Two to Tango: HowToPitch.me and Pitching Notes Want to Match Them

Dancers doing the tango in ArgentinaThe dance between public relations professionals and journalists has always been a bit of a tango – the two are linked in a close embrace, share a common axis and it can be rather volatile.

Recently two new services crossed my radar that attempt to help fill the dance cards of each of these groups with partners matched to their appropriate skills.

First was Pitching Notes, a U.S.-based, free service where members can share their reporter experiences with other PR professionals. Reporters are also encouraged to join so they can tell members how they prefer to be pitched, and what will most likely get a response from them.

In an Orlando Sentinel story last month, co-founder Jeannie Clary said it can be a challenge to convince public relations pros it’s ok to give negative feedback about a reporter, as well as the positive.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship,” Clary said. “We sometimes have a fear of upsetting reporters in the industry with a bad review. But including those types of comments, without insulting anyone, helps keep reviews honest and everyone accountable.”

At the time that article was published, Clary’s team was still trying looking for ways to actually make money from the site. According to an email to members last week, however, they’ve begun experimenting with special levels of membership to address this.

Pitching Notes has created two classes of membership: “General” and “Club.” Only Club members will be able to access the pitching notes and reviews for each media professional. In addition to creating revenue, they hope that the change will help spark the growth of the database – limiting who has access and encouraging more people to submit notes, including those potentially negative ones.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, HowToPitch.me has launched with a very similar goal. Billing itself as a personal space for journalists and bloggers to state what they’re interested in and what they aren’t.

The creator of HowToPitch.me, Nicholas Holmes, told Journalism.co.uk:

“So much ink has been spilled on PR spam and how to stop it. Part of the problem is that access to journalists is still a bit of a walled garden. You have to pay for media databases – and I don’t see why that should be the case.”

A freelance travel writer himself, Holmes’ own profile provides a peek into the type of content he’s hoping more journos will provide.

Screenshot of HowToPitch.me Profile

I wish both services all the best because their shared goals can only help improve the dance.

Tango image via Creative Commons courtesy Bernardo Lopez

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