PRfect Pitch focuses on interviewing journalists and other media people who PR agencies pitch regularly on behalf of clients. As the name implies, we like to deep-dive into what makes a “PRfect Pitch,” and the tips and tidbits that separate the good PR pros from the bad ones. 

Our 15th guest was Stacey Higginbotham, seasoned tech journalist and Editor/Publisher of Stacey on IoT. She’s also the co-host of This Week on Google, and host of the IoT Podcast. She’s been covering technology and finance for over 20 years. In this episode, Stacey shares a little bit about her journey into journalism, what she believes are the hot topics of tomorrow, and some of the things that she never wants to see PR people doing ever again. 

The Trends of Tomorrow

Stacey has written for publications such as Fortune (where she was a Senior Editor), Gigaom, PCMag, Business Insider and MIT Tech Review. To say the least, she knows a thing or two about tech trends. She believes the next few years will see some major developments on the Smart Home front, with companies starting to focus on the adaptability and accessibility of their products for a wider consumer base. 

On the business side of things, Stacey talked a little about how we might be able to adapt to the extreme interconnectivity that comes with 5G networks. She says that the metrics the data points from these networks provide will be able to discern some of the external factors associated with production to optimize for things that go beyond the profit margin, such as employee wellness or carbon emission reduction. 

How Many Lightbulbs, For One Good Story…

Stacey shared a wonderful story about a “PRfect Pitch” from Gazelle, a company that buys and sells used electronics. They pitched a story to her about the replacement of their management dashboards with a single Phillips Hue light bulb. As the bulb changed colors, the entire crew was made aware of the production line’s status for the day: on time, behind, or really behind. The bulb gives a signal that compounds information determined by the number of people working, the shipping backlog, the average productivity of the team, and the time USPS comes each day to collect the boxes. As it changes colors, management can quickly identify whether more people are needed on the production line, drastically improving production workflow. 

It’s a beautifully simple story that starts with a lightbulb. But the PR contact that brought it to Stacey’s attention approached her honestly and transparently, refraining from linking any previous articles or showering her with false flatteries. He had a great angle, wrote a nice pitch, and it ended up in Fortune – it was that simple. 

In short, it only takes one lightbulb to pitch one good story (but it must be a single Phillips Hue bulb). 

Timing, Timing, Timing

To our great surprise, Stacey talked about the PR contacts that pitch her great stories but are unavailable to follow-up with a timely interview. She says this happens more often than we might think and she urges PR pros to prepare their clients for interviews within a few days before and after a big release. Otherwise, the news loses its pertinence and Stacey is left wondering why you didn’t reach out to her when your client was actually ready for an interview. 

Coherence Is Key

When Stacey is looking into potential guests for her podcasts, she looks for spokespeople with three key features: 

  1. An approachable dialect (given the complexity of her beat)
  2. Coherence of speech (such that they are intelligible to as many people as possible) 
  3. Charisma and presence and a clear way of expressing their vision

Stacey made it no secret that she doesn’t often enjoy interacting with PR people, and that’s because the practices that’ve been used throughout the industry are wrought with inconsideration for media. That’s what we’re here to change, so that journalists like Stacey feel comfortable leaning into our support and utilizing us as resources rather than seeing us as antagonists. 


We want to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment on this interview with Stacey on YouTube, which can be found here

You can also listen to this season of PRfect Pitch via Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast platform.