News media has the ability to make and break businesses and organizations of all types and sizes, yet many of the people in those organizations don’t really understand how newsrooms work, or the appropriate ways to be heard.
We decided the best way to find out was to ask questions of a local expert. Before Mila Sanina became the executive director of the non-profit PublicSource(.org), she worked at CNN, PBS NewsHour and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She came by the Epicast Studios this week to speak with Scot about accuracy in reporting, advertiser influence, and best practices in submitting press releases.
Remember Lisa Davidson of The Outsourced Sales Manager? She was last in the Epicast Studios for our two-parter with BoXZY in Pitchwerks #7 & #8. Today, Lisa drops in to talk about prospecting - the art of finding new customers.
Lisa and Scot talk LinkedIn, gatekeepers, and the right mix of ingredients needed for a cold call to go well. Whether you’re just getting started, or want to learn the new fundamentals, this episode will help you to fill your funnel and close more deals!
Consultant John Seiffer of CEOBootCamp.com likes to say that he helps businesses through “puberty” - a period where they are becoming what they will ultimately become. This week, John steps behind the mic to talk about making success predictable - and while his specific area of expertise is in guiding companies, many of his observations are valuable for individuals too.
When he’s not working with clients, John spends time as an engaged member of the Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Forum (pghef.com) and its various events.
Who knows high-stakes pitching better than a decorated trial lawyer? Jason Matzus, a “PA Super Lawyer” and instructor at the University of Pittsburgh, was kind enough to drop in and spend some time in the Epicast Network studios to talk pitchcraft.
When you present your ideas in a personal injury case, there’s little room for interpretation on how it went. The outcome is clear and the jury’s not looking to protect the lawyer’s feelings. Attorney Matzus offers “clear, cogent and concise” advice for making a successful case.
The Pitchwerks Podcast holds special respect for sales pros like Krystle Nirschel, who actually sells the sales pitches that brands need to make their case. Krystle handles both sales and production for Cold Spark Media, meaning that she is bringing in new clients and then overseeing the creation of the videos and other media that they’ve commissioned.
Krystle and Cold Spark used the company’s early success in winning political campaigns as a springboard to win new accounts in more traditional arenas. For this, the 20th episode of The Pitchwerks Podcast, Krystle visits Scot and The Pitchwerks Podcast at the Epicast studios to talk about what it takes to sell - and then construct - winning media campaigns.
Whether you’re starting a new manufacturing company or coding an app as a side hustle, you’re probably not an expert on taxation or finance. So do you really know the implications of the decisions you’re making?
28-year-old CPA and entrepreneur Shawn Giewont drove 150+ miles from Brink & Giewont HQ in Erie, PA to the Epicast Network studios in Pittsburgh. Shawn sits down with Scot to kick off Tax Season 2017, talking about common mistakes, 1099s and the genius of coworking.
You have never heard of Kelevra Ideas, because even though they’re a marketing firm, they don’t really market themselves. Kelevra co-founder Bill Fletcher visited Scot MacTaggart and The Pitchwerks Podcast at the Epicast studios to talk about how he and his partner Marcus Miller earned a reputation for social media and digital marketing among some of the largest non-profits and charitable organizations in the country.
Bill and Scot discuss the Kelevra’s history, their “6X ROI” approach, and how exactly they built their startup into a name brand in just six years.
Last week, we talked to Yvonne Campos about her new women-oriented angel investment group, the Next Act Fund. This week, Scot helps us all to get to know her a little better - from the nationally renowned market research firm that bears her name, to the Women President’s Organization and how things are changing for our daughters.
Like many of our guests, Yvonne is kind enough to provide her email address to the Pitchwerks audience, and offers assistance to those that might need it.
Did you know that 99% of venture capitalists and 86% of angel investors are male? Believe it. Today’s guest is Yvonne Campos, and before she started the Next Act Fund, she ran her own successful market research firm for 30 years. She knows numbers and how to read them, and those figures are the only explanation she can come up with when asked why so many good female-run firms aren’t getting enough investment dollars.
Yvonne and her partners aren’t saying that there’s a conspiracy or anything, they’re just acting on the data. The Next Act Fund is by women and for women - and it invests in opportunities that others sometimes don’t see.
(We may look like marketing geniuses for releasing this right after last weekend’s widely popular Women’s Marches, but it’s just a lucky coincidence. This episode was scheduled a month in advance!)
As the former CEO of a nationally ranked electrical contracting firm, Fred Sargent knows quite a bit about the various facets of American business thinking. Over the past 25 years, Fred has built and explored a deep passion for the service industry, and how it can improve our businesses and our collective future.
