Storm with clouds and lightning strikes

When strategizing with clients on how to make a splash on the day of a big announcement, there’s one technique we come back to time and time again – pre-pitching.

Having one to two weeks before an announcement drops truly makes the job of a tech PR professional easier, and it allows us to secure quality coverage with our clients’ key messaging. With pre-pitching, we can identify compelling headlines, deliver the right angles of the story to the right journalists, and have our spokespeople jump on the phone with media targets, which is truly invaluable.

Here at March, we like to take a similar approach in the weeks leading up to a client’s appearance at a conference. We reach out to media and analysts one month in advance, and we offer them the chance to schedule conversations with our clients at the show before their calendars fill up. It often makes for a very busy conference for our spokespeople – but ultimately, a very happy client.

Pre-Pitching In Action: OnApp’s Successful Compute Federation Launch

For March client OnApp’s compute federation announcement on June 16, we were able to combine both of these strategies for a perfect storm of success. As Cheryl mentions in her recent blog post, OnApp attended the hosting industry’s biggest event of the year, HostingCon. The goal? To network with customers and showcase their federated compute marketplace for the first time.

March and OnApp’s strategy from the start was to turn heads, both at the conference and in the media, by positioning the compute federation as a more flexible, far-reaching alternative to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) giants like Amazon and Rackspace. In fact, “world’s biggest public cloud” was a phrase we used frequently in our outreach and conversations with journalists and analysts, along with useful conclusions drawn from market research.

With time and a compelling message on our side, we facilitated 13 briefings (a combination of phone conversations and in-person meetings at HostingCon) and secured 11 pieces of coverage in publications like SiliconANGLE, GigaOM and Data Center Knowledge.

And, just as we had hoped, there was no shortage of head-turning headlines. These included “The world’s biggest cloud?” in and “OnApp globalizes public cloud offerings, doubling rival AWS locations,” in SiliconANGLE. Supported by customer testimonials at HostingCon and the bold claims OnApp was willing to make on social media, the launch truly was a success and the perfect example of the importance of pre-pitching!


This post was first published by Stephanie Jackman on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.