Archive

Posts Tagged ‘journalists’

Pitch Me with upitch: Public Relations & Journalist Pitch Discovery App

September 22, 2015 Comments off

upitchThere’s an app for that. If you want to pitch me a story, you might want to try upitch. The upitch service is an app and a website where you can pitch your stories to journalists who use the app. The app is also for journalists who filter your pitches based on content. The app allows journalists to connect via a chat applet with the pitch posting company. Companies can post their pitches directly to journalists who want to see them and journalists can filter the pitch noise to focus in on what’s relevant to them and their beats. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m just surprised, and sorry, that I didn’t think of it.

Every day, I receive at least two dozen PR pitches from various sources for stories to be posted on ZDNet, The Frugal Networker, Datamation, or other venues that I write for. Most end up in my mail client’s Trash folder. Some intrigue me enough to respond with a, “Please send me the announcement (or whatever) under embargo, but no promises.” A minority actually interest me enough to say, “Hey, let’s schedule a call for this.” It’s a public relations person’s job to pitch stories to journalists in hopes of getting their clients some ink on a website or to get a reviewer to review a product. I get it. I’m sensitive to it. Some products, services, and companies just don’t make the cut for my beats. We all have to live with that.

upitch: How it works

There are pitches that just aren’t right for the products and services that I write about. I don’t mean any offense when I say, “No.” Hopefully the PR person hasn’t only queried me for a potential story.

I sometimes say, “No” because of a poor approach, a bad pitch, a company that just doesn’t resonate with me, or for any number of reasons. I almost always say, “No” to pitches that involve companies that use cheap labor locations. It’s just my personal thing.

From the iTunes upitch app page:

upitch is a self-service public relations app (PR tool) for anyone looking to get media coverage, and a convenient and easy discovery tool for journalists to browse and swipe through story pitches and news announcements (or concise press releases).

Brands/People/Charities/Public Figures

Are you launching a product, company, movie, music single, art exhibit, event or maybe just have news you want press coverage for?

  • Upload concise, formatted story pitches and news announcements through the upitch mobile app or at UPitchApp.com on your desktop or laptop
  • Choose your industry and geographical filters
  • Your pitch will now appear on the smartphone or tablet screen of every journalist who is searching for stories in your industry and geographical location
  • When a journalist swipes right on your pitch you will receive a notification and you and that journalist can now message each other directly via upitch instant messenger.

Journalists/Producers/Bloggers

Are you looking for your next news story idea?

  • Log in and choose your industry and geographical location filters
    Start swiping through concise and easy-to-read pitches that are relevant to what you cover
  • Swipe right on pitches you wish to pursue as stories and make direct contact with the person or brand who uploaded the pitch via upitch instant messenger to coordinate the story or to learn more
  • When you wish to end communication, simply hit “End Chat”

What’s not to love about a service that actually helps people connect with journalists who’ll write about their products and services? This is not an app review, but I have to tell you that I love upitch and I’ll be glad, hence this post, when more companies start using it so I can get some great stories that I choose to pursue.

Yes, it’s frugal. Any app or service that can help me do my job in a faster, more pleasant manor is frugal, because I don’t have to spend valuable time skimming through every random pitch that ends up in my Inbox. And I don’t have overzealous PR folks calling my cell phone number that somehow keeps being placed into the Cision database despite my protest and multiple removals.

The upitch app works for me. I like it. I’m glad that someone created this app and this service to better connect journalists and companies that have stories to tell. It’s not that I don’t love my PR homies; I do. It’s just that, for me, upitch works and it works well.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid or sponsored article and I’m in no way associated with upitch either financially or personally.

Advertisements

Go Fish: A Technology Journalist’s Torpedo Term

April 25, 2015 Comments off

gofishIf I tell you to “Go Fish,” you’d better do so and realize that there’s something awry with the product in question. I’m warning you about something and you should use your Google powers to find out what it is that I’m trying to tell you. I rarely resist telling and writing my opinions, which should be refreshing to you as a reader and as someone who wants to be educated on a particular technology, service, or company.

Allow me to explain.

As a technology journalist, product reviewer, technology writer, columnist, podcaster, videocaster, and full-time “in-the-trenches” technologist, I look at hundreds of products, services, and companies every year from one angle or another in the context of testing them for their print worthiness. I draw on my many years (20+) in this business to make those determinations and I do them with great discernment and caution. I consider it my duty as a journalist, as a writer, and as a fellow technologist to give you honest answers and assessments of those products, services, and companies. You might not always agree with me in those assessments, but know that they are honest and they are well thought out on my part.

