this blog is oriented around public relations (PR) from a business-to-business (B2B) perspective. While it does cover a wide variety of topics related to marketing, especially digital and content marketing, these are viewed through the lenses of PR. It’s a very specific and strategic approach that complements the market cycle — businesses with complicated products and long sales cycles — that are typically characteristic of a B2B organization.
- Read a few posts so you understand what sort of topics are covered here (subscribe here).
- Pitch a specific topic rather than sending a list of ideas.
- Have a story, strong opinion, or point of view, especially if you are pitching a guest post.
- Do send surveys and studies about marketing and PR — these are very desirable.
- Use this contact form for pitches.
- If you can show me you’ve been published elsewhere, that’s a bonus, but not necessary.
- Know my name. It’s a click away. My name is not “Hi there,” or anything similar.
- There is an occasional Q&A opportunity called Off Script.
- Don’t send pitches asking for backlinks; I mark these as spam.
- Don’t give a fake compliment and ask for a link; I mark these as spam.
- Don’t send “quick questions” or “partnership” offers to trade links; I mark these as spam.
- Don’t offer to help with my SEO or website design; I mark all these as spam.
- Don’t use a template to pitch; I usually mark these as spam.
- Don’t send me a pitch asking me if I accept pitches; just send a good pitch.
- Don’t send pitches to my personal email; I mark all these as spam.
- Don’t slap “embargo” on your pitch to sex it up; unsolicited embargoes are usually manipulative in nature.
- Don’t slap “exclusive” on your pitch to sex it up; I don’t get excited about exclusives.
- Don’t add me to an email list unless we’ve worked together before and I’ve agreed to it.
Bottom line: send a thoughtful, well-reasoned pitch, and I’ll respond in kind. Typically, I’m open-minded to contrarian views, encourage junior professionals and PR interns to take a shot, and I don’t view any other PR agency as too competitive to cover.
Guest Post Guidelines:
- Must be relevant for a B2B audience;
- Clearly pitch a specific topic;
- Generally, 600 words or more; enough to examine a topic thoroughly;
- With some exceptions, like excerpts by book authors, it should be original content;
- Must be exclusive to this site for 30 days;
- Cannot be promotional in nature;
- A link or two is okay if these serve the reader;
- Include a bio and a link to a headshot.
- I reserve the right to edit material for style and clarity or to remove promotional language and links that I think do not serve the reader.
PR Technology Vendors
There are several opportunities for you to earn coverage.
- PR Tech Sum: this is a monthly summary of news related to the vendor community. Generally, these news items are of the most interest are:
- Product announcement including new features and updates;
- Customer case studies (must have datelines);
- Financial transactions such as a round of funding or M&A;
- Surveys or data-based studies of the PR community, reporters or media landscape; and
- Here’s an updated list of the PR technology companies I’m watching and researching.
- PR Tech Briefing: this is write-up based on both a business presentation (target market, customers, demographics, positioning, solution overview, product roadmap) and a brief web demonstration of your product, Q&A and my own research. Occasionally, I’ll do something similar with a Martech Briefing.
- Product Reviews: this is an in-depth review based on hands-on in a production environment. Typically product reviews require 60 days of access to allow for thorough testing and analysis on real-world data. If I like the product I write about it. If I do not, I stop using it and send you whatever feedback I have by email. There are about a half-dozen vendors that have gotten feedback this way. If you improve your product, you can try again in the future.
Importantly, none of the three categories above can be purchased. I do not accept money for product briefings or reviews. Solution providers are not permitted to “see” or “review” any review or brief in advance of publication. If you work for a vendor in the PR space, I’d encourage you to reach out and you should feel free to send me your announcements (inquiry -at- swordandthescript -dot- com).
Sponsorship and content opportunities
There are several sponsorship opportunities that are beginning to open up:
- Sponsored posts. You supply the post — 200-600 words in length along with an image (example) — and it will be published on Sword and the Script, sent out to a dedicated email list of blog subscribers automatically, and promoted on the site’s social channels and included under the “P.S.” section of the Monthly Scripts newsletter, which has a distinctly different set of emails subscribers (see archive). All sponsored content will be clearly delineated as [sponsored], links will be marked “no follow”.
- Cost: You write; I edit: $600 -or- I write; you edit: $2,500.
- Audience: Sword and the Script Media reaches an audience of tens of thousands of professional marketers and communicators every month on the blog alone. Add in email distribution, content syndication, a monthly marketing newsletter, social media and frequent and numerous citations in trade and business press — and the true reach is far greater. Subscribers include CMOs, marketers, communications pros, and journalists. There are also tech analysts, financial analysts and investment bankers that follow my writings on the PR technology community – and occasionally ask me for an opinion.
- Reports and content. If you are looking for agnostic and authoritative content — white papers, ebooks, studies, and reports — developed by a credible and known industry thinker, let’s talk. I can easily field a turnkey study for you or collaborate with you on a study. I’ve walked many miles in your shoes on the PR tech vendor side, and have done exactly this with success, so I know what you need. In addition, sponsorship of the annual JOTW communications survey may become a viable sponsorship opportunity depending on the timing. It’s something my colleague and I have discussed but haven’t opened yet. Get in early if that’s interesting!
- Speaking and seminars. Whether you are looking for speakers for your customer conference — or aiming to fuel your webinar pipeline — there is a range of presentations I can put together for you, on PR, content marketing and social media. See the speaking page for examples.
Pro bono consulting engagements for early stage PR tech startups
Are you thinking about which features and functions to put on your product roadmap? Launching a new offering? Thinking about a market pivot?
It’s really important to get informed, independent and no-nonsense feedback in a consultative format and under a clearly defined NDA. An external expert can show product managers new opportunities, tell marketing when they are drinking too much of their own kool-aid, and say things to an executive team that everyone internally is thinking but too nervous to say out loud.
Typically, these are short engagements, priced on a flat-fee, and range from an hour-long call to full-day onsite.
Pre-money PR technology startups — that is purely bootstrapped — may be eligible for pro bono consulting.
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If you have questions about any of this, please get in touch (inquiry -at- swordandthescript -dot- com).