In her mid-20s, Amy Summers took an ethical stand with her bosses at a PR firm and was promptly told to leave. In 2003, she founded Pitch Publicity®, out of client demand, and a desire to create a new style of PR agency – one that focused on people, not profits.
CHALLENGES CREATE OPPORTUNITY
OPPORTUNITIES CREATE CHANGE
This has been the theme throughout Pitch Publicity®’s timeline,
and also for the clients we have served.
An ingredient found in a succulent, cactus-like plant from the Kalahari Desert was hitting the United States as the hottest new weight loss supplement in 2004, but the market was crowded and the messaging was confusing regarding which products to trust. Pitch Publicity® made recommendations to a startup company, that was sourcing the purest certified form of the hoodia gordonii ingredient, to brand the ingredient name before embarking on a publicity campaign, which eventually catapulted the company onto retail shelves with high consumer demand, resulting in a profitable buyout of the brand.
A Japanese tomato-based food and beverage company set to rival a long-standing vegetable juice staple in America worked with Pitch Publicity® in 2005 to communicate to parents the health benefits of pure vegetable juice, free of preservatives and artificial ingredients, while successfully persuading children to trade in their fruit juice for vegetable juice.
A man on a mission to prevent childhood blindness in underdeveloped countries with a simple dose of vitamin A, was about to second mortgage his house to keep his nonprofit afloat. In 2006, Pitch Publicity® designed a fundraising campaign that expanded their mission and exceeded funding expectations, a model that the nonprofit continued for six consecutive years, with Pitch Publicity®, and still uses today.
In 2007, one of the largest pet food recalls in history affected 5,300 brands and killed or injured thousands of cats and dogs. After working with a startup, sustainable, natural and organic pet food brand, Pitch Publicity® had its client perfectly poised as the model pet food company that was the only pet food free of contaminants during this scare, eventually earning it a No. 1 market share in the natural pet food category, while supporting more than 3,000 family farmers by offering them a premium price for their non-prime meat products.
The Great Recession that accelerated in 2008 and lasted through 2009 was a difficult financial time for several businesses, many of which did not recover. Pitch Publicity® survived this challenging time by moving to a remote office set-up and has been successfully operating remotely since 2010, keeping our focus on people, not places.
Coming off a prolonged, down economy, good talent was difficult to recruit for an innovative remote-style business. So in 2011, Pitch Publicity® initiated a pre-professional internship program for public relations majors that has since successfully launched dozens of careers for college students, while proving that mentorship is pivotal to expediting professional growth.
The tragic death of a family’s infant daughter morphed into a restorative mission to save the lives of hundreds of children diagnosed with cancer in developing countries. In 2012, Pitch Publicity® developed this message of hope into an audible re-brand that elevated the family nonprofit to new heights in fundraising initiatives.
For nearly a decade, a trade organization worked diligently to create a unique path for animal dietary supplements to go to market and define standards for the product supply chain that ensured retailers and consumers could trust animal supplements, but had a difficult time articulating this message. In 2013, Pitch Publicity® elevated their positioning with a rebrand of their quality seal that expanded their outreach to pet parents and retailers as a trustworthy, third-party verifying source.
Jacques Cousteau’s grandson and his team of aquanauts set out to break Cousteau’s long-standing, 30-day record of living under the sea. In 2014, Pitch Publicity® joined the challenge, pro-bono, and made the new generation Cousteau story a daily, worldwide news item from splash-down to splash-up.
A French-based company with the No. 1 homeopathic brand in the world was faced with the threat of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) crackdown on the marketing and advertising of over-the-counter homeopathic products in the United States. Pitch Publicity® was engaged in 2015 to lead a multi-year publicity campaign effort to keep the company’s top two homeopathic brands front and center with consumers, while educating about safety and efficacy of its products.
In 2016, a team of U.S. Army soldiers, a single-leg amputee veteran and documentary filmmaker set out to summit Mount Everest, facing multiple challenges including getting their story out. Pitch Publicity® put them on the national center stage and told their record-breaking story, live at the top of Mount Everest.
A doctor boarded a United Airlines plane in 2017 to head home, but didn’t make it because of an overbooked situation and was shockingly dragged off the plane when he refused to give up his seat. Pitch Publicity® quickly responded with a statement from its client, a private, on-demand, airplane service, on how the situation could have been better handled using accessible private airplanes, which brought national focus to the startup and attracted another major round of investment funding.
With huge lag times in the publishing industry and lack of access to aspiring authors, Pitch Publicity® founder, Amy Summers, launched “The Pitch with Amy Summers” microcast, a short form podcast, on Amazon’s Alexa in 2018. Her experiment to see if experts could gain credibility quicker and more efficiently through voice technology versus publishing a book was a success. It has since become one of the most highly rated communications flash briefings on Amazon’s platform since its inception.
As faulty CBD/cannabis products were selling out of control on one of the largest online retailers in 2019, Pitch Publicity® worked with a leading trade association in the natural products industry to issue a buyer beware to consumers that Amazon’s No. 1 hemp bestseller contained CBD despite a no CBD sales policy on the site, which resulted in Amazon requiring a certificate of analysis and proof of valid good manufacturing practice (GMP) certification from manufacturers, leveling the playing field a bit.
With a lack of monetization and cataloging options for microcasters, Amy Summers launched a second company called INICIVOX® in 2020, to organize “The Pitch with Amy Summers” into a virtual mentorship course that serves as a model platform for voice-driven expertise and mentorship.
During a racial reckoning and an isolating pandemic in 2020, Pitch Publicity® and INICIVOX® produced a virtual, award-winning diversity and inclusion series for seasoned public relations, advertising and media professionals to mentor students at a top ranked, predominantly white university and a historically Black university called, “Identifying The Elephant In The Room: Critical Communication Strategies in the Face of Racism.” The program won the PR News 2021 Best Diversity & Inclusion Campaign modeling for other businesses and institutions positive proactivity over stagnant paralysis during a crisis.
With panic and fear from the COVID-19 pandemic shaping new shopping patterns for consumers in 2021, Pitch Publicity® worked with one of the leading natural health and wellness stores in the country to bring to light the role of the independent retailer as a trendsetter in customer service and immune health education.
Working with a legendary pioneer in integrative cardiology, during the final years of his life and career, Pitch Publicity® elevated the work and insights of Dr. Stephen Sinatra from 2020 until his passing in 2022 by scheduling hundreds of virtual media interviews around the country through the power of technology to educate the public on ways to improve their health during what he called one of the most frightening pandemics of our time.
In 2023, Pitch Publicity® celebrated 20 years of opening doors for others in the face of communication challenges.