There’s a Tinder-Like App to Match Journalists with Story Leads

October 30, 2015

8:00 am

There's a new app that promises users a free, direct pitching platform that offers journalists with a Tinder-like app to match them with story leads. Similar to PR tools like HARO and Muckrack which allow anyone to answer journalist queries and to track what journalists are talking about on Twitter, UPitch claims to help PR pros and startups to facilitate direct journalist matches with catchy 400-character pitches.

In a blog post that Allison Kugel, one of UPitch's founders, recently published in The Huffington Post, she writes:

“We're embracing Instagram images and tweets and rolling our eyes at long form declarations. So why are businesses, brands and people still using 700 word press releases and page-long PR pitches if it doesn't suit today's current communicative mindscape?”

With the UPitch app, anyone can upload what Kugel has dubbed a “micropitch,” or the Cliff’s Notes of a press release, into the app’s live swipe feed and choose their media categories to attract journalists who have covered similar stories. Journalists open UPitch, use the filter to ensure they only see pitches of interest to their beat, and they swipe through their pitch feed the way someone swipes through hopeful suitors on Tinder.

Benefit to Startups:

  • Pitching journalists on UPitch is free and your pitches get equal screen time on the app to those that are submitted by established PR firms.
  • It’s paint by numbers. The app’s template prompts you with where to put your information, so you don’t have to be a seasoned at composing press releases.
  • It fits the “just the facts” approach that busy journalists crave and you can add up to five images to your pitch.
  • Journalists using the app are actively looking for pitches in their beat, so they aren’t met with the disdain of unsolicited cold email pitches. You can communicate with journalists who swipe right on your pitch via the app’s chat/message feature.

Benefit to Journalists:

  • Instead of bombarding your email inbox with long pitches – many of which don’t fit the bill – UPitch takes pitching out of your inbox and onto a mobile app.
  • You can filter by beat what kinds of pitches appear in your swipe feed.
  • Pitches are no more than 400 characters each – just hitting the important highlights.
  • You can browse pitches quickly and efficiently, and even look for sources to round out stories you are currently working on.
  • Search and swipe in anonymity. UPitch does not share any journalist information with pitchers. Only when you swipe right on a pitch can the pitcher make direct communication.

If there’s something we know about journalists: they’re pressed for time. And, even if they weren’t, their patience runs thin as their email inboxes overflow with too many pitches – many of which are not personalized or in line with what they cover. According to 2014 AdWeek article states:

“68 percent of journalists say they ‘just want the facts’ or the who, where, why and when. 53 percent said they’d prefer that you deliver that info in bullet point form – and 36 percent are at least open to the idea of presenting it that way.”

This information bodes well for the UPitch way of pitching journalists. “It’s how people prefer to share and receive information in 2015,” adds Kugel, referring to the mobile micropitch format journalists are offered on the UPitch app.

Believing that mobile is the future of public relations and of news discovery for journalists, Kugel, along with brother and app co-founder, Jared Kugel, have set out to re-make an entire industry. They’re attempting to turn the traditional press release and email pitching format on its ear, though they admit they are climbing Mt. Everest.

“We’re in our infancy. Right now we’re in daily communication with our community, finding out what they would like to see on the app and how we can improve and perfect their overall user experience. We want to create a communications revolution and we’re in for quite a journey.”

(H/T The Huffington Post)

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Muhammad Azam is a blogger and Journalist who writes about the latest gadgets and cloud computing related topics.