The reason that I’m posting this is that I’m asked pretty often on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, and through email if I’ll evaluate a particular product, service, or company. Most of the time, it’s for potential inclusion in an article or in a review. That’s the way it works. Public Relations professionals, company representatives, and interested parties ask me to look at something because they want attention for it. For those that deserve it, I’m more than happy to help out in that effort. However, there are those that don’t deserve it for one reason or another and I don’t bother with them. I don’t normally ‘pan’ a product, service, or company unless it’s something so vile, so dangerous, or so ridiculous that I have to do so.

yardstickThe Rules:

If you ask me if I like product X, service Y, or company Z, and I do, then I’ll tell you that I do. I also tell you why I do. I’ll probably also suggest that you read my articles about that product that you can easily find using your Google powers.

If you ask me and I simply direct you to an article, then it’s a signal that you should ponder it more extensively. It’s not a no, but it’s also not a yes. It’s rather a “You should look into it further and draw your own conclusions.”

If you ask me and I tell you to “Go Fish,” then brother or sister, you should beware. ‘Go Fish’ doesn’t mean that I’m telling you to go jump in the lake, but it does mean that I’m telling you that either I’ve looked and decided not to touch or I’ve looked and am a hater. In either case, you should proceed with caution. You should use your Google powers and search for “Ken Hess Product X” without the quotation marks, where ‘Product X’ is the product, service, or company in question.

Endorsements and Reviews

Just so you know, I’ll never endorse a product that I don’t like. If I like a product and would recommend it to a friend or colleague, then I’ll endorse it. That goes for reviews as well. If I review a product and give it a great review, it’s because I genuinely like the product. I recommend most of the products I’ve reviewed to other people. For example, my wife’s boss was looking for a cover for her iPad mini. I reviewed the Dux case by STM Bags back in January 2015. When she asked, my wife and I recommended this case to her. She promptly bought it and loves it. See how that works?

pet_rockNow, if she had read the review first and purchased the case based on my review of 10/10, and been unhappy because I didn’t give an honest review, that would ruin my credibility with her and with anyone else who read it and bought it. However, we loved the case. My wife uses it on her iPad and won’t ever use anything else (probably).

This is also why it takes me longer than most people to do reviews. I use the product. I don’t just open a box and mess with it for a few minutes. I put the product or service through its paces. I’m not an ‘unboxer.’ When I tell you that a product is good, great, or awesome, you can believe that my experience was just that. As always though, your mileage may vary, but I do my best to give you an honest look.

I love cool technology. I love great products. I get genuinely excited about products, services, and companies. For example, I’ve written several times about a product and company called 2X. It’s an incredible product that’s easy and fun to use. Parallels (another company I’m really excited about) bought it.

I write about my experiences with products and services. I actually use the products that I review. If I wouldn’t use them or if they don’t live up to the marketing hype, I don’t review them. For example, a company sent me a product for review and I was super excited about it and couldn’t wait to show my son. When he came over the next day, I brought it out to show him and during my demonstration, part of the product broke. He tried to fix it. I tried to fix it. I told the company about it and they offered to replace it, but I said no. I just wanted them to know that it had broken and it shouldn’t have. I didn’t abuse it; it just wasn’t made well. I didn’t post the review. It was a $99 item that didn’t last 24 hours under normal use.

torpedoThe Bottom Line

I write about technology. If I see a technology that I like, I write about it. I don’t have to be prompted, prodded, or coerced in any sort of way. I don’t write about everything I see. Some things I prefer not to mention because I don’t like to give bad reviews. I write about technology that is innovative, creative, important, intriguing, disruptive, or a combination of those. If I haven’t written about it, either I haven’t looked at it or I have and I’ve decided against writing about it.

You can ask me (please do) if I’ve seen something or taken a look at a product. If I have and I like it, you’ll know it. If I’ve looked and decided not to touch it, for whatever reason, please heed my advice and go fish.

@kenhess

False Pretense Films

Films with a Twist

I'm Just Trying to Help

Helpful Hints, Tips, Tricks, and Info

5K a Day 2017

Our 2017 fitness goal

The securityNOW Podcast Show

Cybersecurity News and Interviews

LoneStarFreedomPress

Phoenix Republic - The Lone Star Gambit / Sovereign's Journey

%d bloggers like this: