“It’s been ingrained in me to watch the news early in the morning,” says Annie Scranton, founder and president of Pace Public Relations and host of the PR Pace podcast. “Without reading and consuming the news voraciously I wouldn’t be able to do my job.”
Before she started her industry-agnostic agency 11 years ago, Annie worked in broadcast for eight years—primarily as an editorial producer. “My function was to find interesting stories that would make for compelling segments and then find and book the guests who would do the interviews with my anchor,” says Annie.
Now on the flipside, she’s the one pitching guests with interesting stories. “We have multiple clients on national TV every single day,” says Annie, “But we’re also very entrenched in digital media, print media, radio and podcasts as well.”
Pace’s clients fall into three divisions: experts like lawyers and medical doctors who primarily want to get booked on cable news; B2B companies that include cybersecurity, tech starts ups, and media properties; and lifestyle brands and influencers. Clients have been featured in Reuters, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times and on CNN, Good Morning America, and CBS Radio.
The agency’s record is beyond impressive, but Annie makes sure to set expectations with clients early on—because in PR there are no guarantees. “The biggest mistake a PR pro can make is to overpromise and underdeliver,” says Annie. “I am pitching real journalists who work at legitimate, credible news institutions. I don’t control what they will find interesting or what they want to write about or what their editor will assign them as a story.”
While Annie may not be able to control every outcome, she’s doesn’t shy away from sharing the value her agency offers to brands that are looking for coverage. “Without hiring us or another agency, your chances of breaking in are slim because you really need to work with somebody who not only has the connections within those media outlets and those reporters, but also understands how to tell your story.”
Annie thinks PR pros—especially those just starting out in the industry—can better serve their clients by being more confident in their role as media expert. Her recommendations for honing your confidence: Follow your interests, stay current on trends, and habitually consume a broad range of media.