Frequently Asked Questions
PRX is a team of software engineers and PR professionals working together to bring the old- school PR industry to the modern world. We’re based in San Francisco and are backed by notable Silicon Valley investors including Y Combinator.
While it varies depending on the person and the audience a journalist writes for, a good story in the traditional journalistic sense has the following qualities.
You can read more about what makes for a good story by consulting these resources.
- Timeliness: Why now? Is there a real time hook forcing me that will move this story to the top of the list?
- Prominence: Does it involve anyone that matters to me? (e.g. celebrities, star investors, companies I care about, etc)
- Impact/Consequence: Why does it matter to me?
- Surprising: Tell me something I don’t know that I can in turn surprise my readers with
- Proximity: Is it near me? Does it “hit close to home” for my readers?
- Conflict: Does it take a stand on a hot-topic issue?
- Human Interest: Will people want to read it?
- Sign up for a consultation call with one of our PR managers (no commitment needed). Once we’ve learned a bit about your story, we can offer suggestions and help you set expectations about PR.
- To begin the engagement, we start every month with a “Story Development Call.” This is where we talk to you about the story you want to pitch or brainstorm and come up with some story ideas that might work for you. We’ll take one of the stories and do a deep-dive where we interview you like a journalist to help you flesh out the story.
- In 24 hours, you’ll get an email to set up your account on the PRX dashboard, where you’ll also get to review the transcript from our conversation and finish building your Media Brief using it. A Media Brief serves as the official record of your story that we will share with interested journalists. It serves a similar function as a “press release” or a “media kit,” but we’ve found our format to be more useful to a journalist.
- After you’ve finished building the Media Brief in the dashboard, we’ll prepare a Pitch Strategy document for you to review. The pitch strategy will go over how we plan to approach the media with your story.
- We will start the outreach process as soon as you give us the final go-ahead by clicking on “Start Media Outreach” in the dashboard. At this point, our PR managers will identify the right journalists for your story, craft short and personalized pitch emails, reach out to the media via email, and follow up aggressively. This part of the process can take up to 3 weeks.
- As soon as we determine that a journalist is interested, we’ll connect them with you to answer questions, do interviews, or provide additional information to help them write a compelling story.
- Along the way, feel free to ask us any questions on how to best proceed with each media opportunity. On the flip side, it’s also possible that your story fails to get meaningful traction from reporters. While not ideal, this happens frequently and is partially the reason why PR agencies always ask for long-term commitments. Fortunately, you chose PRX, and we’ve made it affordable and easy to iterate on your story and messaging. For the next month, we can approach your story from a different angle, try adding new elements to the story, change up the media targets, and incorporate the feedback we get from journalists.
- You’ll get progress updates from us via email every step of the way. You can also keep track of the progress of your campaign through the dashboard.
- Exactly 21 days after the initial pitch, you’ll receive a final wrap-up from us with detailed feedback and our advice on how to move forward next month. We’ll invite you to do another call with your PR manager where we can help you navigate the media based on everything we’ve learned to give you the best chance at getting exposure.
First, we send personalized email pitches to targeted journalists.
Once we’ve identified the right journalists for your story based on a variety of factors (including but not limited to their expertise, background, recent interest as demonstrated by their writing, Tweets, etc.), we send them an email pitch similar to the one below.
A sample email pitch we send to journalists
Second, we send a Media Brief.
The Media Brief is for any journalists who express interest and includes an edited transcript of our 30-minute conversation, along with any images and videos you provide of your product in action. This is our version of the “press release” or “media kit,” and it’s proven to be a great resource for journalists to learn more about your story.
The Media Brief we present to the journalists
Unlike most agencies, we don’t require a complex sales process. If you have the story ready in your head and you understand our model, we can get started immediately and have your story pitched in as little as two days. We do generally recommend coming to us a week before you want to pitch so you have some time to go over the story with us and prepare the necessary material.
Please note that unless we are embargoing the story or offering an exclusive, the “pitch date” is just when we initiate the outreach. We can’t guarantee when the stories will get written or published, but if it happens, it tends to happen within 3 weeks of the pitch date.
No. We write the pitches; journalists write the articles. If you are looking to pitch something you wrote for syndication, please let your PR manager know.
We’ve streamlined the PR process and built a set of software tools to assist our PR managers.
The process is partially automated, and no, we don’t spam. A real human PR manager is reaching out to the media on your behalf. Some of the automated and semi-automated processes we’ve developed include:
- Customer dashboard and account management workflow
- Matching algorithm and powerful search to help us efficiently identify the perfect media targets for your stories
- Pitch email campaign management
- The biggest and most up-to-date journalist database
- Media monitoring and analysis
We don’t guarantee media coverage, but you can expect an honest, transparent effort from us. No black box. This is the reason why most agencies lock you into long-term engagements upwards of 9–12 months. The truth is that no one can really guarantee coverage. Agencies claim to have “relationships,” but it’s often exaggerated. Journalists are too smart to write a low-quality story just because they know someone at the PR firm. With longer-term engagements, agencies can afford to try different angles and do more for you on the strategy side and even create content for your blog/social media. We don’t do that, and instead we focus on doing media outreach well.
Like PR agencies, we aim to give you the peace of mind you need to ensure that we are doing all we can to help you garner media coverage for your story. Unlike PR agencies, we operate an efficient, transparent, and software-enabled operation. Here’s what we don’t do:
- We don’t waste your time with meetings and conference calls
- We don’t try to impose on your time and energy with a full strategy review
- We don’t create content for you
- We don’t charge $6–30k/month
Yes. On the story development call, we will decide on the right strategy for your story.
Embargoes are appropriate if you have a high-value story that journalists will have to cover regardless or if you have a real, non-artificial deadline.
Exclusives are appropriate if you want to trade potentially broad coverage in order to increase the appeal of your story or if you want one particular journalist to spend more time and do a good job.
No. Our Media Brief replaces the function of a press release as a definitive source on the story we are pitching for you.
If you are looking to use a press release, we recommend learning about it first. Here are all the things press releases WILL NOT accomplish for you:
- Increase SEO: In 2014, Google Panda 4.0 significantly reduced the SEO value of press releases. SEO experts agree it’s no longer effective without resulting in media coverage.
- Garner media coverage: Most journalists don’t read press releases unless you’re a big company they follow. The only gating factor for distributing a press release is money, which is not a strong signal for quality. Some media outlets have an arrangement to syndicate press releases just to have more content on the site, but they are typically buried and not exposed to the readers. The syndicated releases are also removed after a few days.