Pitches! Read me!

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.

Coverage focus:

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.

Do’s:

  • Read a few posts so you understand what sort of topics are covered 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 a Q&A opportunity once a month called Off Script — these are booked out in advance.

Don’ts:

  • 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 slap “exclusive” or “embargo” on your pitch just to make it sound sexy or scarce.
  • 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;
  • 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 several opportunities for you to earn coverage.

  • PR Tech Sum: this a monthly summary of news related to the vendor community. Generally, these news items are of the most interest:
    • Product announcement including new features and updates;
    • Product briefings with a product manager;
    • 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 a list of the companies I’m watching and researching; read it to see how you can be added.
  • 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. There are two options for sponsored content: 1) you write it and I review and edit ($), or 2) I write it and you review and edit ($$-$$$). Posts will be distributed via RSS, RSS email, a monthly newsletter, and shared on Sword and the Script Media social channels. All links in sponsored content will be marked “no-follow.” Sponsorship will be clearly delineated IAW this disclosure policy. Sponsored posts on the site run on Thursdays and are limited to no more than one every 30 days, regardless of the company.  So, if company X published yesterday, the soonest you can get into the rotation is in 29 more days.
  • 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 for 2020. 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 you webinar pipeline — there is a range of presentations I can put together for you, on PR, content marketing and social media.

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).