Fred’s visit to the Epicast studios includes some of the pitches for his newest venture, Great Service Forums, and to discuss how the service or support department of your business may be the secret to that next big sale you have your eye on.
Normally you’d have to pay consulting fees or tuition for his insights, but Dr. Calum Matheson of the University of Pittsburgh was kind enough to come into the Epicast studios to discuss the field of argument, persuasion and decision.
Calum and Scot start by analyzing the way young people make career decisions, discuss the tactics used in the 2016 presidential election, and still find time to make references to early-80’s pulp culture in the form of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Conan the Barbarian” and Rush’s “Permanent Waves” album.
If you’ve ever been employed by a big company, or worked with the federal government, you’d know that (by necessity) these are the homes of bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is usually hostile ground for creatives and entrepreneurs.
On this edition of The Pitchwerks Podcast, Scot visits with Andrew Milisits - an entrepreneur who is so comfortable in these large environments that he can actually see pain points and opportunity. The two talk about custom software development, Bell Labs, and Andrew’s secret weapon for developing a winning solution.
Few people embody the spirit of this show as well as Brandon Womack, the Executive Vice President of Phazzer Electronics, the President and CEO of Homeland Intelligence and Protective Services, and the majority partner of Blue Line Training and Consulting. Brandon has five kids, three businesses and a wife...and if he didn’t have enough going on, he’s moving to Florida.
Devon Sioui is a celebrated visual artist from Ontario, who has moved on from working in the social media marketing space and made her art into her full-time job. As a working artist, she’s not afraid of art criticism, but she dreads writing the descriptions and artist statements that explains her work and its value to viewers, buyers and patrons.
Few people have interviewed and hired as many people as Joe Fink, who visits the Pitchwerks crew at the Epicast studios just as he himself is going through a change in his career. Joe speaks with Scot about his unique perspective as both hiring manager and employment candidate.
Topics include resume layout, personal branding and spray-on hair.
...but only after his “hippie” “woo-woo” “holistic” approach makes you more successful.
Coach Aaron Schiller came to eat cake and reveal objections...and he’s all out of cake. A Silicon Valley all-star, Aaron has worked with Facebook, AT&T and Yale University. He joins us by remote to talk about his emotionally intelligent brand of selling, and finishes up by offering his direct number and a free half-hour to our listeners!
Our conversation continues with Hadley Pratt and Joel Johnson, and Lisa Davidson of The Outsourced Sales Manager. The group explores the nature of closing and the step-by-step sales process, culture gets a long look, Hadley asks a hard question, and Scot and Lisa disagree on the answer.
Breaking from the show’s usual format, Hadley Pratt and Joel Johnson stop by the studio to talk about BoXZY, their breakthrough product for makers and schools. The group talks about how a small tech company that prefers not to sell can still meet Scot’s stated goal of “getting BoXZY into every school”. Lisa Davidson of The Outsourced Sales Manager joins as a special guest.
Joey Vallarian wants you to call him when your CFO gets arrested. After weeks of guests talking about how they achieved tremendous success, Scot invites crisis PR specialist Joey Vallarian of Communication and Crisis (communicationandcrisis.com) on to the show to talk about the curveballs that life and luck can throw a startup or a sales team, and how to manage it when things get rocky.
Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman works at the grocery store. OK, he’s really there to shop...but as a local councilman he is always selling the constituents, city council and local media on his vision for the city. He rightly points out that despite the fact that he is always on stage, his pitches normally get cut down to a single tweet or one-sentence soundbite. For his pitch, Councilman Gilman makes a convincing case for opening an office in Pittsburgh.
Earl Wyatt writes pitches for other people. Technology and digital advertising specialist Earl Wyatt, founder of Feedigital (feedigital.com), has worked on every type of ad campaign - and now he’s working on the ad networks of the future.
Gerald Fong is building a CRM cleanup tool, but to do it, he has to give you some free sales leads first. Soon after emerging from Y Combinator’s Winter 2016 batch, Elucify (getelucify.com) CEO Gerald Fong talks about sky-high San Francisco rents, gets frustrated about how hard it is to reach people, and how a high-achieving engineering guy embraces salespeople as his target market.
If you’re listening at work - you may want to turn down the volume for the spicy little F-bomb in Gerald’s answer about why he decided to build a tool for salespeople.
Nicholas Jordan does not have time for sleep. A consultant, venture capitalist and charity fundraiser, Nicholas Jordan calls into the studio from Washington, DC to discuss networking, venture capitalism, time management and piranhas.
Jim Gibbs says that infrastructure sounds expensive. The CEO behind the Meter Feeder parking app (meterfeeder.com) comes into the studio to talk about startups, kickboxing, Y Combinator, and the evolution of the Meter Feeder pitch.