We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Ann Noder. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Ann below.
Ann, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Folks often look at a successful business and imagine it was an overnight success, but from what we’ve seen this is often far from the truth. We’d love to hear your scaling up story – walk us through how you grew over time – what were some of the big things you had to do to grow and what was that scaling up journey like?
Being smart about growth has always been an important focus for me. The path was always rooted in our results. Many other PR agencies have extensive sales teams, focused on finding and landing new clients. That’s their financial model. It’s not ours. Pitch PR is focused on servicing the clients we have with an unparalleled level of results. We wow our clients. We deliver on editorial coverage that helps them grow their businesses. Because of those strong results, our clients stay with us over time, from startup to acquisition. Many of our companies have grown through various funding rounds and many have been acquired in hefty deals from larger brands like JP Morgan, American Express, UPS, etc. In addition to retaining business, our reputation means we are completely referral driven. Our happy clients tell their friends and colleagues and Pitch PR has grown from a one-person team to an 18+ team with an array of clients across all industries. For us “scaling up,” means staying hyper-focused on showing success and then letting the great reputation and word-of-mouth do the rest.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I am a former TV news reporter and anchor, I spent 10 years in broadcasting before making the switch to public relations – and definitely found my true passion!
In 2009, I started Pitch Public Relations, a Phoenix-based boutique firm specializing in national media for consumer and business-to-business companies. Our company has grown significantly over the past 12+ years and our work is unmatched.
Pitch PR’s team has a distinguished reputation for delivering significant media coverage with top tier national outlets such as Forbes, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Business Insider, CNN, Oprah Magazine, Today Show, Real Simple, Martha Stewart, and so much more.
Our style is unique in that we tailor the pitch depending on the media target for maximum exposure.
We are scrappy and relentless in our approach!
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
Resiliency is essential to being a successful business owner as there are challenges at every corner and every stage of growth. But I also think resiliency is absolutely critical in PR.
Typically with our clients and projects, we identify the strategies we are going to take to secure meaningful editorial coverage and then we execute on that plan. It doesn’t always work out of the gate and that’s when we have to quickly adjust, reevaluate, and move forward with another plan of action.
Our team is in a constant state of figuring out what will penetrate and land with our media contacts, who are often inundated with pitches. How can we make our clients stand out? That means pushing through when something doesn’t work and finding something that will. We call that persistence and it’s in our PR DNA, but it’s also resiliency in that we won’t accept failure.
Have you ever had to pivot?
I definitely pivoted in career when I left journalism in 2002 for public relations. I loved being a TV news reporter/anchor, covering daily breaking news and special projects. I had always wanted to be a broadcast journalist and never thought I would leave that profession. But when I had my first son, I made the decision to move back to Phoenix to be closer to family and took a chance on using my news knowledge in another way. I have never regretted that switch.
On the professional side, I would venture to say that every business had to adjust to some degree in 2020 when the pandemic hit, and Pitch PR is no exception. While we didn’t have to completely pivot, we did adjust our length of contracts and scope of work to give smaller, potential clients the opportunity to “test the waters” with PR. With so many uncertainties, many businesses didn’t want to fully commit to traditional service levels, but they also thought they could benefit from a quick boost of exposure. We made it happen and it turned out to be a wise decision as we helped those businesses survive and thrive, and because the the PR was so successful, they decided to keep it going. and committed to ongoing activities. A little bit of lemonade out of lemons!
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