According to Taylor, owner of comms agency Polkadot Communications, the processes for pitching journalists and news organisations used by brands and PR firms are now “quite antiquated”.
“We’re still implementing the same communication methods as we were ten, 15, 20 years ago,” she says. “I have also been a journalist, so I’ve sat on both sides of the fence and, in my experience, journalists just want the story. They just want to know what the hook is and the angle, and they don’t want to receive unnecessary pictures. At the same time, a PR person only wants to issue out a pitch that’s going to be relevant to media.
“Now, we rely on third-party resources to download databases, those databases are not accurate. Media move around all the time and we also want to improve our efficiencies in the way that we pitch stories for journalists. So, I thought the next technology in multiple industry sectors is via an app and how can I improve the efficiencies between the communication on both sides of the marketplace?”
Launching in April 2019, Story Match is a mobile and desktop platform that journalists to set up a profile by creating industry tags that are only of interest to them. They can also choose the location of where these stories come from, so it can be state and territory specific or it can just be the whole country. They can also link their LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram handles and embellish information a little bit more about themselves. Once a journalist has set up their profile, they then open the app and get notifications if a story matches their interests.
“On the other side of the platform,” says Taylor, “the other user base being a brand or a PR person, if they want to pump out a story suggestion to a journalist instead of writing a press release that goes back and forth between the clients and the agency, multiple rounds of changes, agency hours costing the client lots of money – they are able to pump out a pitch which is a very abbreviated version of what a traditional press release would be.
“Basically, the PR person or the brand can add a story headline – which is 150 characters – and then can add the story – which is 500 characters. They then can embellish it with images or videos that are low res, just to peak the interest of the journo. Then, this is where the magic happens, they add industry sectors to their story. So, if it’s a story that’s tech-related, they would hit the tech industry tag. If it’s news, they hit news, etc. It would set the location based on where the story is relevant to.
“The story then, you have the option of setting the expiration period, so it can either expire in seven days, 24 hours or 30 days and then it goes live onto the platform. If the journalist and the story being posted match on industry sectors, the journalist will see the story. If they don’t like the story, they swipe left or they hit the cross button. If they do like the story, they swipe write or hit the tick button.”
Following the April launch, Taylor says the next development on the app’s roadmap will allow journalists to put out calls to agencies and brands for leads/content suitable for stories they might be working on. Initially targeting the Australian market, Taylor says the platform will eventually roll-out internationally.