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Meet the Interviewee and Learn About Her History: I was able to get in touch with Scout via email and ask her 5-6 questions about her writing process at Scout’s Agency and also about her history with writing. Additionally, I worked at Scout’s Agency for two years, so I understand a lot of the mechanics of the agency but was interested in learning more about Scout’s specific process as she often likes to work independently in a quiet office to channel her creativity and create the client persona to a T.  Scout Sobel has been the CEO of Scout’s Agency for the past four years. Scout’s Agency is a podcast public relations agency specializing in getting female entrepreneurs as guests on podcasts.  She started the agency because she had been podcasting with her sister for two years when she saw the power of podcasting and decided that more people needed to learn how podcasting can change your entire personal brand.  Scout had many jobs before she created Scout’s Agency. She left college early to start up a magazine that had Halsey on the cover of it and later turned into an editorial company that she sold. She then worked for an Artificial Intelligence startup as the Operations Manager. While in this position, she began the podcast with her sister, Okay Sis Podcast, and started to build the blueprint for Scout’s Agency.  As she would say, “before she was ready,” she left her position there and went full-time to Scout’s Agency.   Scout’s Writing Style and Process: Through this interview and the past two years of working under Scout, I have learned so much about writing in the Public Relations space. For Scout’s Agency, writing looks slightly different than other PR agencies. Early on in building the agency, Scout identified that the PR game is simply writing a compelling and moving email/narrative to a podcast host/writer and having them respond based upon the story you tell. Scout has been passionate about writing for many years, so she naturally infused her love for writing into my pitch letters and cold emails to land clients. “I wasn't trying to be a professional robot. I was trying to be expressive, communicative, and emotive.”  As mentioned early on in this course, I, too, have been passionate about writing and storytelling for many years.  Hearing about Scout’s experience and success with infusing that passion professionally makes me feel better about doing so myself.  Scout did not graduate from college, so I was curious to know if she took any additional courses or if her courses from her days in university aided her through her writing process. She mentioned how high school and college writing courses could set you up for success, including grammar, word choice, and typical writing conventions. Still, the main point of how she persuades is that she does not follow the typical communications blueprint of how to write PR pitches. She mentions how embracing your creativity is vital for creating successful writing pieces in the PR space.   How Scout’s Writing Is Different Than the Rest of the Industry: One important point I noted was how Scout’s Agency writes unconventionally compared to other PR agencies.  Because this is the first PR agency in the world to solely focus on Podcast PR, Scout and her team have had to establish themselves in the space through their writing.  She notes that traditional PR agencies can succeed using the typical template or layout because their clientele includes big-name celebrities or brands.  For Scout’s Agency, even though their clients may have 100k+ followers on social media platforms, they are the ones that you are typically seeing in People and Us magazine as your A-list celebrities.  Using emotion and being human in pitches is how the team develops relationships with editors and podcast hosts.  Since building these relationships beginning in 2019 and through the writing style of Scout and her team, they have curated a list of over 4000+ podcasts to pitch their clients to and have a handful of “low-hanging fruit” contacts that they call “friends of the agency.”   Another key thing that I learned from this interview with Scout is that when building a business or pitching a new client, or trying to shine your company in a good light, if you are in-house, you just have to go for it.  Send the email, the direct message, and make the phone call. Something that Scout did to build out the agency as it stands today was she sent out thousands of cold emails to her target demographic of who she wanted her clientele to be.  She comments that “Prospective clients and podcast hosts always tell me “I never answer those cold emails, but after reading yours, I had to respond.” When she said this, I realized the power of writing in the Public Relations space, and I knew that all of my years of English would be going to good use when I enter the space. Something Scout mentions that still has me a little on the fence about is “breaking up” with clients.  Since there is so much passion and emotion in the writing she does to portray her client in the best image, if she doesn’t jive with her clients, it will be 10x harder to write about them and “sell” them to podcast hosts and editorials.  She notes that she set up her onboarding process to know about a client before they sign and gauge if they vibe and not be tied down by a contract.  How Pitch Emails Are Made Up: The main writing pieces Scout works on are pitch emails and other smaller write-ups about clients.  I took a deep dive into some of the pitches that she shared with me and was able to collect some takeaways. For the most part, Scout is the main woman when it comes to writing the pitches for clients.  When she has a lot on her plate, or she is out of town, and the pitch is needed, other employees will write them.  I was able to analyze her pitch decks and the other employees' pitches and see where there were similarities and differences. Typically, the pitches written are to get the clients as guests on podcasts.  These emails can be to podcast hosts with who Scout’s Agency has good relationships or hosts who they don’t even know. Other pitches are to ask someone to be a guest on the client’s podcast or to pitch a client to an editorial. Even though the pitches look the same no matter the relationship they have with the recipient, they may add a sentiment to a few contacts who they communicate with often.    How To Use Emotion and Jargon in Pitch Writing: When a pitch is sent out to either a podcast host or an editorial, it holds a lot of value for the client and whoever is receiving the piece.  Ethos and Pathos are the two main persuasive appeals that appear in the writing.  As mentioned many times, Scout is passionate about writing and believes in all of her clients in the highest regard, which means that she puts a lot of emotion into the piece.  When a client signs up to get onto podcasts, they often have a story to tell in which they use the Pathos appeal.  The client can tell that story on the podcast in 30 minutes to an hour, whereas Scout only has about 500 words.  In addition to telling the client’s story, Scout and her team must ensure they lay out their client’s credibility to the podcast host or editorial.  To do this, they use the Ethos appeal.  Many of their clients are well-established individuals in their industry, and they need to show that to convince the host or the editorial why they should showcase the client.   Scout mainly focuses on using buzzwords and “industry language” based on what her client’s industry is.  For example, when there is a client that is a Human Design expert, and she is pitching the client to a Human Design podcast, she wants to make sure she uses all the jargon that she can to get on the same page as the host and using this jargon will increase the chances of landing the client a spot on the podcast. Often when Scout writes, whether pitch writing or in her book, it feels like she is talking to you.  She has this way where she writes exactly how she would say it, and it feels like you were on a call with her instead of reading one of her emails. This is the art of her writing and why she has been so successful in her agency.  How I Can Use Scout’s Advice in My Career: Since I have worked with Scout previously, I sort of knew her writing processes.  I have learned a lot from Scout about writing.  She was the person who taught me that writing, even in the most professional form, is a personal process. Being personable at the beginning of an email, asking them how they are, wishing them well, etc. is imperative that the receiver feels like they are talking to someone.  I’ve learned that crafting emails and emailing is a big part of the Public Relations industry.  This is where a lot of the writing happens, especially in Podcast PR, because we do not write a lot of the editorials or copy of blog posts or podcasts.  For other PR agencies, the writing process could look a lot different.   I think I will need to learn more about adding emotion to my writing piece but not too much emotion to where it gets too personal.  My main concern when I go into PR is when I do not connect with a client.  I know it will be harder for me to write about them and how to see the vision of what they would like to speak about, but I am hoping that my coworkers can help me when I am in that situation. I am most looking forward to writing about clients and being able to showcase them in the best light and highlight and brag about their successes to others.  Additionally, I am excited to craft pieces that share wins I have gotten for clients.

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